THE PRINCIPLES OF USING FARM-SAVED SEED (FSS)
When FSS can be used?
When a farmer uses for sowing a harvested material of a protected variety obtained by himself, he is not obliged to have breeder’s authorization to propagate this variety, however, there are few conditions to be fulfilled.
What conditions must be fulfilled to use the agricultural exemption (FSS)?
1. The plant species must be legally permissible to be used as FSS. (a list of crop species allowed to be used as FSS (check here)
2. The material for sowing of a variety protected by an exclusive right comes from their own harvest.
3. The plant species that we want to sow, is a population variety.
FSS does not apply to:
1. The species not listed as legally permissible plant species.
2. The synthetic and hybrid varieties (F1).
3. The varieties purchased as non-certified seed.
How much does FSS cost?
Within 30 days from sowing the harvested material, a farmer is obliged to pay remuneration to a breeder for each kilogram of harvested material used. The remuneration amount is 50% of a royalty for a given variety in a particular year of use.
Who is required to pay and for what?
In accordance with the provisions of the Act of 26 June 2003 on legal protection of plant varieties, the FSS fees should be paid as follows:
- in the case of potatoes varieties: holders of agricultural land with an area of 10 hectares or more;
- in the case of other plant varieties protected at the national level (PL) and legally permissible to be used as FSS: holders of agricultural land with an area of 25 hectares or more;
- in the case of other plant varieties protected at Community level (EU) and legally permissible to be used as FSS: holders of agricultural land with an area of 30 hectares or more.
The holders of agricultural land with an area up to 10 hectares, as so-called small farmers are exempted from the obligation to pay the FSS fee. However, this does not mean that they do not have to conform to the rules protecting the exclusive right to plant varieties!
ATFER THE AMENDMENT OF POLISH NATIONAL LAW
The amended Act of 26 June 2003 on legal protection of plant varieties that came into force in 11 July 2017 did not change the general principles of FSS exemption.
The Breeder may resign from collecting the FSS fee for choosen varieties and he will inform about it on his website or on the website of Agencja Nasienna.
Please see below a diagram that will help to settle, if and in what scope a farmer is obliged to pay FSS fee to the Breeder for sowing the harvested materiał of a protected variety.
More details about the current legal status you can find here.