Regulations on organic heterogeneous material

The new EU Organic Regulation will apply from 1st of January 2022: Organic heterogeneous material (OHM) may be marketed

The new EU Organic Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/848) is applicable from 1st of January 2022. Among others, it regulates the marketing of heterogeneous material produced under organic conditions. The requirements for production and marketing of OHM are specified in the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1189.

Prior to the marketing of seed, OHM must be notified to the competent authority in the respective Member State. For Germany, the Organic Farming Act designates the Bundessortenamt as the competent body.

In addition to the crop species and the denomination of the OHM, the notification will also contain detailed information on the plant material and production method used, the soil and climatic conditions under which the OHM was produced, as well as information on essential agronomic aspects such as yield and resistances. The Federal Plant Variety Office will officially confirm notifications of OHM within three months, provided that the given information is complete and plausible and a representative seed sample has been submitted. The listed OHM will be communicated to the EU Commission and the Member States and nationally published on a list on this webpage.

Further details on the procedure for the notification of OHM will be published by the Bundessortenamt in the official gazette "Blatt für Sortenwesen" in December 2021. At the same time, the necessary forms for notification will be made available on the internet (https://www.bundessortenamt.de/bsa/en/for-applicants/other-forms). Organic heterogeneous material is described as a plant grouping of a species that has common phenotypic characteristics but at the same time a high degree of genetic and phenotypic diversity (heterogeneity). OHM is not a variety, nor is it a mixture of different varieties.

Until 28th of February 2021, the EU Commission's Implementing Decision 2014/150/EU already allowed the marketing of seed of populations (heterogeneous material) of the species oats, barley, wheat and maize within a temporary experiment. With the new Organic Regulation (EU) 2018/848, the authorisation of organic heterogeneous material will in future be possible for all species listed in the Seed Act. Quantitative restrictions are not foreseen; therefore no allocation of seed will take place.