International Code of Conduct

The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management is a voluntary standard and point of reference for sound pesticide management practices, issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations.  CropLife International and leading companies of the plant science industry have agreed to abide by provisions in the latest revision to the Code.

In 2013, the Code was revised to clearly reference public health and align with current best management practices. The revised Code, formerly known as the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, takes a lifecycle approach to pesticides from production and development to farm use and disposal, including obsolete agrochemical stocks and empty product containers. It is based on risk assessment and the shared responsibility of all parties involved in manufacturing and handling pesticides. The accepted revisions augment protection of human health and the environment by further limiting the availability of products sold to the public in non-specialized outlets, safeguarding intellectual property to discourage counterfeit products from entering the marketplace, and requiring an “expiry date” on bio-pesticides and a “release date” on other pesticides respectively.


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in cooperation with the plant science industry, NGOs and other international organizations, developed the Code to provide a comprehensive standard for pesticide activities and serve as a point of reference in relation to sound pesticide management practices. The original Code was published in 1985 and updated in 1989 to include the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. With the adoption of the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent in 1998, changes in other areas of international policy, and the view of continuing challenges in sound pesticide management in developing countries, a revision to the Code was approved by the FAO Council in 2002. The latest revision to the Code has been approved and published as of June 2013.