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CIOPORA Advocates for PBR Upgrade, Better Enforcement before High-level MARA & NFGA Officials in

Short report on 2019 CIOPORA Mission in China - See Member Area for more details

September 11, Beijing – A CIOPORA group comprised of 13 CIOPORA members, respectively their Chinese representatives, led by Secretary General Dr Edgar Krieger met with 20 high-ranking officials of China’s MARA and NFGA at the MARA premises in Beijing. In total 20 governmental representatives participated in the meeting. The goal of the meeting was to further strengthen the relationships with the Chinese authorities, to discuss CIOPORA’s input to the draft PBR regulation and the future development of the draft, as well as to report on the breeders’ experiences with exploitation and enforcement of Plant Breeders’ Rights in China.

In the course of the meeting, the officials confirmed that CIOPORA’s comments to the draft regulation submitted in March 2019 were taken into consideration. Once processed through the appropriate channels, the second draft will be opened to further consultation. If adopted in the current draft, the new PBR regulation would bring the PBR system of China to the level of UPOV 1991 or even above, which CIOPORA has been advocating for.

CIOPORA members in attendance, including Micha Danziger, Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm, and Brian McElroy, Driscoll’s, held presentations to address two priorities on the meetings’ agenda: the concept of Essentially Derived Varieties and enforcement of Plant Breeders’ Rights in China. In respect of the former, CIOPORA expressed its appreciation for the current wording of the draft PBR regulation, where the EDV concept is defined largely in line with the CIOPORA’s position on the issue.

As to enforcement and IP strategies in China, the MARA and NFGA officials acknowledged the input by breeders and expressed willingness to seek the improvement of the enforcement procedures.

The current DUS test procedure was addressed and explained in greater detail with MARA expressing its intention to start taking over DUS test reports from foreign PBR offices as it is already the case with NFGA (e.g. DUS reports from Canada and Australia). CIOPORA pointed out that a further expansion of the list of protected varieties is much anticipated by the breeders’ community and expressed hope that China can soon protect all genera and species.

The high-level bilateral meeting was the second CIOPORA mission to China in two years and is a part of the CIOPORA’s effort to increase understanding of China’s PBR and to facilitate its improvement. In CIOPORA's view, stronger protection for plant innovations in China would provide guarantees for the consistent flow of new and improved varieties, hence ensuring the sustainable development of Chinese horticulture.

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