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The Swedish Chemicals Agency logo

Sweden has a system of authorisation classes for chemical pesticides and biological products that contain micro-organisms. An authorisation class shows who may use a pesticide. Products in classes 1 and 2 may only be used for professional purposes. Products in Class 3 are for public use.

Authorisation classes for pesticides

An authorisation class shows who may use a pesticide. Products in classes 1 and 2 may only be used for professional purposes. All products in class 1 and those products in class 2 which have a letter designation also require that the user has a special permit and training. Products in class 3 may be used by anyone.

When a product has been authorised, the Swedish Chemicals Agency decides which authorisation class it shall belong to. Several factors influence the authorisation class to which a product belongs. These may be the concentration of the active substance, the size of the packaging, the area of use, the method of application or whether the product is a solid, gas or fluid. The decision may also depend on which authorisation class the application for authorisation is intended for. A product with the same active substance may therefore in certain cases come under different authorisation classes. It is always the conditions in the decision which apply.

It is only pesticides authorised in Sweden that belong to these authorisation classes. There is no common system within the EU for authorisation classes or training.

For some pesticides, a special permit from other authorities may be required before use, such as in the case of products that are classified as being very hazardous. A letter designation specified together with an authorisation class shows which authority has issued the permit and determined the knowledge requirements for use of the product.

Examples of authorisation classes and special requirements
ClassPermitted usePermit requiredCourse certificate requiredAuthorityType of pesticide
1 AV Professional Yes Yes The Swedish Work Environment Authority For example, certain wood preservatives
1 L Professional Yes Yes The Swedish Board of Agriculture or the County Administrative Board Plant protection products
1 SO
(1 SO X)
Professional Yes Yes The Public Health Agency of Sweden For example, certain insecticides and rodenticides
2 Professional No No   Biocidal products
2 L Professional Yes Yes The Swedish Board of Agriculture or the County Administrative Board Plant protection products
3 May be used by anyone No No   All pesticides

L = The Swedish Board of Agriculture or the County Administrative Board

SO = The Public Health Agency of Sweden (formerly the National Board of Health and Welfare)

AV = The Swedish Work Environment Authority

If the knowledge requirements are especially comprehensive, this is indicated by the additional designation X. For example, a product with the designation 1 SO X may only be used for professional purposes, and the knowledge requirements are comprehensive. This is decided by the authority that issues the permit for its use.

Authorisation classes for biological pesticides

Today, the system with authorisation classes also apply to biological pesticides that consists of micro-organisms. However, earlier the system did not apply to biological pesticides which means that older decisions for such products do not include an authorisation class.

Biological pesticides that consists of macro-organisms do not need an authorisation any longer and authorisation classes do not apply to such products.

The regulations

The Pesticides Ordinance (2014:425), Chapter 2, Sections 8 and Sections 18-24 and Chapter 3, Sections 7-8 and Sections 11-18.

The Swedish Chemical Agency's Pesticides Regulations (KIFS 2008:3), Chapter 2.

Regulations on permits to use certain pesticides at the Swedish Work Environment Authority

Regulations on permits to use certain pesticides at the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

Regulations on permits to use certain pesticides at the Public Health Agency of Sweden.