The Regulation 1143/2014 on invasive alien species which entered into force on January 1st, 2015 seeks to address the problem of invasive alien species in a comprehensive manner so as to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as to minimize and mitigate the human health or economic impacts that these species can have.
Under this Regulation all Member States must taken action on a list of invasive alien species of Union Concern. The Regulation foresees three types of interventions; prevention, early detection and rapid eradication, and management.
On July 14th 2016, the European Commission published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1141 (containing the species list), which implements the first list of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern. This first list of 37 species is comprised of 23 animals and 14 plants. The list will come into force on August 3rd 2016 meaning from that date the ‘clock will start ticking’ from when various requirements are to be implemented.
There will be a phased introduction of the requirements. Some milestones are listed below:
- List of IAS of Union Concern – dynamic list but reviewed every 6 years (published on 14/07/2016)
- Functioning structures for Official Controls (border controls, goods entry points) by 02/01/2016
- Surveillance system by February 2018
- Pathway analysis by February 2018 and pathway action plans by August 2019
- Management measures put in place for widely spread species by February 2018
- Reporting by August 2019 and every 4 years thereafter on the surveillance system, distribution of species, action plans etc.
The European Commission have published a Frequently Asked Questions on their website and where additional information on the Regulation can be accessed: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/invasivealien/index_en.htm