EPPO activities on Biological Control Agents


EPPO started its works on biological control agents (BCAs) after the EPPO/CABI Workshop on ‘Safety and Efficacy of Biological Control in Europe’ in Streatley (GB, 1996-03-26/28). Following the recommendations of this Workshop, the EPPO Panel on ‘Introduction of Exotic Biological Control Agents’ was created in 1997 and a close collaboration with IOBC was established. The main task of the Panel is to develop a ‘positive list’ of ‘safe’ BCAs for which a simplified procedure of import and releases in the EPPO region could be accepted. The Panel mainly works on the safety aspects of introduction and use of BCAs and develops Standards on the regulation of their introductions. Nevertheless, BCAs play an important positive role in plant protection and for environment management which stays outside of the Panel’s scope.



Joint EPPO/IOBC Panel on Biological Control Agents

After its establishment in 1997, the Panel on ‘Introduction of Exotic Biological Control Agents’ changed its name several times. In 2000, the Panel name changed to ‘EPPO Panel on Exotic Biological Control Agents’, in 2001 to ‘EPPO Panel on Biological Control Agents’, and in 2002 to ‘EPPO Panel on Safe Use of Biological Control’. From 2002, the Panel stayed ‘dormant’ until 2008 when the EPPO Council decided that the ‘Positive List’ needs annual updating. The Panel was reactivated under the name ‘Joint EPPO/IOBC Panel on Biological Control Agents’.

View the composition and terms of reference of the Panel




EPPO Standards on import and use of Biological Control Agents

Published Standards

Since 1997, the Panel has developed the following standards.  All can be retrieved from this website in our section on Standards. Files are also stored in the EPPO Global Database 

  • PM 6/1 First import of exotic biological control agents for research under contained conditions
  • PM 6/2 Import and release of non-indigenous biological control agents
  • PM 6/3 List of biological control agents widely used in the EPPO region
  • PM 6/4 Decisionā€support scheme for import and release of biological control agents of plant pests


Specific procedure for amendments to EPPO Standard PM 6/3

PM 6/3 ‘List of biological control agents widely used in the EPPO region’ represents a ‘positive list’ of BCAs for which EPPO recommends its member countries to use a simplified procedure for import and releases. These are BCAs which are either indigenous and widespread in the EPPO region, or established and widespread in the EPPO region, or used by at least 5 EPPO countries for at least 5 years and in any of these cases without records of any negative non-target effects. This ‘positive list’  was first adopted in 2001 and has been annually amended (except between 2002 and 2008). In 2018, the EPPO Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations approved a specific  ‘Procedure for amendments to (EPPO Standard PM 6/3)’. According to this Procedure, any applications for amendments should be forwarded to the EPPO Secretariat not later that on 1st  July each year to be considered the same year by the joint EPPO/IOBC Panel on Biological Control Agents’. 

Procedure for amendments to the Annexes of EPPO Standard PM 6/3   

Deadline for sending proposals to the EPPO Secretariat is 1st  of July (current year)  



Useful references