Special licences for using plant protection products

On 6 September 2017, the Federal Council adopted the National Action Plan for Risk Reduction and Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (PPP Action Plan), including two measures relating to special licences for the use of plant protection products (PPPs) for professional users. The latter provide for a change to the licensing system to ensure the best possible use of PPPs for all areas of use from 2027 onwards, i.e. agriculture, horticulture, forestry and special areas (maintenance of railway infrastructure, military grounds, etc.).

The objectives of the two measures are:

  1. Validation of skills acquisition: from 2026 onwards, a licence can only be obtained if a skills test is passed.
  2. Updating skills: from 2027 onwards, new licences will be limited to five years and will be renewable if licence holders complete a defined number of hours of further training.
  3. Licences will be in digital form from 2026: all licence holders will be registered in a single register.
  4. Sale of professional PPPs only on presentation of a valid licence from 2027 onwards: digital licences in the form of a QR code will allow vendors to check the validity of a licence instantly.
  5. The institutions organising the examinations and further training will be recognised and audited.

We will guide you step-by-step with detailed information from 2024 onwards.


  • Is my current licence still valid?

Yes, and it will continue to be valid until 31 December 2026 if your licence or qualification was issued by a canton or a school that is on this list:

In order for your licence to be valid after 2026, you will need to exchange your specialist licence/qualification between 1 January 2026 and 30 June 2026. The procedure for exchanging your licence will be published on this page in 2024.

  • I don't have a licence or a recognised qualification. How can I obtain a specialist PPP licence?

Training courses followed by an examination to obtain a licence are regularly organised by the cantonal plant protection services for the agricultural sector, by Jardin Suisse for the horticultural sector, and by sanu ag for specialist fields. For the forestry sector, it is best to contact the coordination office for PPPs in forests.

  • Will the licence be renewable from 2027?

To renew your licence, you only need to take further training in the field of application of your licence during the five years your licence is still valid. Farmers, for example, have to undergo further training in the field of agriculture in order to have their licence automatically renewed.

  • Can I spray PPPs in Switzerland with an EU/EFTA licence now and after 2027?

Yes, if the activity in Switzerland does not exceed 90 days in one year. The EU/EFTA licence for gainful employment of more than 90 days is not recognised in Switzerland. In fact, services provided in Switzerland in excess of 90 days per year are considered a business establishment and therefore come under Swiss law. Swiss law on plant protection products requires professional or commercial users to pass an examination to obtain a specialist PPP licence.

  • Can I use PPPs for professional users without a licence (now or after 2027)?

No, PPPs for professional users are strictly reserved for people with a valid Swiss specialist licence. It is not possible to obtain the licence as a non-professional (i.e. amateur) user for private use.

  • Do I need a licence for private use?

No, it is not necessary to be licensed to use PPPs non-professionally. This means that the activity carried out is of a leisure nature and remains in the private sphere of the individual.

  • Currently and after 2027, are people without a licence allowed to use PPPs for professional users?

Yes, but only if you are instructed on site by a person with a valid PPP licence in Switzerland. This gives, for example, the right to seasonal workers (or drone operators) to apply PPPs if a person with a licence or qualification recognised as a licence is physically present to direct them.

Further information

Last modification 27.06.2023

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