PRACTICE GUIDANCE ON THE TRANSITION PERIOD IN THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT – MARKETING PLANT REPRODUCTIVE MATERIAL IN THE EU

Published: 3 February 2020
CIPA has updated its Brexit advice to members, prepared by Alicia Instone, CIPA Vice-President and Chair of the Designs and Copyright Committee with help from Julia Florence, CIPA Immediate Past President. 
The UK IPO have issued new guidance on intellectual property during the transition period. To find out more, click here. 
NB: The Transition Period is currently set to end on 31 December 2020.

During the Transition Period it will be “business as usual” for the Marketing of Plant Reproductive Material in the EU.

If there is no future economic agreement at the end of the Transition Period that supersedes the Withdrawal Agreement the UK will not have third-country equivalence from the end of the Transition Period. The UK will reapply to the EU for “third party equivalence” on plant reproductive material certification and DUS testing at the end of the Transition Period. If third party country equivalence is not granted by the EU:

  • The EU will not accept UK certified plant material, even if the variety is on the EU’s common catalogue, if the UK is not granted equivalence.
  • The EU will not accept UK DUS test results. 

DEFRA is responsible for negotiating agreements with the EU for seed potatoes and fruit propagating material.

Regardless of the outcome of the UK’s application for third-country equivalence, you can market:

  • Varieties (except potatoes) listed on the EU common catalogue for a two-year period after the end of the Transition Period. 
  • Varieties of potatoes for a one-year period after the end of the Transition Period. 

After the 2-year interim period, and one-year interim period for seed potatoes, the main agricultural food and feed crop varieties, including vegetables, marketed in the UK need to be on the UK National List. You’ll need to follow the current process to apply for National Listing.  Plant reproductive material from outside the UK will need to comply with normal international requirements.

Further information can be found https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-variety-rights-and-marketing-plant-reproductive-material-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal.