EPPO activities on Biological Control Agents


The Panel mainly works on the safety aspects of introduction and use of BCAs and develops Standards on the regulation of their introductions. One of the main tasks 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.



Joint EPPO/IOBC Panel 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 the International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC) was established.


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 Biological control agents safely 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 ‘Biological control agents safely used in the EPPO region’ represents a ‘positive list’ of BCAs for which EPPO recommends that its member countries may use a simplified procedure for import and releases. For BCAs to be added to the ‘positive list’, there must either be an absence of reports of adverse effects or, when available reports exist, adverse effects are considered to be acceptable by the joint EPPO/IOBC Panel.


These are BCAs which are:

  1. BCA for augmentative use which is (or has been) commercially available or officially used

AND either

a. is indigenous and widespread in part of, or the whole of, the EPPO region; or

b. is established and widespread in part of, or the whole of, the EPPO region; or

c. has been used for at least 5 years in at least 5 EPPO countries (exceptionally fewer, if relevant crops, target pests or plants are present in <5 countries);


  1. BCA for classical use which is found, at least 5 years after release, to be successfully established in part of, or the whole of, the EPPO region


The ‘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)’.


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