Explanatory Memorandum to COM(2017)643 - Amendment of council decision 2003/17/EC as regards the equivalence of field inspections of seed-producing crops and on seedswith regard to Brazil and Moldova - EU monitor

EU monitor
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Council Decision 2003/17/EC grants equivalence to certain non-EU countries as regards field inspections and production of seed of certain species that are carried out in accordance with Directives 66/401/EEC, 66/402/ EEC, 2002/54/EC and 2002/57/EC. The national provisions governing seed harvested and controlled in these countries afford the same assurances as regards the seed’s characteristics and the arrangements for examining it, for ensuring seed identification, for marking and for control as the provisions applicable to seed harvested and controlled within the European Union. Since Brazil and Moldova are not among these non-EU countries, seed harvested there cannot be imported into the EU.

Brazil submitted a request to the Commission that its fodder plant and cereal seed be covered by Council Decision 2003/17/EC as regards the equivalence of such seed.

Moldova asked the Commission for its cereal, oil and fibre plant and vegetable seed to be covered by the same Decision as regards the equivalence of such seed.

In response to these requests, the Commission examined Brazil's and Moldova's legislation on the subject. It then audited the field inspections and seed certification systems for seed in Brazil and Moldova. It concluded that their requirements and systems are equivalent to the EU's and provide the same assurances.

It is therefore appropriate to recognise Brazilian seed as equivalent to fodder plant and cereal seed harvested, produced and controlled in the EU. This may be done through a Decision to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

Similarly, it is appropriate to recognise Moldovan seed as equivalent to seed from cereals, oil and fibre plants and vegetables that are harvested, produced and controlled in the EU. This may be done through a Decision to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.



Recognising the equivalence of a non-EU country's legal requirements and official controls for the certification of seeds is a technical measure. It involves assessing the laws and control systems in place, and hence the capacity of a particular non-EU country to carry out seed certification. This measure is carried out in accordance with the requirements laid down in Annex II to Decision 2003/17/EC. Since it has no bearing on any policy issues, no impact assessment is required.

At advisory meetings with stakeholders, and at several meetings of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF), the EU seed sector and the Member States have called on the Commission to act on the matter. This Decision is expected to benefit EU seed companies operating in Brazil and Moldova, potential EU importers of seed from these countries, and EU farmers, who will henceforth have access to a wider range of seed.

The Commission also held a four-week public consultation, concluded on 22 August 2017, on the roadmap associated with this proposal. The few comments received were all positive, expressing support for the proposal. Some stakeholders are expecting that the act would encourage reciprocity in the seed trade.



The aim of the proposal is to implement Article 16(1) of Directive 66/401/EEC, Article 16(1) of Directive 66/402/EEC and Article 20(1) of Directive 2002/57/EC; to insert in Council Decision 2003/17/EC Article 37(1) of Directive 2002/55/EC on recognition of equivalence of fodder plant, cereal, vegetable and oil and fibre plant seed harvested in a non-EU country with regard to specific assurances and provisions of that Directive; and to implement Article 37(1) of Directive 2002/55/EC.



No budgetary implications.