The EU Regulation (1143/2014) on invasive alien (non-native) species background;
Alien species are species that have been transported outside their natural ecological range as a result of human action. The vast majority are unable to survive in an unfamiliar environment without human intervention and eventually die off. But some species manage to adapt to their new surroundings and eventually establish themselves in the wild, where they can cause significant ecological and economic damage. These are known as Invasive Alien Species (IAS).
IAS are defined as species whose introduction and spread outside their natural ecological range poses a real threat to biodiversity and the economy. It is estimated that there are already over 12,000 alien species present in Europe, of which around 10–15% are invasive. They occur in all major taxonomic groups, ranging from mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and plants to fungi, bacteria and other micro-organisms. They are also found in every type of habitat, both on land and in the surrounding seas. All EU Member States have problems with IAS on their territory to a greater or lesser extent.
- On 14 July 2016 the European Commission published Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1141 which sets out an initial list of 37 species to which EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation 1143/2014 will apply. There were further updates in 2017, 2019 and 2022, and the current list now contains 88 Species of Union Concern. The corresponding Northern Ireland legislation, The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 came into force on 1st December 2019.
- All of these species have been accepted as meeting agreed criteria concerning their invasiveness and ability to establish in several Member States.
- The aim of this new regime is to prevent or manage the introduction, or spread, of invasive non-native species across the European Union.
- In order to achieve this aim the EU Regulation requires Member States to put in place surveillance and rapid response mechanisms and to develop Management Measures, as per the Regulation.
- Listing imposes restrictions on the commercial keeping, sale, and transporting of the listed plants and animals, and their intentional breeding or release.
- A permit scheme will be in operation to allow derogations from some of these restrictions (other than their release) but only in very limited circumstances.
The 88 Species of Union Concern Listed are;
Other Information and resources;
- The Northern Ireland Explanatory Memorandum to the above legislation is provided for further guidance
- Link to Regulation (EU) 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species
- European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO)
- North Europe and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS)