International Co-operation

The Bundessortenamt participates in negotiations to harmonize the European Community seed and variety scheme. Following EU regulations, the Bundessortenamt joins other countries belonging to the EU in carrying out the EU comparative field trials. These trials determine whether the seed or plant material as well as reproduction material of fruits fulfil the criteria of the common guidelines of the EU.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has developed seed certification schemes for a series of important plant species which are used by about 47 countries. These systems are especially important for the seed production of German varieties in foreign countries and for international seed trade. The Bundessortenamt acts as national co-ordinator.

One of the responsibilities of the Bundessortenamt is to contribute to the establishment of variety and seed technology standards for the governing bodies of the EU, UPOV, OECD, and the Economic Commission of the United Nations of Europe (ECE). It also contributes to the development of third world seed and variety systems. In recent years special attention has been paid to countries in southern and eastern Europe.

Since 1972, the EU has published Common Variety Catalogues for vegetable and agricultural plant species. These Common Catalogues are based on the National Variety Lists of EU member states. Seeds of varieties listed in the Common Variety Catalogues can be traded freely within the EU. Over 10.000 varieties of vegetable species and over 5.000 varieties of agricultural plant species are listed in these Common Catalogues. On the base of the consumer´s interest the Bundessortenamt therefore occupies with varieties which are not listed in Germany but added to the Common Variety Catalogues. The results are considered in the Descriptive Variety Lists.

Concerning the granting of Plant Breeders’ Rights exists a close cooperation with seven neighbour states which are members of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. The cooperation is resulting in the taking over of test reports from other states and in the agreement about the centralized testing of appointed species in only one ot these states. In the light of establishing a EU conformable variety and seed system the Bundessortenamt co-operates with eastern and southeastern states.

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