Invasive species >> Legislation >> National level

National level

The problem of invasive alien species is not covered by a specialised act in Czech legislation. Most of the Czech legislation refers to non-indigenous or harmful species. Their release into the wild is regulated by the Act No. 114/1992 Coll. on the Nature and Landscape Protection which includes both general protection and special protection in protected areas - both these levels regulate intentional dispersion of non-indigenous species:

Section 5 - an intentional dispersion of geographically non-indigenous plant or animal species and also plant or animal crossbreeds into the landscape shall be possible only with a permission of a nature protection authority (municipalities with extended powers, protected areas administrations). This shall not apply to non-indigenous plant species in the case of management according to an approved forest management plan or a forest management lay-out adopted by the owner. A geographically non-indigenous plant or animal species shall mean a species which is not a part of the natural communities in a certain region.

Sections 16, 26, 29 and 34 - in national parks (§16), protected landscape areas (§26), national natural reserves (§29) and natural reserves (§34) is forbidden to permit or carry out intentional release of geographically non-indigenous plant and animal species.

The other important act is Phytosanitary Care Act No. 326/2004 Coll. which deals with invasive harmful species. These are listed and regulated under various phytosanitary decrees, complying with EC directives. The act defines the role of the State Phytosanitary Administration (since 2015 Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture) – this institute monitores and researches harmful and invasive harmful organisms specified in the Decree (see below) if they represent a risk to plants, plant products grown, produced, stocked, or to the environment (§10). Among implementing regulations to this act belongs Decree No. 215/2008 Coll. which includes a list of harmful organisms which importation and introduction in the territory of the EU is forbidden (Annex 1), lists of another specific harmful organisms (Annex 2 and 3) and a list of 13 invasive harmful plant species which incidence has to be monitored (Annex 8). The following species are included: 

  1. Cabomba caroliniana (Green Cabomba)
  2. Crassula helmsii (swamp stonecrop, New Zealand pigmyweed)
  3. Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth)
  4. Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed)
  5. Heracleum persicum (Persian Hogweed)
  6. Heracleum sosnowskyi (Sosnowsky's Hogweed)
  7. Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (water pennywort)
  8. Lysichiton americanus (yellow skunk cabbage)
  9. Polygonum perfoliatum (mile-a-minute weed)
  10. Pueraria lobata (Kudzu)
  11. Senecio inaequidens (South African Ragwort)
  12. Sicyos angulatus (Bur Cucumber)
  13. Solanum elaegnifolium (Silverleaf nightshade)

Everyone who found the occurence of these species is obliged to report this finding to the State Phytosanitary Administration either directly or by means of municipal autrority (§9 Act No. 326/2004 Coll.). 

Other acts cover the invasive species issues only marginally:

Act on Forestry No. 289/1995 Coll. describes that forest owners are obliged to prevent the development, spread and infestation of harmful organisms.

Act on Fishery No. 99/2004 Coll. in §12 states that release into the wild of non-native species of fish and water organisms is governed by a special legal decree. This law in §2 also includes an interesting definition of non-indigenous fish and aquatic organism: geographically non-indigenous or genetically inappropriate or not tested population of fish and aquatic organisms occurring in the area of individual fishing ground in the Czech Republic for less than 3 consequent brood populations.

Act on Hunting No. 449/2001 Coll. refers to animals, which do not live in the country yet. §4 states that import and export of game (in any development stages) can be done only under an agreement of the state agency for hunting. For import and release of geographically non-native species considered as a game by International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), a prior agreement by the nature conservation authority and hunting authority is needed and has to comply with veterinary regulations.

Water Act No. 254/2001 Coll. forbides to release fish and other aquatic animals from non-native and genetically not sufficiently examined populations to water flows and water reservoirs without an agreement of a respective water authority (§35).

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