Pesticide Registration Toolkit

Pesticide Specifications

pesticide specificationsIn general, pesticide specifications are used:

  1. by the competent authority to check that the quality of the formulation on the market is the same as that registered; and
  2. as part of a contract of sale, so that a buyer may purchase a pesticide with some guarantee of the quality expected.

Pesticide specifications generally encompass the physical appearance of the material, its content of active ingredient and any relevant impurities, and its physical and chemical properties, and stability in storage. The specifications generally do not encompass the chemical characteristics of the formulants, other than where they influence the physical characteristics (which are taken to include characteristics such as pH, acidity and alkalinity).




FAO & WHO Specifications for pesticides


FAO Specifications of agricultural pesticides


New procedure

FAO Specifications of agricultural pesticides


Old procedure

WHO Specifications of public health pesticides


Old and new procedure



International sources

FAO & WHO Specifications for pesticides

The FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Specifications (JMPS) is the main international body setting pesticide specifications.

FAO & WHO specifications are developed with the basic objective of promoting, as far as practicable, the manufacture, distribution and use of pesticides that meet basic quality requirements. FAO/WHO specifications are intended for quality assurance and risk management.

The procedure to establish FAO & WHO specifications was amended in 1998, but specifications published under the old procedure are still available. Specifications developed under the two procedures are superficially similar in appearance, but have a very different basis. Specifications developed under the old procedure could be applied to any manufacturer‘s product. Specifications developed under the new procedure apply only to the products of manufacturers whose data have been evaluated by the JMPS. Also, specifications published under the new procedure are published integral with the corresponding evaluations of data, so that users of the specifications can be informed of the data and scientific reasoning which support the specification.

Both the Specifications developed under the new and the old procedures are available of the web page of the JMPS and WHO, where technical guidance on the elaboration of the specifications can also be found.


WHO Specifications of public health pesticides

Specifications for vector control insecticides and other public health pesticides can be found on the Specifications page of the WHO Prequalification Unit Vector Control Product Assessment Team (PQT/VCP).