National List

Addition to the National List is necessary for commercialization of seed of agricultural species and vegetables.

The German Seed Act provides the legal frame for the National List. It serves to protect the consumer and ensures the provision of high quality seed and planting stock material of resistant and high performance varieties for farmers and horticulturists. An addition to the National List requires a successful performance in the Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability test (DUS-test) and a designated variety denomination. The DUS-tests are carried out in the fields or in greenhouses, and are supplemented by laboratory tests in some cases. Varieties of agricultural species are additionally tested for their Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU). This is legally defined as follows: A variety fulfils the conditions of VCU if, compared to the already listed varieties, it provides a noticeable improvement in crop cultivation, the utilization of harvested crops or any product obtained from such crops. In the VCU-testing cultivation, resistance, yield, internal quality and processing characteristics of a variety are tested.The duration of the registration in the National List is 10 years (20 for vine). An extension is possible.

VCU testing of varieties which have been proposed for addition to the National List takes two years for most species and three years for cereals, fodder plants and winter rape. Depending on the plant species, the VCU-tests are carried out at 10 to 30 test sites belonging to the Bundessortenamt, the Federal Lands and in some cases in co-operation with the breeders.

Each year about 1000 agricultural varieties are submitted for addition to the National List but at the end only around 15 % of the filed applications fulfil the requirements and are added to the National List.

Since 1998 the EU certification guidelines, which have been integrated into the German decree for planting material, have made possible the registration of fruit varieties and some woody plant species such as ornamental apples, cherries and pears, and black pines. This registration is optional and must be applied for. Varieties of pome and stone fruits must, however, be protected or registered to the PBR's or Seed laws, of hight quality, recognized material is to be produced and introduced into the market.

The Forest Seed and Plant Law, implemented by the Federal Lands, applies to forest plant varieties. Varieties of some fruit and ornamental species can be admitted to the National List on a voluntary basis.

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