Authorisation classes for pesticides

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 authorised in classes 1 and 2 may only be used by professional users. Products in Class 3 can also be used by non-professional users.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency decides on an authorisation class for a product as part of the authorisation. 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 applicant has applied for. Different products with the same active substance may therefore be placed in different authorisation classes. 

The authorisation class shows who may use a pesticide. Products in classes 1 and 2 may only be used by professional users. All products in class 1 and those products in class 2 with a letter indication also require that the user has a special permit and training. Products in class 3 may be used by everyone, which means also by non-professional users.

These authorisation classes are used only for pesticides authorised in Sweden. There is no common system within the EU for authorisation classes or training.

Pesticides in class 1 and 2 may require special training and a permit before use. An indication letter specifies together with the authorisation class which authority is responsible for issuing the permit. Please, find the relevant requirements for the authorisations classes and letter indications in the table below.  

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. 

Authorisation classes for biological pesticides

Today, the system with authorisation classes also apply to biological pesticides that consists of micro-organisms. However, in older authorisations the category of user might be specified with words instead, since earlier the system of authorisation classes did not apply to biological pesticides.

The system of authorisation classes does not apply to biological pesticides that consists of macro-organisms, namely nematodes, insects or arachnids.

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.       (in Swedish)

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

Read more at the Swedish Work Environment Authority       (in Swedish)

Read more at the Swedish Board of Agriculture        (in Swedish)

Read more at the at the Public Health Agency of Sweden       (in Swedish)