Pesticide Registration Toolkit

Decision making – Steps

The flow chart below shows a indicative decision making process. There is no definitive order in which the various aspects of decision making should be assessed, but the flow chart provides for many cases a logical order of the decision making steps for pesticide registration. Nonetheless, in some cases steps may need to be swapped; in other cases steps can be omitted or may be assessed several times in an iterative manner. The flow chart should therefore not be used in an absolute manner.

A presupposition to a positive decision for the registration of a pesticide is that it is efficacious for the intended use (e.g. crop-pest combination) and that Good Agricultural Practice(s) (i.e. directions for use) have been established.
Pesticide efficacy evaluation is described elsewhere.

A suggested principle for decision making is that no impediment for registration of a pesticide exists if:

  1. the pesticide is efficacious; and
  2. the pesticide does not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment; and
  3. the pesticide does not compromise agronomic sustainability.

Alternatively, the registration of a pesticide is generally denied if:

  1. the pesticide is not efficacious; or
  2. the pesticide does pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment; or 
  3. the pesticide compromises agronomic sustainability; and
  4. alternatives (pesticide or non-pesticide) are available.

In some situations where risks are in principle unacceptable, a pesticide may still be registered. This can be the case if there is an emergency need for the pesticide and no appropriate alternatives are available. In such a case, the pesticide might be registered with the explicit acceptance of the expected risk by all responsible authorities (i.e., As a rule, such a registration should only be issued for specific uses and be temporary, to allow further data collection, risk assessment under actual conditions of use, and proper registration.


The various elements evaluated in decision making are explained in more detail elsewhere.

Interactive Decision Tree