National and Regional Plant Variety Protection Legislation in Developing Countries

Most developing countries are not UPOV members. Only 15 developing countries are members of UPOV 1978. New members can't join it, they have to access the 1991 Act. Nine developing countries are thus members of UPOV 1991. Ratification in developing countries of UPOV 1991 was partly made compulsory by trade agreements with OECD countries. They expect developing countries to jump to the strongest possible variety protection level, while the OECD countries themselves have changed their breeding sector gradually in parallel with increasing variety protection legislation. UPOV 1991 is the Act least adjusted to realities in developing countries where the informal seed sector is of major importance. When framing seed policy and legislation, the needs of the informal seed sector should be the starting point. India: WTO member with non-UPOV legislation India has adapted its legislation to WTO requirements and introduced a plant variety protection law that respects both farmers’ and breeders’ rights. In India, farmers are even allowed to sell seed of protected varieties, so Indian legislation does neither comply with UPOV 78 nor UPOV 91. India is a WTO member, and its legislation is a legal alternative to UPOV for WTO member states that have to provide plant variety protection. It is important to keep in mind that least developed countries do not have to implement the WTO-TRIPS requirements for the time being.


National PVP legislation as notified to UPOV:

Members of UPOV 1961 Convention as amended by the Additional Act of 1972 (1 State): Belgium

Members of UPOV 1978 Act (22 States):

Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinational State), Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Portugal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay

Members of UPOV 1991 Act (45 States, the European Union and OAPI)

Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Netherlands, OAPI, Oman, Panama, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam

II. States (16) or organizations (1) which have initiated with the Council of UPOV the procedure for becoming members

Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Philippines, Tajikistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, as well as the African Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo )

III. Other states which have been in contact with the Office of the Union for assistance in the development of legislation on plant variety protection

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo (Democratic Republic of ), Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Indonesia, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia.