Study on options to reform underway
The consultancy (ICF Consulting) chosen by the European Commission to undertake the background work for the study requested by Member States on the options to reform European seeds marketing rules has contacted a very limited number of stakeholders that had been chosen by the European Commission (DG SANTE, Plant Health Unit) for preliminary interviews on the study. It has become apparent that the consultancy will focus on desk research and rely mostly on information stemming from national seed authorities. That is why it is paramount that they gain knowledge on the actual experiences of companies, associations and individuals with the system, in order to truly start the law-making exercise from a strong foundation. The publication of the study is expected during the first quarter of 2021 and will be followed by an impact assessment to be drafted by DG SANTE officials. The European Commission has already informally signalled that the reform
process will not be a complete systemic overhaul, and is likely to be more targeted than the 2013 exercise, but will definitely address the registration and commercialisation of conservation and amateur varieties, as well as the sale of seeds to non-professional users.