EU IAS Regulation

The EU Regulation (1143/2014) on invasive alien (non-native) species (external link) entered into force on 1 January 2015. The Regulation imposes restrictions on a list of species known as “species of Union concern”. These are species whose potential adverse impacts across the European Union are such that concerted action across Europe is required. This list is drawn up by the European Commission and managed with Member States using risk assessments and scientific evidence.

Article 24(1) of the regulation requires that Member States submit a report on implementation by 1 June 2019. Read the UK's report on implementation (external link).

Read the review of implementation of the retained EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation (EU 1143/2014) in Great Britain 2015-2020 (external link).

List of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern

On 14 July 2016, the European Commission published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1141 (external link), which implements the list of species of Union concern, comprising 37 species (23 animals and 14 plants). The list came into force on 3 August 2016.

On 13 July 2017, the European Commission published Commission Implementing Regulation 2017/1263 (external link) which added 12 species to the list of species of Union concern. The associated restrictions and obligations came into force on 2 August 2017 for all of these species except the Raccoon dog, for which they came into force on 2 February 2019.

News: On 26 July 2019, the European Commission published Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/1262 (external link) which added a further 17 species to the list of species of Union concern. The associated restrictions and obligations came into force on 15 August 2019.

These species are:

  • Acridotheres tristis, Common myna
  • Arthurdendyus triangulatus, New Zealand flatworm
  • Lepomis gibbosus, Pumpkinseed
  • Plotosus lineatus, Striped eel catfish
  • Acacia saligna (Acacia cyanophylla), Golden wreath wattle
  • Ailanthus altissima, Tree of heaven
  • Andropogon virginicus, Broomsedge bluestem
  • Cardiospermum grandiflorum, Balloon vine
  • Cortaderia jubata, Purple pampas grass
  • Ehrharta calycina, Perennial veldtgrass
  • Gymnocoronis spilanthoides, Senegal tea plant
  • Humulus scandens, Japanese hop
  • Lespedeza cuneata (Lespedeza juncea var. sericea), Chinese bushclover
  • Lygodium japonicum, Vine-like fern
  • Prosopis juliflora, Mesquite
  • Salvinia molesta (Salvinia adnata), Salvinia moss
  • Triadica sebifera (Sapium sebiferum), Chinese tallow
Useful resources

European Commission invasive alien species webpage.

Consolidated list of 66 species of Union Concern (PDF)

FAQ published by the Commission (external link).

Brochure on 49 of the species of Union concern (external link) 

Baseline data on the original 37 species (external link) 

Risk assessments used to support the listing process (external link).

How the Regulation works

The key decision-making body in the implementation of the Regulation is the Committee of Member States which is chaired by the European Commission. This Committee makes its decisions based on the qualified majority voting system. There is a Scientific Forum which provides advice to the Commission and the Committee, mainly on risk assessments, listing and derogations. There is also a working group of stakeholders.

View the Regulation (external link) and read more on the working of the Regulation (external link).

Permits issued by the UK under the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation

Under Article 8 of the EU IAS Regulation the UK issues permits to carry out research on, or ex-situ conservation of, invasive alien species of Union concern. Where the use of products derived from invasive alien species of Union concern is unavoidable to advance human health, the UK may also include scientific production and subsequent medicinal use within their permit system. More detail on the permitting requirements can be found in the text of the Regulation (external link).

Permits are issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency on behalf of Defra and the devolved administrations. Read more on how to apply for a permit (external link).

Find details of permits issued between 2015-2018 (PDF).


The Regulation was first proposed by the EU Commission on September 9 2013.

The EU has been working towards the development of a Strategy on Invasive Alien (Non-native) Species since 2008. This Strategy took into account the Review of the EU Common Plant Health Regime (external link) and the Animal Health Strategy (external link), the Commission's new strategy to protect and improve the state of Europe's biodiversity (external link). This Biodiversity strategy includes six targets one of which relates to invasive alien species (IAS).

  • Target 5- To control invasive alien species (IAS): By 2020, Invasive Alien Species and their pathways are identified and prioritised, priority species controlled or eradicated, and pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS. Relevant actions include:Action 15: Strengthen the EU Plant and Animal Health Regimes - The Commission will integrate additional biodiversity concerns into the Plant and Animal Health regimes by 2012.Action 16: Establish a dedicated instrument on Invasive Alien Species - The Commission will fill policy gaps in combating IAS by developing a dedicated legislative instrument by 2012.

The following presentation provides a good summary of this work - Towards an EU Strategy on Inavsive Alien Species (PDF).

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