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Food Safety

Health - Regulatory Committees - Standing Committee on Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry Seeds and Plants

Short report of the meeting held on 6 and 7 March 2000

Chairman: Mr. Del Bino

All Member States present. The Community Plant Office (CPVO) and Norway participated as obervers.

1. Draft Commission Regulation establishing implementing rules as to the suitability of the denominations of varieties of agricultural plant species and vegetable species

Article 63 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94 on Community Plant Variety Rights established provisions on the suitability of denominations of plant varieties for the purpose of Community plant variety rights.

Council Directive 98/96/EC amending the various seed marketing Directives has provided, so far as the suitability of denominations of plant varieties of both agricultural and vegetable plant species is concerned, a cross reference to the above mentioned provision for the purpose of variety acceptance for marketing, and has also provided that detailed implementing rules may be adopted in accordance with the Standing Committee procedure.

The new Regulation would establish detailed implementing rules for the application of certain of the Community criteria for the suitability of variety denominations.

Voting : favourable opinion by unanimity.

2. Draft Commission Decision authorising Member States to permit temporarily the marketing of forest reproductive material not satisfying the requirements of Council Directive 66/404/EEC

This decision would authorise for a limited period the marketing of forest reproductive material of certain plants meeting less stringent requirements, in order to overcome difficulties in supply experienced in the applicant country.

Voting : favourable opinion by unanimity.

3. Draft Commission Decision authorising Member States to permit temporarily the marketing of seed of certain species not satisfying the requirements of Council Directive 66/402/EEC

The Committee noted that the applicant country withdrew its request.

4. Draft Commission Decision authorising Member States to permit temporarily the marketing of seed of certain species not satisfying the requirements of Council Directive 66/401/EEC

This Decision would allow for a limited period the marketing of seed of fodder plant species meeting less stringent requirements in order to overcome difficulties in supply experienced in the applicant country. The Committee noted that the applicant country withdrew its request in respect of seed of timothy.

Voting: Favourable opinion; 77 for and 10 against.

5. Possible implementing measures on the less stringent requirements regime

The results of a meeting of Rapporteurs held on 6 March 2000 (morning) where discussed. Those discussions were based on statements of the Council and the Commission entered in the Council minutes related to the adoption of Council Directive 98/95/EC. The main items considered were:

- balance assessment between the elements supplied by the applicant countries and by those offering seeds in order to overcome the need,

- detailed information in respect of the purposes of the application,

- timing of the application,

- duration of the period of the authorisation,

- choice between possible implementing measures and a code of conduct,

- possible simplification of the text of the Commission Decisions authorising Member States,

- possible simplification of the Council provisions.

The Committee supported the idea that the Group of Rapporteurs should continue its work.

6. Supplements to the Common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species

The Committee was informed that the supplement covering notifications until 17 December 1999 will be published in the OJ of 21 March 2000. The supplement related to the varieties notified between 18 December 1999 and 4 February 2000 will be published a little bit later.

In respect of the frequency of the publication in the OJ the Committee supported the plan of the Commission to ensure supplements with a frequency of about six weeks, complemented by a complete edition once a year.

7. Other business

The Committee noted:

(a) A delegation urged the Commission to update the Committee on the work in progress in the area of conservation of plant genetic resources.

(b) The publication in the OJ of the Commission Decision 2000/165/EC setting out the arrangements for Community comparative trials and tests on seeds and propagating material of certain plants under Council Directives 66/401/EEC, 66/402/EEC, 66/403/EEC and 69/208/EEC.

(c) A delegation urged the Commission to initiate discussion on the implementation of Council Directive 1999/105/EC on the marketing of forest reproductive material recently adopted.

(d) In respect of seed equivalence:

(aa) a delegation urged the Commission to reconsider a possible equivalence in respect of Zimbabwe.

(bb) a plan of the Commission Services for a technical mission to Brazil.

N.B: The measures on which the Committee has given an opinion are subject to the appropriate procedure for final adoption by the Commission

List of participants

Standing Committee on Seeds and Propagating Material Date : 6-7 March 2000

Etat Membre

Ministère ou Organisme

Nombre de personnes

BE

Ministère des Classes Moyennes et de la l'Agriculture

2

DK

Plantedirektoratet

1

D

Bundessortenamt

2

EL

Ministry of Agriculture

1

E

Min. de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentacion - Oficina española variedades vegetales

1

F

Ministère de l'agriculture et de la pêche sous direction de la foret

1

F

Service Officiel de Contrôle

1

IRL

Ministry of Agriculture - Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

1

I

Ministero delle Politiche Agricole

1

I

ENSE

1

L

Administration des Services Techniques de l'Agriculture

1

NL

NAKTUINBOUW

2

A

Bundesamt und Forschungszentrum für Landwirtschaft

1

P

Ministerio da Agricultura - Direccão Geral de Proteccão das Cultúras

2

FIN

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

1

S

Swedish Board of Agriculture

1

UK

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

2

N

Ministry of Agriculture

1

CPVO

Community Plant Variety Office

1

COM

European Commission - SANCO E.1

5

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