Crop Variety Registration Modernization

Canada's crop Variety Registration (VR) system supports the development of new crop varieties, which provide improved agronomic performance and reliability for producers, and consistent, if not improved, quality for end-users. It also facilitates seed certification, the international trade of seed and the tracking and tracing of varieties in commercial channels. Introducing a more efficient Variety Registration system is one of the ways we are improving the performance of the crop sector.

To learn more about Canada's Variety Registration system, consult the Crop Variety Registration in Canada Fact Sheet.

Modernizing Canada's Variety Registration System

Canada's Variety Registration system is being modernized to support innovation, improve competitiveness, and encourage development of new and better varieties in the crop production sector.

Modernizing the Variety Registration system will remove barriers to varietal development, enhance transparency and predictability in the system, increase investment in crop breeding and ensure that farmers have access to the latest crop varieties in a timely fashion.

Changes to the Variety Registration system include:

Streamlining procedures for crop-specific Recommending Committees

  • Model Operating Procedures will streamline Recommending Committees. This will give Canadian farmers faster access to the newest cutting-edge varieties.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently leading stakeholder engagement on the creation of "Model Operating Procedures" (MOPs) for crop-specific Recommending Committees.
  • The MOPs enable value chain leadership of the Recommending Committee merit evaluation process. These changes include more transparent merit requirements and greater acceptance of private sector and foreign-generated testing data.

Streamlining the variety registration system to two tiers: Basic and Enhanced

  • Crops that are currently placed in Part I will be moved to the new Enhanced Part of the Variety Registration system. Crops in the Enhanced Part will retain their Recommending Committees, merit criteria and performance testing requirements. Crops currently in Parts II and III will be placed in the Basic Part.
  • New crops entering the system will be placed in the Basic Part, requiring only a minimum degree of federal government oversight. To be moved to Enhanced, value chains must provide a clear rationale and demonstrate value chain consensus.
  • Amendments to the Seeds Regulations will be required to reduce the number of categories from three (Parts I, II and III of Schedule III to the Seeds Regulations) to two (Enhanced and Basic).

Removing the requirement for regulatory changes to move crops between categories

  • Incorporation by reference will allow value chain consensus to speed up administrative changes by 24 months.
  • The Agricultural Growth Act amends the Seeds Act, and provides new authority allowing for the incorporation by reference of documents in the regulations. The change enables the CFIA to identify crop kinds in the VR system that could be updated without a full regulatory change, making it easier to add and remove crop kinds from the list and move crop kinds from one category to another.

The Government of Canada's regulatory modernization agenda will ensure a world class regulatory system that protects the health and safety of Canadians and maintains the appropriate level of oversight while removing unnecessary barriers to innovation and preserving Canada's international reputation as a producer of high quality grains, oilseeds and other field crops.

Review of Canada's Variety Registration System

In keeping with efforts to increase innovation and productivity in Canadian agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) engaged with stakeholders to review the Variety Registration system and its effects on the development and adoption of new crop varieties. This review was in line with AAFC's focus on innovation, competitiveness, market development and regulatory modernization to generate economic growth across the sector.

AAFC, the CFIA and the Canadian Grain Commission also collaborated on an Options Paper that described the current crop Variety Registration system in Canada and outlined some potential options for modernizing and streamlining the system. The What We Heard executive summary provides a factual summary of the input received on the four options presented to stakeholders for consideration and comment.

To request an electronic copy of the full report, please contact:

Departmental Publications Service
Telephone: 613-773-1444
Fax: 613-773-1498

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