Texte de la question ( uniquement en Anglais )
On 24 January 2014, the European Parliament adopted a report (2013/2099(INI)) in which it acknowledged that the plant-breeding industry was of fundamental importance as regards the productivity, diversity, health and quality of agriculture and horticulture. The report emphasised the importance of guaranteeing unrestricted access to genetic resources as the basis for plant breeding, as such free access is the basis for plant-breeding. This fundamental principle has also been recognised — by means of the breeders’ exemption — by the international and European system of plant-breeders’ rights, which provides that the use of a protected variety cannot be prevented by the holder of the breeder’s right.
On 16 April 2014, Regulation (EC) No 511/2014 on compliance measures for users of genetic resources was adopted, which implements the compliance pillar of the Nagoya Protocol in the Convention on Biological Diversity.
1. Regulation (EC) No 511/2014 applies to the whole of the plant-breeding sector. How will the Commission ensure that the framework which has now been created will be applied in such a way that plant-breeders can comply with their obligations in a manner which will not form an obstacle to the objectives acknowledged in the report of 24 January 2014?
2. How will the Commission ensure that the fundamental principle of free access to genetic resources for purposes of further breeding is not restricted by obligations laid down in Regulation (EC) No 511/2014?
The regulation on compliance measures for users of genetic resources(1) implements the compliance measures of the Nagoya Protocol in the EU. It establishes that any EU user of genetic resources must exercise due diligence to ascertain that genetic resources used in the EU have been accessed in accordance with applicable access and benefit-sharing legislation, or regulatory requirements established by the providing country. Therefore the regulation does not restrict the right of access to genetic resources, but rather helps to ensure — and demonstrate — that genetic resources are accessed legally, where such resources are covered by the Nagoya Protocol and the EU Regulation.
Plant genetic resources listed in Annex I to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) are excluded from the scope of the EU Regulation. Furthermore, plant breeders acquiring plant genetic resources in a country which is a Party to the Nagoya Protocol, and which has determined that resources not contained in Annex I to the ITPGRFA will also be subject to the terms and conditions of the standard material transfer agreement used under the ITPGRFA, will be considered to have exercised due diligence for the purposes of the EU Regulation.
With regard to the ‘breeders’ exemption’, the Protocol as well as the regulation recognise the importance of mutually supportive implementation in relation to other international instruments that do not run counter to their purpose. Sector-specific implementation challenges can be addressed in various fora established by the Commission to this end, including a consultation forum which is planned to meet before the end of this year.
(1) Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council, OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, p. 59‐71.