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EU marketing requirements

Registration

Before registration, the variety's identity is tested for:

  • Distinctness;
  • Uniformity;
  • Stability;
  • Value for cultivation and use of the variety - for agricultural crops.

Each variety should have one name.

Certification

Certification and inspections guarantee the identity, health and quality of seeds and propagating material before marketing - whether they come from inside or outside the EU .

Marketing

Seed and propagating material are marketed in:

  • Different marketing categories;
  • Homogenous lots where lots are identified for traceability reasons;
  • Specific requirements for packaging, sealing, labelling and documentation apply.

Exceptions

Under certain conditions, some EU countries are not obliged to apply these rules to some plant species that are not usually grown or marketed on their territory e.g. vines, some tree species.

The Commission grants exemptions after an EU country applies (2010/680/EU).

Equivalence

Seed harvested outside the EU may only be marketed in the EU if it offers the same guarantees as officially certified EU seed. The seed's identity must be ensured throughout its marketing.

Beet seed

EU certification

The EU certification ensures the quality of beet seed. EU countries can market only officially certified beet seed.

Certification includes field inspection, seed sampling and testing, and results in an official label. Marketing is with reference to the variety.

Seed must fulfil the criteria in Directive 2002/54/EC for:

  • Field production and seed purity;
  • Identity and plant health;
  • Special requirements on e.g. polyploidy, monogermity and segmentation for the marketing categories: pre-basic, basic and certified seed.

Who does the certification?

Only the national competent authority can carry out the certification or the business itself under that authority's official supervision.


Certification conditions

Crops

Seeds

  • Previous cropping
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Minimum distances from neighbouring pollen sources
  • Disease status
  • Analytical purity
  • Germination rate

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Oil & fibre plant seed

EU certification

EU certification ensures the quality of oil and fibre seed for 14 species. EU countries can only market officially certified seed. Certification includes field inspection, seed sampling and testing, and results in an official label. Marketing is with reference to the variety.

Criteria

Seed must fulfil the criteria set out in Directive 2002/57/EC for:

  • Field production and seed purity;
  • Identity and plant health;
  • Specific requirements for the marketing categories: pre-basic, basic, commercial and certified seed.

Who does the certification?

Only the national competent authority can carry out the certification or the business itself under that authority's official supervision.

Certification conditions

Crops

Seeds

  • Previous cropping
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Minimum distances from neighbouring pollen sources
  • Presence of harmful organisms
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Analytical purity
  • Germination rate
  • Content of seed of other plant species
  • Presence of harmful organisms

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Cereal seed

EU certification ensures the quality of cereal seed for 15 species or crossings . EU countries can only market officially certified seed. Certification includes field inspection, seed sampling and testing, and results in an official label.

Marketing is with reference to the variety.

Criteria

Seed must fulfil the criteria in Directive 66/402/EEC for:

  • Field production;
  • Seed purity and identity ;
  • Plant health;
  • Specific requirements for the different marketing categories: pre-basic, basic and certified seed.

Who does the certification?

Only the national competent authority can carry out the certification or the business itself under that authority's official supervision.

Certification conditions

Crops

Seeds

  • Previous cropping
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Minimum distances from neighbouring pollen sources
  • Presence of harmful organisms
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Analytical purity
  • Germination rate
  • Content of seed of other plant species
  • Presence of harmful organisms e.g. Claviceps purpurea

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Fodder plant seed

EU certification ensures the quality of grass and legume seeds of 55 fodder plant species and crossings. EU countries can only market officially certified fodder plant seed.

Certification includes field inspection, seed sampling and testing, and results in an official label.

Marketing is with reference to the variety.

Criteria

Seed must fulfil the criteria in Directive 66/401/EEC for:

  • Field production;
  • Seed purity and identity ;
  • Plant health;
  • Specific requirements for the different marketing categories: pre-basic, basic and certified seed.

Who does the certification?

Only the national competent authority can carry out the certification or the business itself under that authority's official supervision.

Certification conditions

Crops

Seeds

  • Previous cropping
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Minimum distances from neighbouring pollen sources
  • Presence of harmful organisms
  • Identity and purity of variety
  • Analytical purity
  • Germination rate
  • Content of seed of other plant species
  • Presence of harmful organisms

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Seed potatoes

EU certification ensures the quality of seed potatoes. EU countries can market only officially certified seed potatoes.

Seed must fulfil the criteria in Directive 2002/56/EC:

  • Health and quality standards e.g. the presence of blackleg and common scab ;
  • Seed identity;
  • Requirements for minimum size.

Marketing is with reference to the variety.

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Fruit plant propagating material

Certification

Fruit plant propagating material of 23 genera and species may only be marketed if certified as:

  • Pre-basic;
  • Basic;
  • Certified;
  • Qualifying for Conformitas Agraria Comunitatis.

Directive 2008/90/EEC - Marketing of fruit propagating material and fruit plants for fruit production

To gain this certification, official inspections check if the material meets criteria for:

  • Identity;
  • Quality;
  • Plant health;

The rules also cover batch separation & marking, identification of varieties and labelling.

Suppliers' responsibility

Suppliers must ensure that their material meets the legal criteria. O nly suppliers approved by their national authorities can sell their material in the EU.

Non-EU seed and material

Seed, propagating and planting material from non-EU countries may only be marketed in the EU if they offer the same guarantees as those produced in the EU.

Who makes the decisions?

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Propagating Material and Plants of Fruit Genera and Species.


Vegetable seed and propagating material

In the EU, seed of registered vegetable varieties can be marketed once officially examined and certified. In some cases, seed of a category not officially certified can be checked as meeting the legal requirements.

Directive 2002/55/EC on the marketing of vegetable seed of 36 species sets out requirements for:

  • Registration;
  • Certification;
  • Seed purity and identity.

Before marketing in the EU, vegetable varieties must be listed in the Common catalogue based on EU countries' national catalogues. Only distinct, stable and sufficiently uniform varieties are accepted.

Suppliers must ensure that their material meets the legal criteria.

Vegetable propagating & planting material

Vegetable propagating and planting material must fulfil the criteria in Directive 2008/72/EEC for:

  • Quality and purity of the crop;
  • Varietal characteristics;
  • The used propagation system.
  • Specific rules for rootstocks and other parts of plants are also developed.

Who makes the decisions?

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Vine propagating material

There is a common EU certification system for marketing material for the propagation of the vine - Directive 68/193/EEC.

Vine varieties must first be judged as:

  • Distinct;
  • Uniform and
  • Stable

before they can be listed in the catalogues of officially accepted varieties for marketing in the EU.

EU list of varieties of vine propagation materialexcel8book(586 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

 

Certification

Before it is marketed, vine propagation material must be officially examined and certified as:

  • Basic;
  • Certified or
  • Standard material .

The legislation also regulates batch separation, packaging, sealing/marking and labelling.

Certification conditions

Crops

Seeds

  • Varietal identity;
  • Varietal purity;
  • Health (presence of harmful viral diseases)
  • Varietal identity;
  • Technical purity;
  • Health (presence of harmful viral diseases)
  • Grading and quality

The legislation also regulates:

  • Batch separation;
  • Packaging;
  • Sealing/marking
  • Labelling.

Who makes the decisions

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Seeds & Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Vine.


Ornamental plant propagating material

The seed and propagating material of ornamental plants can only be marketed if it:

  • Substantially free from harmful organisms that may affect its quality as propagating material;
  • For propagating material - has satisfactory vigour and dimensions;
  • For seed - has satisfactory germination.

Suppliers are responsible for the quality of their products.

Before marketed in the EU, the material has to meet legal criteria such as:

  • Batch separation & marking;
  • Accurate identification of varieties if needed;
  • Labelling.

The Commission adopts measures related to the Directive together with national experts in the Standing Committee on Propagating Material of Ornamental Plants.


Forest reproductive material

Quality reproductive material in forestry suited to the site where it is planted is essential for the forests':

  • Stability;
  • Resistance to disease;
  • Adaptation;
  • Productivity and diversity.

Forest reproductive material can only be marketed if:

  • It belongs to one of the four categories Directive 1999/105/EC specifies;
  • The basic material - the trees from which reproductive material is harvested - is approved.

Basic material

Basic material is officially approved and inspected regularly. The quality criteria vary depending on the category. There are also criteria relating to species purity in lots of fruit and seed.

EU list

On the basis of national registers, the Commission draws up an EU listexcel8book(10 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  so that the scheme operates smoothly throughout the EU.

National registers contain the details of approved basic material including data on areas or geographic location - essential for determining if a particular material is suitable for a site.

After harvesting, a master certificate is issued with a unique register reference for information and traceability.

View Regulation 1597/2002/EC

Forestry in other EU activities