On March 27, in an urgent letter to UPOV, CIOPORA has requested that UPOV member states and their competent Plant Variety Protection (PVP) authorities consider implementing measures to assist horticultural breeders across the globe amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The measures suggested by CIOPORA include an extension of deadlines related to the PBR application proceedings, including the grace periods and the deadlines for the submission of plant material and documentation. Pinpointing that horticultural breeders are heavily hit by the ongoing crisis both due to diminishing demand for propagating material and the general labor restrictions, CIOPORA has also asked the authorities to consider additional financial relief measures such as reduction of DUS examination and other fees or allowing for multiple installments of fees due to secure cash flow.
In a positive reply from March 30, acknowledging the importance of the plant sector for livelihood of millions across the world, UPOV’s Vice Secretary-General Peter Button confirmed that CIOPORA’s letter was forwarded to the UPOV member states. He wrote: “We have invited UPOV members to inform CIOPORA of any measures that have been taken, or are planned, to assist breeders in the current situation.” CIOPORA Secretary General Dr Edgar Krieger commented: “We very much appreciate the support of UPOV and its members in this critical situation for the green sector. So far, we have received positive replies from CPVO, Chinese MARA, USPTO and USDA and we are confident more offices will follow.”
CIOPORA is closely monitoring and collecting information as to PVP-related relief measures implemented by PVP offices. Additionally, utilizing its global lawyer network, the association has launched a COVID-19 resources page comprising in-depth information on aid and regulatory relief for businesses in many countries. Information is published and will be continually updated in the coming days and weeks at CIOPORA.org.