Missions & Mandates

As a NRL, GEVES is the technical reference for seed quality testing, providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, the competent authorities, and accredited and approved laboratories.


GEVES's National Seed Testing Station is a NRL for seed certification, for species listed in EU directives 2002/54, 2002/55, 2002/57, 66/401 and 66/402. GEVES was designated as NRL by order of 16 March 2017, published in the Official Journal of 24 March 2017. The order of 16 March 2017 designated the National Reference Laboratories in the field of seed certification (NOR: AGRG1708399A). This designation follows Decree no. 2016-1496 of 4 November 2016 concerning seed testing laboratories (NOR: AGRG1610713D) under law no. 2011-1843 of 8 December 2011 concerning plant variety rights.

NRL activities

The NRL field of competence includes all seed tests required for seed certification :

  • Germination quality (germinative capacity)
  • Physical quality (purity & determination of other seeds by number, moisture content)
  • Seed health (detection of harmful organisms)


Within NRL's field of competence, the GEVES / SNES is responsible for :

  • Assuring the surveillance of scientific and technical developments in order to optimise and improve methods for seed quality analysis. Contributing to the standardisation of these developments at a national and international level.
  • Developing and proposing protocols for seed sampling.
  • Monitoring and offering support on the technical activities of accredited and approved laboratories specifically through laboratory audits, training courses, Proficiency test (PT) [InterLaboratory Comparison (ILC)], and technical meetings. It also provides documents, reference materials and technical aids.
  • Acting as the technical contact point for both the SOC and the seed testing laboratories.
  • Responding to laboratories' requests for development of new tools and services.
  • Conducting official seed testing.


To carry out these activities, GEVES / SNES guarantees:

  • Extensive expertise, with experienced and competent personnel, across a large range of species and types of test. GEVES plays an active role in the activities of international organisations relating to methods and research programmes.
  • Total impartiality of results.
  • An organisation comparable with NRLs in other fields in France and in other European countries.