The government has released the latest tranche of its technical notices advising businesses how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
While all the papers stress this event is unlikely, and not what the government wants, the March 2019 deadline is rapidly approaching without a withdrawal agreement in place.The latest notices cover seeds marketing, pesticide regulation and animal breeding among other activities.
The technical notice on plant variety rights and marketing seed says that EU plant variety rights granted to UK businesses up to the end of March 2019 would continue to be recognised in the remaining 27 EU countries and in the UK. EU rights that had been applied for, but not granted before March 29th 2019 would require an application for rights in the UK to APHA, using the same priority date and DUS test.
New varieties would require two applications, as separate protection would be required in the UK and the EU. But APHA says it is reviewing its processes to mitigate the resulting increased costs for plant breeding companies.
When it comes to marketing seed and propagating material in the EU, varieties on the UK National List would no longer be listed on the EU Common Catalogue and so would not be marketable in the EU – therefore UK certified seed, propagating material and UK DUS testing of plant varieties would no longer be accepted in the EU.
Businesses wishing to market UK seed in the EU would need to list the variety on the EU Common Catalogue, through registration in an EU country. Seed certification would have to be from the EU or from a third country recognised by the EU as equivalent for seed certification.
Although the UK will apply to the EU for equivalence of certification, this could take up to a year, and might well not be in place on Brexit day.
On the Regulation of pesticides, the UK would establish an independent standalone Plant Protection Products (PPP) regime, repatriating all decision making. But it would aim for a stable regulatory framework for pesticides by retaining the two main directly applicable EU regulations in national law.
All current active substance approvals, PPP authorisations and MRLs in place on March 29 2019 would remain valid in the UK post Brexit, so businesses could continue to trade and products would continue to be available. But new products after that date would be considered under a national regime. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would continue to operate as the national regulator, but with greater capacity.
There would be a three years extension to active substance approvals due to expire in the three years after the UK leaves the EU. Mutually recognised product approvals and parallel trade permits would remain valid for a two year period after Brexit.