Drones need to meet technical requirements and obtain an EU type-approval 

European legislation on unmanned aircraft systems (i.e. drones) was recently published. There is one delegated act (Regulation 2019/945) and one implementing act (Regulation 2019/947) which set the detailed rules for use and construction.

The delegated act focusses on the technical requirements for the design and manufacture of drones. Drones need to meet technical requirements and need to obtain an EU type-approval given by a notified body. Moreover, an internal production control system needs to be in place. The detailed requirements that need to be met depend on the class and category of the drone. 

Drones have been classified in three categories: 'open', 'specific' and 'certified'. To which category the drone belongs depends on factors that impact possible risks such as the maximum height, distance to people and the possibility to drop material. Consequently, the higher the risk, the stricter the requirements. 

Drones in agriculture

For agricultural use, most drones will be probably in the open category. Only essential requirements are introduced in the legislation, harmonised standards will be used to provide the presumption of conformity. 

Most of the rules on the operation of drones are set in the implementing act. Also there the requirements depend on the risk. For example the requirements for operators in the category 'open' are less strict than in the category 'specific'.  

You can find the legislation Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 here and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 here