February 04, 2013
Please be informed that the Draft Order “On Approval of the Confirmation Procedures for Importation of Seeds and Planting Material of Plant Varieties into Ukraine for Selection, Research and Exhibition” was published on the web-site of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine.
This document is to be adopted according to Article 20 of the Law of Ukraine “On Seeds and Planting Material”, which was recently redrafted. Under the new wording of the mentioned law unregistered seeds may be imported into Ukraine, but only for selection, research, and exhibition purposes, and only subject to receipt of prior confirmation from the State Agriculture Inspection of Ukraine (the “Inspection”).
Under the Draft Order potential importer of unregistered seeds shall apply to the Inspection for confirmation that seeds are to be imported for selection, research, and exhibition purposes.
According to para. 4 of the Draft Order import of unregistered seeds into Ukraine may be carried out only by those entities, activity of which is related to selection and research according to their constituent documents. Such limitation cannot be considered as reasonable – potential importer may, for example, enter into an agreement with a research institute providing that this institute will actually do all the research work. But in case the Draft Order is approved in the current state it will be recommended for importers of unregistered seeds to supplement their constituent documents with another type of activity – “research and selection”.
According to para. 7 of the Draft Order the State Agriculture Inspection of Ukraine has a right to provide an applicant with mentioned confirmation, or with “grounded refuse”. At that the Draft Order does not stipulate the list of groundsfor potential refuse. Therefore, the Draft Order creates prerequisites for the Inspection to use “manual approach” in evaluation of information and provision of confirmations. As a result, the possibility of importer of seeds to receive the confirmation will completely depend on the will of the Inspection officials.
As a conclusion we may state that the Draft Order is in general aimed to implement the rules of law which are to help the importers of seeds. However the text of the Draft Order has several shortcomings and therefore needs improvement. In particular, there is a rather arguable requirement that activity of an importer shall be related to research and selection according to its constituent documents. Therefore, in case the Draft Order is approved in the current state, importers of seeds will probably have to supplement their constituent documents with another type of activity – “research and selection”.
The above commentary presents the general statement for information purposes only and as such may not be practically used in specific cases without professional advice.