EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2011 Num. article: 2011/123

A new Ordinance on invasive alien plants in Switzerland

An Ordinance on the Handling of Organisms in the Environment was adopted on the 10th ;September 2008 in Switzerland. This Ordinance regulates the handling of organisms including invasive alien plants, as well as their metabolic products and wastes in the environment. The Ordinance requests that any person who intends to market organisms for use in the environment must first assess the possible impacts caused by the organisms to human beings, animals or the environment as well as to biological diversity. It shall also consider that:
- human and animals health should not be threatened, in particular by toxic or allergenic substances;
- organisms should not be spread or multiplied in an uncontrolled way in the environment;
- populations of protected organisms impaired, in particular those organisms which are included in the Red Lists, or considered important for ecosystems (in particular those that are important for the growth and reproduction of plants);
- important functions of ecosystems, in particular soil fertility should not be severely or permanently impaired.

The following invasive alien plants should not be handled directly in the environment, other than for their control: Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Asteraceae, EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants), Crassula helmsii (Crassulaceae, EPPO A2 List), Elodea nuttallii (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Fallopia spp. (Polygonaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Heracleum mantegazzianum (Apiaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Apiaceae, EPPO A2 List), Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Ludwigia grandiflora and L. peploides (Onagraceae, EPPO List of IAP), Persicaria wallichii (Polygonaceae), Rhus typhina (Anacardiaceae), Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae), Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea (Asteraceae, EPPO List of IAP), S. nemoralis, S. virgaurea (Asteraceae).
In exceptional cases, a licence can be granted for direct handling in the environment if the applicant can prove that he or she has taken actions to ensure that all the conditions described above are met.

In addition, excavated soil that is contaminated with these invasive alien plants may be used only at the place of excavation. The Ordinance has also sections on the monitoring and control of the organisms, fines applied in case of infringement, etc. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) implements this Ordinance.


Swiss Federal Council (2008) Ordinance on the Handling of Organisms in the Environment (Release Ordinance, RO) of 10 September 2008 (Status as at 1 October 2008). 814.911. http://www.admin.ch/ch/e/rs/814_911/index.html