Given the exceptional circumstances and the heavy disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis across the EU, the President of the CPVO has taken the decision to extend deadlines that fall in the period 17 March – 3 May included, until 4 May 2020 for parties to proceedings before the CPVO and the Board of Appeal. The extension applies to all deadlines except for the submission of material for technical examinations and the payment of examination fees. Check the news section of this website for more info.


Since 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the European Union and has become a ‘third country’.[1] The Withdrawal Agreement[2] provides for a transition period ending on 31 December 2020.[3] Until that date, EU law in its entirety applies to and in the United Kingdom.[4

During the transition period, it is “business as usual” for applicants and plant variety right holders in the EU. Once the transition period will end, applicants and holders of Community plant variety rights established in the United Kingdom will have to designate a procedural representative domiciled or having a seat in the EU territory. Until the end of the transition period, neither a refusal of applications nor the cancellation of existing rights will occur based on the non-designation of a procedural representative in EU27 for UK applicants/holders or applicants/holders represented by UK procedural representatives.  

The designation agreements that the CPVO had entered into with the UK based examination offices expired on the date of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 January 2020. As a consequence, DUS reports established by the UK examination offices cannot be used anymore by the CPVO as basis for granting a Community plant variety right.

[1]      A third country is a country not member of the EU.

[2]      Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, OJ L 29, 31.1.2020, p. 7 (“Withdrawal Agreement”).

[3]      The transition period may, before 1 July 2020, be extended once for up to 1 or 2 years (Article 132(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement). The UK government has so far ruled out such an extension.

[4]      Subject to certain exceptions provided for in Article 127 of the Withdrawal Agreement, none of which is relevant in the context of this notice.


The CPVO has compiled BREXIT-related information relevant to our stakeholders:


Notice to Stakeholders regarding the withdrawal of the UK and the EU rules in the field of Plant Variety rights
Proposed Withdrawal Agreement pending the necessary internal procedures by the Union and the UK
Technical notice on DEFRA website