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CPVO’s exceptional measures to extend time limits for payments come to an end
On 27 April 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the aim to support plant breeders facing unforeseen financial difficulties, the President of the CPVO took the exceptional decision to extend deadlines for payment of the annual fee (Article 9 fees regulation) and the payment of examinations fees (Article 8 fees regulation).
We would like to kindly remind all concerned stakeholders and plant breeders that the measures laid out in the decision of 27 April have come to an end on Monday 21 September 2020. As a result, we would like to confirm to all applicants and right-holders with outstanding unpaid fees that the CPVO is now reverting to the one-month deadline for payment after the reminder date.
In practice, what does it means if you have outstanding fees falling outside the scope of the CPVO decision of 27 April?
Unpaid Annual Fees
Whenever the payment of an annual fee is not received within one month of the date of a reminder sent by the CPVO, the CPVO will cancel the Community Plant Variety Right(s) for the relevant variety(ies) - in accordance with article 21(2)(c) of Council Regulation N° 2100/94(b). A cancellation for non-payment of the annual fee(s) will be published in the Office’s Official Gazette.
Unpaid Examination Fees
Whenever the payment of an examination is not made within one month of the date of of a reminder sent by the CPVO, the CPVO will cancel the examination(s) in question. As a consequence, please be informed that the CPVO will refuse the application and, despite that, the examination fee(s) remain due.
On 27 April 2020 the President took a Decision on the extension of time limits in proceedings before the CPVO which entered into force on 4 May 2020 regarding the payment of fees for technical examinations and of annual fees, pursuant to Article 8 and 9 of Commission Regulation (EC) 1238/95 (the Fees Regulation). As from the date of entry into force, this Decision repealed and replaced completely a previous decision taken on 24 March and amended on 6 April.
The Office continued to send debit notes for the aforementioned fees and applicants were encouraged to pay their fees in due time. However, for all outstanding debit notes regarding annual fees or examination fees with a due date for payment until 21 September 2020 inclusive, that have not been settled in due time, the Office decided to send a reminder with a three months deadline to pay the fee. Until the end of this three-month period, the Office decided to not launch the related procedure for cancellation of titles due to unpaid annual fees. Accordingly, the Office decided to not cancel the arrangements for a technical examination, or stop any ongoing technical examination or launch a procedure for the refusal of applications before the said three-month deadline has expired.