International cooperation in pesticide approvals

The plant protection product regulation requires that the Norwegian Food Safety participates in an international cooperation with the EU member states. 


We cooperate both with the whole of EU, as well as Nordic and Baltic member states (the northern zone). This applies for both approval of plant protection products, and the product’s active substances.

Active substances are assessed jointly in the EU

Active substances in plant protection products are assessed and authorized jointly for the member states in the EU/EEA. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority participate in the expert meetings in the European Food Safety Authority  (EFSA) where the risk assessments of the active substances are discussed, and we also participate as observers on the meetings in the EU commission where approvals are decided for. 

Read more about active substances

Plant protection products are assessed in a zonal cooperation

While the active substances are authorised jointly for the EU, the product(s) containing the active substance must be applied for and nationally authorized in every member state.

In connection with assessments of the plant protection product application, the EU is divided into three zones: The Northern zone, the Central zone and the Southern Zone. Norway is a part of the Northern zone with Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. One of the countries in the zone (zonal rapporteur member state - zRMS) does the main part of the assessment of the plant protection product. During the assessment, the other member states comment on the zRMS’s assessment. All member states where the product is applied, makes national decisions based on the zRMS’s assessment.

The application of authorisation of a plant protection product must be sent to all countries where the product is intended to be placed on the market.

Products for greenhouses, post-harvest and seed treatment

Greenhouse products, products for seed treatments and products for use in storage (post-harvest) are jointly assessed in the EU. This means that a member state will do the risk assessment on behalf of all other member states in the EU/EEA.

However, the requirements specified in the guidance document for the Northern zone, including the national requirements, still applies. Protected crops are assessed as closed systems until a guidance document from EFSA is available.

Guidance document on work-sharing in the Northern Zone

The Northern Zone have developed a guidance document describing the application processes and national requirements. The guidance document is updated as needed. The edition of the guidance document that was in effect at the time of application date should be used.

You will find the Guidance document on work-sharing in the Northern Zone (guidance A1) in our our overview of guidance documents

Pesticide risk assessment for birds and mammals

The pesticide risk assessment for birds and mammals is based on the EFSA guidance document on Risk Assessment for Birds & Mammals. In addition the Northern Zone have developed a guidance for higher tier risk assessment included species and scenarios relevant for Northern Zone agricultural areas.

You will find the guidance with worksheet (A1.1 and A1.2) in overview of guidance documents