Parliament Passes Plant Improvement and Plant Breeders’ Rights Bills

Parliament

Parliament has passed two key pieces of proposed legislation on plants and sent the two bills to president Ramaphosa for assent.

The Plant Improvement Bill and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill were tabled in parliament in March 2015.

The Plant Improvement Bill seeks to provide for:

•    the registration of certain types of business relating to plants and propagating material intended for cultivation and sale and the registration of premises on or from which that business is conducted;
•    quality standards for plants and propagating material intended for cultivation and sale and conditions of sale of plants and propagating material;
•    a system for national listing of plant varieties;
•    the evaluation of plant varieties in order to ensure value if there is doubt in respect of the value for cultivation and use of plant varieties intended for cultivation and sale;
•    import and export control of plants and propagating material;
•    a system for different types of schemes for plants and propagating material; and
•    matters connected therewith.

The Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill seeks to provide:

•    for a system under which plant breeders’ rights relating to varieties of certain kinds of plants may be granted;
•    for the requirements that have to be complied with for the granting of such rights;
•    for the scope and protection of such rights;
•    for the granting of licenses in respect of the exercise of such rights; and
•    to provide for matters connected therewith.

The bill aims to replace the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act of 1976 thereby extending protection to all plant genera and species.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

Related legislation: