EU Exit: Plant variety rights and marketing plant reproductive material from 1 January 2021

News article

What businesses need to do to apply for plant variety rights and market plant reproductive material, seeds and other propagating material from 1 January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year. This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

Plant variety rights
For new plant varieties after 1 January 2021, you must apply separately in the UK and the EU. You must apply to the:

The EU will continue to recognise EU plant variety rights granted to all breeders before 1 January 2021.

Marketing plant reproductive material in the EU
The UK will not have third-country equivalence from 1 January 2021. The EU will not accept UK certified plant reproductive material.

Fruit propagating material
The EU will not accept UK-certified material.

Seed potatoes
Seed potatoes cannot be exported from the UK to the EU.

Marketing EU plant reproductive material in the UK

The UK will apply normal international trading rules to these materials from the EU:

  • seed, vegetable seed and other propagating material
  • fruit propagating and planting material
  • ornamental species
  • forest reproductive material

Marketing UK-certified plant reproductive material in the UK
UK plant reproductive material will continue to:

  • comply with the current marketing regulations
  • maintain identity, labelling and control assurances

DUS testing
The EU will not accept UK distinctiveness, uniformity and stability (DUS) tests.

The UK will continue to accept EU DUS reports if they are of comparable quality to UK DUS reports.

The exception to this will be agricultural species currently tested by the:

  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
  • National Institute of Agricultural Botany
  • Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture

For these species, the UK will only accept DUS reports from these approved UK science organisations.

Ornamental species
The EU does not grant equivalence to a third country. However, businesses can trade material freely, subject to plant health, labelling and country of origin requirements. The variety must be on a supplier's list and accepted in an EU member state.


First published 19 May 2020