In France, each new variety is registered by decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and published in the Official Journal. The Ministry bases its decisions on the opinion of an advisory committee: The Permanent Technical Committee for Plant Breeding (CTPS).


The CTPS carries out its missions within an official framework:

  • Management of the French Official Catalogue
  • Development, proposal, and implementation of technical rules for registering varieties in the Catalogue.
  • Variety testing and sanitary certification for seeds and plants.

In accordance with Decree 2009-676 of 12 June 2009, the CTPS provides advice and technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture for the preparation and implementation of variety, seed and plant policy.

The CTPS offers guidance and support to research and development activities in plant breeding, and to the seed production and marketing sector. Its objective is to increase the efficiency and quality of agricultural and agro-industrial production, for food and non-food crops, whilst safeguarding the environment.

Context and Objective

The ongoing objective of variety and seed regulation is to guarantee seed of sound, genuine and marketable quality to the user. It is with this objective in mind that the first legislation was implemented in France in the 1920s and 1930s (Seed Testing Committee set up in 1922, Official French Catalogue of Species and Varieties created in 1932). In 1942, the Permanent Technical Committee for Plant Breeding (CTPS) was set up. This new committee moved away from the notion of “seeds” and instead towards the notion of “varieties” and “genetic progress”. Since then, the French Catalogue has grown over the years with new varieties emerging across the different species, in response to constantly evolving market needs.

And so, since the 1960s, plant breeding has responded to successive and cumulative objectives: improving the productivity of French agriculture, ensuring national food security, boosting the competitivity of the seed and variety sectors in the open EU and world markets, and proposing new species, uses and outlets.

With these objectives in mind, the CTPS assists and guides genetic progress by developing its technical rules for registration.  These rules aim to ensure the best possible match between the objectives of variety users, civil society, public authorities, and the scientific and technical capacities of breeders. The rules also take into account the productivity, regularity, and quality of production; these fundamental objectives provide an essential guarantee of the profitability and economic longevity of French agriculture and its sectors.

Today we are faced with a range of new challenges, such as the environment, health, and conserving biodiversity. To address these challenges, the CTPS is pursuing its mission of guiding genetic progress within the framework of the Ministry of Agriculture’s “Seed and Sustainable Agriculture Plan” (SPAD). The SPAD strategic plan for 2014-2019 builds on the CTPS’s existing activities, taking account of the Ecophyto plan and the Agriculture-Innovation 2025 mission for environmentally-friendly, sustainable and innovative agriculture.

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Among the selected actions, we draw particular attention to an incentive for the registration of varieties with reduced chemical consumption and adapted to diversified conditions. This includes the work carried out on VCUS (Value for Cultivation, Sustainability and Use) registration rules. Varieties are assessed with regard to disease and pest resistance, efficiency of nitrogen and water use, and genotype x environment x performance interactions. Work is also carried out across all species to promote the registration of varieties adapted to low input cultivation, in particular for Organic Farming or increasing protein production in quality and quantity.

To meet the challenges of maintaining intra and inter-specific genetic diversity, we will need to enhance actions already undertaken for many years, such as the registration of old varieties with strong cultural connotations. France was the first to open a list in its official catalogue for amateur vegetable varieties nearly 20 years ago. Many old fruit varieties are also listed. A list has also been opened for conservation varieties threatened by genetic erosion, helping to register varieties which can be redeveloped in their region of origin. As part of the SPAD plan, a CTPS Plant Genetic Resources (RPG) Section has been created and will assist France in meeting its international commitments in this area. It will also allow the official recognition and support of numerous PGR network managers in France. This new CTPS mission fits perfectly into what we can call the “continuum” of diversity and genetic innovation ranging from PGR to marketed varieties. This notion of continuum is also a major focus in the evaluation and promotion of variety data.

In addition to guiding varietal innovation towards the needs expressed, the CTPS seeks to promote the French catalogue in a context of “regulatory” intra-European competition. If the registration objectives in France change direction too abruptly, this would be counterproductive. The catalogue’s users would bypass the French catalogue and opt instead for catalogues of other Member States allowing easier access to the Community market.

That is why promoting the principles and strategic directions of the official French Catalogue at EU level is a permanent objective for the CTPS and the Ministry of Agriculture, just as it was when the now-abandoned EU seeds law was discussed. The French Catalogue owes its longevity, richness and diversity to the composition and functioning of the CTPS. A unique structure in the European Union, it brings together all stakeholders involved in varieties and seeds, from PGR stakeholders to civil society representatives, including stakeholders in the agricultural, vegetable, fruit, vine, ornamental and forest sectors.


The CTPS is composed of over 800 technical and scientific experts who take part in guiding public policy with a view to fostering innovation and optimising genetic progress.

  • A Plenary Committee which coordinates and guides the activities of the CTPS’s different bodies, and assists in developing legislation. It meets twice a year with sixty leading representatives from different branches of the public and private sectors which are concerned with varieties and seeds.
  • A Scientific Committee which provides advice and recommendations on the latest scientific findings (in the domains of plant breeding and seed production) which could impact or be used in plant breeding, variety testing, or seed quality analysis. Composed of 16 leading scientists from the public and private sectors, it meets at least three times a year and proposes Research and Development activities. Each year, the Scientific Committee launches a Call for Projects as validated by the Plenary Committee, and organises Restitution Seminars for these projects.
  • Fifteen Sections which are specialised by species groupBeetroot and Industrial Chicory, Cereals, Flax and Hemp, Forage plants and Grass, Forest trees, Fruit Trees, Maize and Sorghum, Oilseed plant, Ornamental plants, Potato, Rapeseed and other Crucifers, Sunflower/Soya/Castor oil plants, Vegetable plants, and Vine. These sections are responsible for:
    • Examining registration requests for the French Catalogue.
    • Developing regulations for each species regarding the catalogue and certification.
    • Assisting in guiding research for plant breeding.
  • The Plant Genetic Resources Section for the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) across a range of species. The PGR Section carries out its activities on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, advising on:
    • Recognition as “Manager of a plant genetic resources collection for food and agriculture”.
    • The integration of heritage resources into the National Collection.
    • The implementation of rules and EU directives concerning plant genetic resources.
  • Two transversal commissions:
    • The “Service Plants” VCUS Commission (CISPS) studies the Value for Cultivation, Use and Sustainability (VCUS) of candidate varieties for registration in the Official French Catalogue under the “Service Plants” category. The species potentially concerned by this type of use are very diverse, and the Committee brings together a broad range of expertise in terms of members’ knowledge of species, their agronomic experience, and their capacity to address the services requested.
    • The Commission for Organic Farming (CISAB) is in charge of promoting the registration of varieties that are suitable for organic farming. It identifies the needs and gaps in organic farming for different species, in terms of varieties and seeds, with a view to offering varieties in the French Catalogue that are adapted to Organic Farming and clearly identified as being so.

Each Section is composed of 30-40 members representing the public and private sectors concerned by the creation, distribution, and use of varieties and seeds. The meetings are led by a president, technical coordinator, and members of the Plenary Committee, and are held several times a year. Each Cross-sectional Committee is led by a president and technical coordinator, and works closely with the specialised sections.

CTPS Contacts

Plenary Committee Contacts
M. Alain MOULINIERPresident of the CTPSMASA / CGAAER – 251 Rue de Vaugirard – 75732 Paris Cedex 15
Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 44 36
M. François DESPREZVice President of the CTPSFlorimond DESPREZ SA – BP 41 – 59242 – Cappelle-en-Pevelle
Tel. +33 (0)3 20 84 94 90
Mme Virginie BERTOUXSecretary General of the CTPSGEVES – CTPS  – 25 rue Georges Morel – CS 90024 – 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex
Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 49
Mme Céline DELARUECTPS – Registration applicationsGEVES – CTPS  – 25 rue Georges Morel – CS 90024 – 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex
Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 00
Scientific Committee Contacts
M. Christian HUYGHEPresidentINRAE – Directeur scientifique Agriculture
147 Rue de l’Université – 75338 Paris Cedex 07
Tel. +33 (0)1 42 75 94 77
Mme Aurélia GOULEAUScientific Coordination
GEVES – Siège – 25 rue Georges Morel – CS 90024 – 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex
Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 46
Presidents and Technical Secretaries of the 15 CTPS Sections
Beet and Industrial Chicory


President: Mr Alain MOULINIER

MASA / CGAAER  251 rue de Vaugirard 75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 44 36 


Technical Secretary: Mr Denis BEGHIN

GEVES – Unité expérimentale de Mons-en-Chaussée – INRAE – Domaine de Brunehaut – Estrées-Mons – CS 50 136 – 80 203 PERONNE CEDEX

Tel. +33 (0)3 22 85 58 52 





President: Mr Thierry BERLIZOT

MASA / CGAAER  251 rue de Vaugirard 75732 PARIS Cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 43 89


Technical Secretary: Ms Anne-Lise CORBEL

GEVES – Domaine de l’Anjouère – La Pouëze – 49370 Erdre-en-Anjou

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 87 05 



Flax and hemp


President: Ms Sylvie HUBIN-DEDENYS

MASA / CGAAER  251 rue de Vaugirard 75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 84 56


Technical Secretary: Ms Christelle GODIN

GEVES – Domaine de l’Anjouère – La Pouëze – 49370 Erdre-en-Anjou

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 93 



Forage plants and grass


President: Ms Isabelle LITRICO-CHIARELLI

INRAE – URP3F  Le Chêne RD 150 – 86600 LUSIGNAN

Tel. +33 (0)5 49 55 61 48


Technical Secretary: Mr Vincent GENSOLLEN

GEVES – SEV Montpellier – La Valette 711 rue Jean-François Breton 34090 MONTPELLIER

Tel. +33 (0)4 67 04 35 85 



Forest trees


President: Mr Patrick PASTUSZKA

INRAE – Domaine de l’Hermitage Cestas Pierroton – 69 rue de l’Arcachon – 33612 CESTAS Cedex


Technical Secretary: Mr Alain BERTHELOT

FCBA Délégation territoriale Nord-Est – 60 route de Bonnencontre – 21170 Charrey-sur-Saône

Tel. +33 (0)3 80 36 36 20



Fruit species


President: Ms Marie-Lise MOLINIER

MASA – CGAAER  251 rue de Vaugirard 75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 84 36 


Technical Secretary: Ms Carole DIRWIMMER

GEVES – 25 rue Georges Morel – CS 90024 – 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 44



Maize and sorghum


President: Mr Fabrice MARTY

INRAE – 147 Rue de l’Université – 75338 Paris Cedex 07

Tel. +33 (0)1 42 75 92 09


Technical Secretary: Ms Valérie Uyttewaal

GEVES – SEV – Le Magneraud CS 40052 St Pierre d’Amilly 17700 SURGERES

Tel. +33 (0)5 46 68 30 19



Protein plants


President: Mme Marie-Laure PILET-NAYEL

AgroCampus Ouest Rennes – Domaine de la Motte au Vicomte – BP 35327 – 35653 Le Rheu Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)2 23 48 57 08


Technical Secretary: Mr Jean-Michel RETAILLEAU

GEVES – SEV Brion – Domaine de la Boisselière 49250 LES BOIS D’ANJOU

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 57 09 91 



Ornamental, perfume, aromatic and medicinal plants


President: Ms Laurence HIBRAND-SAINT-OYANT

INRAE – 42 rue Georges Morel 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 57 95 


Technical Secretary: Ms Stéphanie CHRISTIEN

GEVES – SEV Brion – Domaine de la Boisselière 49250 LES BOIS D’ANJOU

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 57 03 70  



Plant Genetic Resources


President: Mr Patrick FALCONE

MASA / CGAAER 251 rue de Vaugirard  75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 00 00


Technical Secretary: Ms Audrey DIDIER

GEVES – Siège – 25 rue Georges Morel – CS 90024 49071 BEAUCOUZE Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 45 





President: Ms Véronique VISSAC-CHARLES

MASA / CGAAER – 251 rue de Vaugirard 75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 74 08


Technical Secretary: Aurélie MAILLARD

GEVES – Domaine de l’Anjouère – La Pouëze – 49370 Erdre-en-Anjou

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 89  



Rapeseed and other crucifers


President: Mr Grégoire THOMAS 

MASA / CGAAER – 251 rue de Vaugirard  75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 42 88 


Technical Secretary: Mr Patrick BAGOT

GEVES – Domaine de l’Anjouère – La Pouëze – 49370 Erdre-en-Anjou

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 86  



Sunflower & soya


President: Mr Jean-Louis BARJOL

MASA / CGAAER – 251 rue de Vaugirard  75732 PARIS cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 52 56 34


Technical Secretary: Ms Christine FINTZ

GEVES – SEV – Le Magneraud – CS 40052 – St Pierre d’Amilly – 17700 Surgères

Tel. +33 (0)5 46 68 31 07



Vegetable species


President: Ms Catherine DOGIMONT

INRAE – Centre de recherche PACA – GALF Saint Maurice – 67 allée des chênes – CS 60094 F-84143 – MONTFAVET Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)4 32 72 27 08


Technical Secretary: Mr Pascal COQUIN

GEVES -SEV Brion – Domaine de la Boisselière 49250 LES BOIS D’ANJOU

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 57 23 22 





President: Ms Carole LY

INAO – 12 rue Henri Rol – Tanguy – TSA 30003 – 93555 Montreuil Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)1 73 30 38 07 C.LY@inao.gouv.fr

Technical Secretary: Ms Christine MOULLIET

FranceAgrimer – 12 rue Henri Rol – Tanguy – TSA 20002 – 93555 Montreuil Cedex

Tel. +33 (0)1 73 30 25 66



Cross-sectional “Service Plants” VATE Committee (CISPS)

President: Ms Isabelle LITRICO-CHIARELLI

INRAE – URP3F – Le Chêne RD 150 – 86600 LUSIGNAN

Tel. +33 (0)5 49 55 61 48


Technical Coordinator: Ms Julie GOMBERT

GEVES – Domaine de l’Anjouère – La Pouëze – 49370 Erdre-en-Anjou

Tel. +33 (0)2 41 22 86 90



Cross-sectional Committee for Organic Farming (CISAB)


President: Ms Sylvie HUBIN-DEDENYS

MASA / CGAAER  – 251 rue de Vaugirard – 75732 Paris Cedex 15

Tel. +33 (0)1 49 55 84 56


Technical Coordinator: Mr David HIDROT

GEVES – 4790 Route des Vignères – 84250 Le Thor
Tel. +33 (0)4 90 78 66 84


Webpage: Organic Agriculture & Variety Listing


CASDAR/CTPS Call for projects

Each year, the CTPS for cultivated plants and the Ministry of Agriculture launch a CASDAR “Seeds and plant breeding” call for research proposals to promote varieties for the agri-food systems of tomorrow.

CASDAR Seed Restitution Seminars

The CTPS Scientific Committee regularly organises restitution seminars in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. These seminars are an occasion to present the projects selected from the CASDAR “Seeds and plant breeding” call for projects.

Publication of the CS CTPS referral report on NBT - 2022

The European Commission has announced a policy action in 2021 on plants derived from certain new genome editing techniques (NBT). The aim is to adapt authorization and risk assessment procedures as well as traceability and labeling requirements, while maintaining a high level of health and environmental protection.

In this context, in November 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture referred the matter to the Scientific Committee of the CTPS so that it could shed light, on the basis of the scientific and technical literature, on the impact of the evolution of genome editing techniques on the evaluation of varieties and their marketing.

The report in response to this referral was published in November 2022.

Link to the report of the CTPS (French version only)

Link to the summary of the report

It concludes that the use of genome editing techniques does not call into question the major principles of variety evaluation for registration. However, a distinction should be made between edited characteristics that are similar or close to those that can be obtained by conventional breeding, and novel characteristics that are highly modifiable. For the latter, care must be taken to characterize the services that could be provided and the disservices that could appear.

The report emphasizes the difficulty of coexisting varieties derived from NBTs and those not derived from NBTs, due to the limitations of detection. The societal acceptability of these varieties must be taken into account; in particular, it is important that the edited traits benefit the different actors of the sector. The development of the use of NBTs and associated patents reinforces the issues of Intellectual Property related to varieties. The availability of patent information and the use of edited varieties in breeding programs are important issues.

Link to the referral report on the Ministry’s website

Impact of NBT on plant varieties and CTPS missions - 2016

In the framework of Priority Action 2: Foster innovation in agro-ecology in the plant and seed sectors of the Ministry of Agriculture’s “Seed and Sustainable Agriculture Plan” (SPAD), the CTPS Scientific Committee has carried out a study on the repercussions of New Breeding Techniques (NBT) on plant varieties and the CTPS’s missions. The following two questions were examined: “What are the potential consequences of new breeding techniques for plant varieties” and “What impact could new breeding techniques have on the CTPS’s activities?” The aim of this study was not to investigate regulation or intellectual property-related issues arising from these techniques.

The report is available here (French version only).

This analysis from the CTPS Scientific Committee provides additional clarification on recent developments in NBT in France and Europe, in particular the following:

As regards the regulatory framework, the French Council of State asked the European Court of Justice to specify the exact scope of the European Directive for GMOs approved in 2001 with regards to NBT, and to verify the validity of this Directive. The Advocate General’s conclusions are now available: