This article describes the legal framework for crop seed business in Turkey. The crop seed industry in Turkey is mainly regulated by the following legislations:
a.Law No: 5488 Agriculture Law promulgated on 18 April 20061
b.Law No: 5553 Seed Law promulgated on 31 October 20062
c.Law No: 5042 Law on Protection of Breeder's Rights of New Plant Varieties promulgated on 8 January 20043
d.Law No: 5977 Biosafety Law4 promulgated on 18 March 2010
e.Law No: 5996 Veterinary Services, Plant Health, Food and Feed Law promulgated on 11 June 20105
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock ("Ministry") is the main authority supervising the crop seed industry. Organization scheme of the departments of the Ministry dealing with seed industry is as follows:
a.General Directorate of Plant Production, which is in charge of seed industry policies, incentives, subsidies, production, supply, import, export, registrations, certifications, inspections and protection of new plant varieties,
b.General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies, which is in charge of variety development and breeding,
c.General Directorate of Food and Control, which is in charge of sanitary and phytosanitary standards and quarantine services.
There are no restrictions related to FDI in this sector.
Approvals and Licenses
New varieties must be registered at the Ministry before they can be imported or exported or distributed in Turkey. Import of seeds is subject to import permission of the Ministry. Import is allowed for certified seeds of registered varieties in Turkey. To be registered, a variety will have to be recorded in an official log book by the Ministry. The department in charge of the registration process is the Variety Registration and Certification Centre of the Ministry ("VRCC"). Varieties submitted to be registered need to be tested for DUS (distinctiveness, uniformity and stability) and, for some crops, VCU (value for cultivation and use) in trials over a minimum two-year period by VRCC during the registration process. Production permit (temporary registration) may be granted for a period limited period before the variety is registered in order to enable the commercialization (import, export, produce and distribution) of the variety during the registration process. Import permits are granted by General Directorate for Agricultural Production and Development.
(b) R&D Center
If a seed company wishes to be registered as private sector agricultural research and development center ("R&D Center"), it must fulfil the requirements provided by the Regulation on Registration of Plant Varieties. R&D Centers conduct trials for themselves or for other seed companies and their trial reports can be used during variety registration applications filed both by themselves or by other seed companies that are not registered as R&D Centers. General Directorate on Plant Production grants licenses for R&D Centers. In order to be registered as R&D Centers, the applicant must fulfil the specific requirements related to possession of land, green houses, laboratory, equipment, facilities and scientific staff provided in the Regulation on Registration of Plant Varieties.
(c) Crop seed production;
Seed growers require grower license to be issued by local office of the Ministry, which has a territorial coverage. Seed growers must fulfil the possession of land or green houses (depending on the type of the crop) requirements provided in the Regulation on Authorization and Inspection in Seeds Sector. Licenses for growers are granted for a term of five years and can be extended before the end of term.
(d) Commercial crop production;
Seed production activity requires production license to be issued by the local office of the Ministry located at the city where the production facilities of the producer is located and covers all country. The producers must fulfil the specific requirements related to possession of facilities, equipment and technical staff provided in the Regulation on Authorization and Inspection in Seeds Sector. Producers are required to be a member of the seed producers association, which is a union of seed producers. Production license holders can carry out production, processing and sale of the seeds they produced.
Production license holders are required to obtain seed processing license in order to process seeds produced by other seed producers.
Production and processing licenses for production activities are granted for a term of five years and can be extended before the end of term.
(e) Distribution of seeds
Seed distributors must hold distribution licenses. Distribution licenses are granted by the local office of the Ministry and are valid for the addresses specified by the distributors. Distributors must fulfil the specific requirements related to possession of facilities and technical staff provided in the Regulation on Authorization and Inspection in Seeds Sector. Seed distributors are obliged to sell solely certified or standard seeds of registered varieties which fulfil the domestic labelling requirements.
Distribution licenses are granted for a term of five years and can be extended before the end of term.
Domestic labelling requirements
The packages must have information on type, net or gross weight, producer and/or supplier name and address and seed treatment if any. The labels on the packages must contain the following information: the name and logo of the certifier, lot no, sampling date, type, variety name, category and class, net or gross weight or number of seeds, name of treatment, name and address of the producer, for hybrids that should be indicated. Imported seeds must have a label in Turkish.
1.Law No: 5488 Agriculture Law published in the Turkish Official Gazette dated 25 April 2006 numbered 26149
2.Law No: 5553 on Seed Law published in the Turkish Official Gazette dated 8 November 2006 numbered 26340
3.Law No: 5042 Law on Protection of Breeder's Rights of New Plant Varieties published in the Turkish Official Gazette dated 15 January 2004 numbered 25347
4.Law No: 5977 Biosafety Law Law published in the Turkish Official Gazette dated 26 March 2010 numbered 27533
5.Law No: 5996 Veterinary Services, Plant Health, Food and Feed Law published in the Turkish Official Gazette dated 13 June 2010 numbered 27610
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.