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Invasive species to be of concern to the entire European Union

2016-07-22

On 14 July 2016, the European Commission approved the first-ever list of invasive alien species considered to be of Union concern; the list now includes 37 invasive species of animals and plants. The list is based on the Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species.

Use of live animals, viable plants, fungi, and microorganisms (including their viable parts), where these species appear on the list of invasive alien species considered to be of Union concern is only authorised, subject to a permission, for the purposes of research, for preservation outside natural habitat (ex-situ), or for use of the invasive species for medical purposes, where this is necessary for progress in health care, or for the purposes related to compelling public interests, including interests of social or economic nature. Such permits shall be issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Any use, breeding, propagation, use, or exchange, transportation or release of the invasive species included in the list is strictly prohibited. Since the above list includes certain species of animal and plants held by individuals, zoological and botanical parks, and other entities, the European Commission has imposed transitional periods for implementation of the conditions under the Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014. Individuals who keep any of the listed animals for non-commercial purposes are now authorised to keep these until they die of natural causes in an enclosed domain, and to transport these within the limits of the EU, provided they cannot propagate or escape.

Those individuals who now keep invasive species for commercial purposes acquired before the species in question were included in the list shall be required to hand over, within 2 years, the above species for the purposes of research, for preservation of ex-situ, or for use of the invasive species for medical purposes, or duly hand-over thee within one year following inclusion of respective species in the list to other individuals for the purposes of non-commercial use.

The current list of invasive alien species considered to be of Union concern now includes 7 species listed in the list of species of invasive organisms in Lithuania as follows: Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), Sosnowsky's hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi), spiny-cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus), signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), Chinese sleeper (Perccottus glenii), common raccoon (Procyon lotor), and the pond slider (Trachemys scripta).

Communication Division
22 July 2016

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas