EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 2008 Num. article: 2008/132

Code of Conduct on Invasive Alien Plants and Horticulture for European and Mediterranean countries

EPPO and the Council of Europe are conjointly developing guidelines for countries to develop codes of conduct on invasive alien plants and horticulture. A code of conduct is voluntary: its aim is to enlist the cooperation of the horticultural industry, nursery trade and associated professionals to adopt good practices in (a) raising awareness of this topic among professionals, (b) preventing the spread of invasive alien species already in cultivation, and (c) preventing the introduction of possible new plant invaders into Europe. The nursery industry will benefit from following a code of conduct by presenting an environmentally friendly image to the public, and they may also benefit economically by selling non-invasive plants as substitutes.

The following elements may be included in a code of conduct:

1. Identify species to which the code of conduct applies
2. Identify exactly what you are growing and trading: ensure that material introduced into cultivation is correctly named
3. Be aware of regulations concerning invasive alien plants

4. Encourage other stakeholders in the chain to commit to the code of conduct

5. Avoid further trade of invasive alien plants
6. Make substitutes for invasive alien plants available
7. Be careful how you get rid of plant waste: adequate disposal of unwanted stock of plants and plant-containing waste
8. Follow good production practices to avoid unintentional introduction and spread

9. Apply good practices for labelling
10. Engage in publicity and outreach activities

Two documents will be published on this initiative:
  • the EPPO guidelines, directed to NPPOs in their discussion with the nursery industry, to be published in 2009;
  • the Council of Europe document, more detailed, to be published in November this year.


EPPO Guidelines on the development of a code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants – in preparation
Heywood V ; Brunel S (in press) Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants. Convention on the Conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats, 33 pp. Available at: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?mtg=sbstta-13 (go to “Others”, point 8).