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EU equivalence requirements for third countries

Field inspection and seed production

The basic principle is that seed produced in third countries is considered equivalent to seed produced in accordance with Community legislation, e.g. seed may be marketed within the EU if the seed affords the same assurances as seed officially certified within the Community. The seed should be officially certified and seed packages officially closed in accordance with the OECD schemes for the Varietal Certification of Seed moving in International Trade. Seed sampling and testing should be carried out in accordance with the methods of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), or where appropriate, with the rules of the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA).

According to the Council Decision 2003/17/EC, the national provisions of third countries seeking to export seed to the EU, as regards to seed harvested and controlled in those countries, should afford the same assurances as regards the seed's characteristics and the arrangement for its examination, for ensuring seed identification, for marking and for control as the provisions applicable to seed harvested and controlled within the Community. Further conditions for seed-producing crops and seed produced, in particular in respect of packages, need to be satisfied.

The countries, responsible authorities and plant species for which seed equivalence is established, are listed in Annex I of Decision 2003/17/EC.

  • Council Decision 2003/17/EC of 16 December 2002 on the equivalence of field inspections carried out in third countries on seed-producing crops and on the equivalence of seed produced in third countries

Maintenance

According to the Council Decision 2005/834EC, it can be established whether the official checks on practices for the maintenance of varieties carried out in third countries afford the same guarantees as those carried out in the Community. The countries and authorities for which equivalence is established, are listed in Annex I of the Decision.

  • Council Decision 2005/834/EC of 8 November 2005 on the equivalence of checks on practices for the maintenance of varieties carried out in certain third countries and amending Decision 2003/17/EC

DUS testing

The DUS tests carried out in Croatia for wheat, barley and maize are recognised as equivalent provided that the conditions of the Annex I and II of the Decision are satisfied.

  • Council Decision 2006/545/EC 18 July 2006 on the equivalence of the official examination of varieties carried out in Croatia

 
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