Control of Noxious Weeds

Under the Noxious Weeds Act, 1936, it is an offence not to prevent the growth and spread of noxious weeds. Owners and occupiers of land must ensure that they abide by the provision in the Act. Noxious weeds, which must be controlled, are ragwort, thistle, dock, common barberry, male wild hop and wild oat.
• For control methods, please contact:
• The Local Teagasc Advisor or, alternatively,
• Consult the Teagasc fact sheet on ragwort at

Plant Protection and Biocidal Products

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine maintains close co-operation with the Department of Health, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Health and Safety Authority in the enforcement of regulations pertaining to these products.

Registration and Authorisation

Plant protection products, when correctly used, are a most valuable tool in crop production for controlling weeds, diseases and pests, enabling a good yield of top quality crops to be obtained. Biocides, when used correctly, provide effective means of disinfection and preservation of products, surfaces and materials in industry and in the home. However, being biologically active, plant protection products and biocidal products must be handled and used with care.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine operates statutory controls over all plant protection and biocidal products used in Ireland. Plant protection products are authorised in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1107 of 2009, concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. Biocidal products are authorised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 528 of 2012, concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products. Any use of plant protection and biocidal products which contravenes the related conditions which are listed on the product labels is an offence which is subject to prosecution.

Regular inspection by the Department is carried out to ensure that all plant protection and biocidal products that are marketed and used comply with the relevant EU regulations. Users of plant protection and biocidal products should follow the conditions of use on the label.
The Department publishes lists of products approved for use under the relevant Regulations.

Sustainable use of Pesticides Directive

The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD) establishes a framework for European Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides by setting minimum rules to reduce risks to human health and the environment from the use of pesticides. It promotes the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which includes alternative approaches and techniques to chemical use. It puts in place new requirements in the areas of advice, sale, supply, storage and use of plant protection products. The SUD was enacted into Irish Law by S. I. No. 155 of 2012.

The legislation impacts on a number of categories of individuals involved in the whole area of pesticide use (advisors, distributors, professional users and inspectors of application equipment). Individuals within each category are required to register with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and must have an appropriate level of training for the type of activity in which they are engaged. Since November 2013 all advisors and inspectors of application equipment are required to be registered. All professional users and distributors are required to be registered by November 2015.

Registration & Standards

The Department has developed an online registration system for this purpose ( In addition, there are requirements to test certain categories of pesticide application equipment (boom sprayers > 3m and all blast and orchard sprayers) at least once by November 2016. The interval between inspections must not exceed 5 years up until 2020 and must not exceed 3 years thereafter.

New standards regarding pesticide storage design, construction and operation have also been developed and all distribution stores must comply with these standards and be registered with the Department by November 2015. Since 1 January 2014, all professional users have been obliged to apply the general principles of Integrated Pest Management and they must main- tain records to demonstrate the application of these principles

Residue Levels

It is illegal to market food products that contain higher levels of pesticides residues than the permitted maxima which are laid down by the relevant Regulations. The Department of Agri- culture, Food and the Marine publishes an annual report on Pesticide Residues in Food.

Ground Limestone and Fertilisers

Legal standards are prescribed for the manufacture and sale of ground limestone and fertilisers to ensure that the product placed on the market complies with minimum standards and labelling requirements. For bulk sales, the seller is required to give the purchaser a statement showing the analysis of the material. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carry out checks on material on sale and takes samples for official analysis. Appropriate action is taken in the event of a breach of the Regulations.

Analytical Service

Any customer who has reason to believe that a purchased ground limestone may be defective can apply to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to have an official sample taken for analysis. Applications for official sampling/analysis should reach the Department within twenty-eight days of delivery of the material purchased and be accompa- nied by a fee of €6.35 in each case.


Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents. 

Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *