Before a new variety can be placed on the market in Europe, it must undergo DUS testing for registration in the Official French Catalogue of species and varieties, also known as the National Listing, or for protection. The registration of a variety is decided by the Ministry of Agriculture based on proposals from the French Technical Committee for Plant Breeding (CTPS). These proposals are obtained on the basis of studies carried out by GEVES for the CTPS.
As of 1 January 2017, marketing of fruit plant propagating material is regulated by Directive 2008/90/UE with Implementing Directives 2014/96/UE, 2014/97/UE and 2014/98/UE. This new regulation aims to harmonise quality standards for propagating material across the EU, in particular by requesting the registration of suppliers and varieties. It also covers labelling requirements and inspection of material.
Marketed material must be qualified as Conformitas Agraria Comunitatis (CAC) or certified. This applies to the majority of fruit species commonly marketed in France (except kiwis), including strawberries.
There are different options for registering varieties of fruit species in Europe and France:
All varieties authorised to be marketed in the European Union are listed in the FRUMATIS database.
The registration of varieties in the French Catalogue is decided by the Ministry of Agriculture based on proposals from the French Technical Committee for Plant Breeding (CTPS). These proposals are in turn based on studies carried out by GEVES for the CTPS.
For fruit varieties, the French Catalogue contains two lists, defined by the type of description available for the varieties, and the date they were first marketed. Varieties remain registered for a duration of 30 years.
To be included in this list, the applicant must provide an application with information on the denomination and description of the variety. Following the administrative validation of this application, the variety is accepted on this list. The list is managed by GEVES; it is not validated by the CTPS, and no publication is made in the Official Journal. It is a working tool for organisations in charge of inspecting CAC production material, including strawberries.
The documents and guides for entering a variety in this list will soon be available.
DUS tests are carried out to ensure that a new variety is Distinct from existing varieties, that its characteristics are Uniform, and that the variety is Stable with consistent phenotypic characteristics from one generation to the next.
DUS tests are carried out in accordance with harmonised EU protocols, based on plant material provided by the applicant. A variety description is produced, which is used to identify the variety. This description and plant material can later provide the basis for seed certification and plant variety protection applications.
DUS tests are harmonised at European and international levels, through the CPVO and UPOV respectively. They are conducted in accordance with the CPVO protocol in force. The characteristics studied and the standards of acceptation are specific to the species in question, taking into consideration their genetic structure (pure, hybrid or population lineage) and the method of reproduction (self-pollinated, cross-pollinated).
The DUS test generates a description of the variety detailing its relevant characteristics. For fruit crops, morphological features and colour are mostly used (leaf shape, fruit colour, etc.) as well as phenological features such as flowering and ripening phases.
For fruit species (except Lonicera), technical examinations are carried out by INRA and its teams at Avignon, Bordeaux and Angers. GEVES is responsible for supervising this system, which is entrusted by the Community Plant Variety Office for apples, pears and their rootstocks, apricots, peaches, Japanese plums, and cherries and their rootstocks. To assess the distinctness of candidate varieties compared to well-known varieties, INRA has extensive collections of well-known reference varieties.
Posted 02/09/2018 | Last modification 07/26/2019
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