APBREBES Statement on the Interrelations with the International Treaty

Friday, 2 November 2018

APBREBES Statement, UPOV Council November 2nd 

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished delegates

We took note, that no progress was made in the development of the FAQ regarding Interrelations with the International Treaty.  We regret the delay in the process. Not because we believe that a revised FAQ will have a fundamental impact on the interrelations between UPOV and the International Treaty, this will certainly not be the case, but because it was decided at the Meeting of the Consultative Committee last year that „As a next step, the Consultative Committee would consider the need for a revision of the current guidance in the “Explanatory Notes on Exceptions to the Breeder's Right under the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention”. And now we see that this step has not been made.

We are extremely concerned that UPOV is advising developing country governments to remove provisions implementing Farmers’ rights from their national PVP bills or law. This is compelling evidence of the contradictions between the Treaty and UPOV.

In order to reduce the contradictions between the Treaty and UPOV, there should be full flexibility to implement Farmers’ Rights and other provisions of the Treaty in national PVP policies and laws. To this end, the development of a revised explanatory note and guidance on the Exeptions is urgently needed.

The current Version of the Explanatory Note on Exceptions to breeders’ rights does not reflect the international developments, scientific research and discussions of the last years. In addition the scope of the private and non-commercial exeption is drafted in such a narrow way – that it is not applicable in the real world. Therefore we hope that the next step is made as soon as possible.

To do so we should not wait until the FAQ is revised. On the contrary, it is much more meaningful to first revise the Explanatory Note and then revise the FAQ accordingly. If it is done the other way round, the FAQ will not be in line with the Explanatory Note and has to be redrafted again.

Thanks a lot for your attention