Involvement of External Experts in DUS testing
The Administrative Council of the Community Plant Variety Office approved the involvement of external experts in the conduct of technical examinations (DUS tests) under the condition that certain requirements in respect of the set up of such system are fulfilled. It is stressed that the role of external experts is to share expertise with the persons responsible for the technical examinations, mainly to ensure that all relevant reference varieties are taken into account. The final judgement on the compliance with the distinctness, uniformity and stability requirements of any given candidate variety is made by the examination office itself. . The basic requirements as approved by the Administrative Council are as follows:
- The CPVO must be made aware by the examination office of the genera and species for which panels of external experts are involved.
- A document defining the role, qualifications and tasks of the experts should be established. Such document should in addition refer to aspects related to confidentiality and possible conflict of interest. Any existing procedure underlying the involvement of experts for species tested on behalf of the CPVO should be provided to the Office.
- A list of external experts involved for each species should be communicated to the Office.
- The procedure how experts are appointed to the panel should be provided to the CPVO.
- The CPVO should be informed of any appointment procedure in view of a panel of experts for a certain species for which CPVO applications are likely to be tested.
- The Office should be informed once new experts have been appointed.
- No restrictions should apply as to whether experts from the public, non-governmental or private sector should be appointed.
- There should be no limitation concerning the nationality of experts within the EU.
- The list of experts appointed for each species should at least be publicly available.
- Experts should be appointed for a given duration, with the possibility to renew the appointment.
- The experts should be appointed in a personal quality. In the case of absence, the Experts should not designate their alternate.
In addition to aforementioned requirements the Administrative Council gave further recommendations for the involvement of external experts as listed hereunder:
- The involvement of external experts should be as transparent as possible. The CPVO therefore may publish elements of items 1a to 1k in the Official Gazette and the Examination Office may do the same in its relevant gazette.
- The professional activity of the external expert should be specified in the aforesaid publication.
- Professional organizations could be given the possibility to propose candidates to be appointed.
- It is desirable that the nationality of experts reflects the countries where the breeding activity in the species in question is concentrated.
- The Examination Office and the experts may wish to enter into an agreement defining clearly the role and the responsibilities of the experts.
- Experts need make themselves available to attend the meetings. They should be informed of the relevant dates within a reasonable time limit.
The CPVO surveys the involvement of external experts as well as their compliance with the requirements as set out by the Administrative Council. The following examination offices make use of external experts:
Italy: C.R.A.- FRU
The Netherlands: Naktuinbouw
United Kingdom: NIAB
Details can be found for each Office by clicking on the relevant name.