Plant and forest reproductive material regulations adopted by Agriculture MEPs 

Press Releases 
  • Farmers to exchange between each other any type of plant reproductive material  
  • Simpler rules and exceptions for conservation varieties of plants 
  • Cross-border cooperation to reforest areas affected by extreme weather 
  • QR code with instructions on how to take care of, store and plant forest reproductive material 

Agriculture MEPs propose changes to the rules for plant and forest reproductive material to guarantee high quality, resilient and diverse plants and forests in the EU.

On Tuesday, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development adopted reports on new regulations on the production and marketing of plant (25 votes for, 2 votes against and 17 abstentions) and forest (32 votes for, 1 votes against and 9 abstentions) reproductive material.

Plant reproductive material

Requirements for the production of plant reproductive material should apply not only to marketing but also to imports to the EU, say Agriculture MEPs in their report.

MEPs propose to allow farmers to exchange between each other a limited quantity of any type of plant reproductive material, not only seeds as proposed by the Commission. The allowed quantity would be set by the Commission for each species, reads the adopted report.

To support the conservation of plant genetic resources, MEPs propose to make the marketing of conservation varieties easier. The access to, sale and transfer of conservation varieties in small quantities should be exempted from the rules, add MEPs. The report also extends the period of registration of conservation varieties to 30 years.

Forest reproductive material

MEPs propose that member states may request technical support of the Commission during the drawing-up of contingency plans for a sufficient supply of forest reproductive material to reforest areas affected by extreme weather events or disasters. Member states will have to cooperate between each other to ensure a supply of forest reproductive material for cross-border affected areas, reads the adopted text.

Forest reproductive material will have to be traceable from the collection to the marketing. Producers of forest reproductive material will have the obligation to notify national authorities of their intention to harvest forest reproductive material prior to harvesting in order to allow for the organisation of controls.

MEPs propose to allow professional operators having sufficient competence, infrastructure and resources - and not only national authorities - to issue official labels accompanying individual lots of forest reproductive material under the supervision of the competent authority. The label should include a QR code with instructions on how to take care of, store and plant the forest reproductive material, according to the report.

Next steps

The reports adopted by the Agriculture Committee will now be put to a plenary vote, possibly during the 22-25 April session. If adopted, they will constitute Parliament’s position at first reading. The file will be followed up by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.


The draft law on plant reproductive material replaces ten directives laying down the current rules. One of the main goals of the regulation is to improve declining agrobiodiversity in the EU by increasing the variety of plant reproductive material on the market.

The total value of seeds and planting stock used in EU agriculture was €13.3 billion in 2021. Around 2 million hectares of EU land are used for the production of certified seed. The EU seed sector employs around 52,000 people.

The proposed regulation on forest reproductive material intends to increase biodiversity and restoration of forest ecosystems as well as to improve climate adaptation and mitigation. In the EU, 60 % of forest stands are composed of even-aged trees, and more than 80 % have three species or less, which makes them susceptible to damage from droughts, fires, pests and diseases.