Variety and seed marketing regulations reflect the objectives of public policies: improve the productivity of French agriculture, ensure the country's food security, develop the competitiveness of the sectors in the European and international markets, propose new species, new uses and new opportunities and respond to new challenges for the environment, health and maintaining biodiversity.
These regulations have gradually been put in place since the 1960s and continue to evolve, forming part of a European and global framework. Schematically we can distinguish:
In addition to these variety and seed regulations, there is a specific legal system for plant variety protection. New varieties can be protected by an intellectual property right called a Plant Variety Right (PVR). PVRs grant the holder an exclusive right to the variety that he has bred, in particular for producing and marketing the variety. Unlike patents, PVR-protected varieties can be used freely for breeding purposes freely and for certain species and conditions can be used for farm seed.
To develop, implement and improve these variety and seed regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture relies on an Advisory Committee: the Permanent Technical Committee for the Selection of Cultivated Plants (CTPS).
One of the primary missions of the CTPS is to assist and guide genetic progress by developing the technical rules for variety 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, in order to meet the needs of sustainable and diverse agriculture. The CTPS proposes the listing and de-listing of plant varieties in the Official French Catalogue.
In France, the Ministry delegates seed production controls to various bodies: the Official Control Service (GNIS / SOC) for agricultural and vegetable plants, the Interprofessional Technical Centre for Fruits and Vegetables (CTIFL) for fruit trees, FranceAgriMer for Vine plants.
Post-marketing controls are conducted by the French anti-fraud service (Directorate-General of Competition and Repression of Frauds).
The regulations are different depending on the species; you can find more information on this site under “Variety and Seed Expertise” where the regulations have been outlined for each broad species group. The major differences concern whether a variety must be registered in the Official catalogue in order to market its seed, what the registration tests entail, whether seed must be certified, and whether a community catalogue exists.
Posted 02/28/2018 | Last modification 12/11/2018
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