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ISF’s trade rules bring clarity and consistency to contractual relations between buyers and sellers of seed for sowing purposes.

ISF’s procedure rules for mediation, conciliation and/or arbitration help resolve disputes on trade and intellectual property issues.

ISF has adopted arbitration procedure rules tailored to the technical and legal aspects of essential derivation in plant breeding.

ISF encourages companies to insure themselves against liability claims for damage arising from non-performance of seed through an Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance scheme.

Trade Rules

Rules and usages for trade

ISF Rules and Usages for Trade in Seed for Sowing Purposes aim to clarify and standardize contractual relations between buyers and sellers. The rules are reviewed at regular intervals. The latest version came into effect on 1 July 2016.

ISF Rules and Usages for the Trade in Seeds for Sowing Purposes, 2016

Dispute Settlement

Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration

ISF’s trade rules are complemented by procedure rules for mediation, conciliation and/or arbitration for resolving disputes on trade and intellectual property issues. ISF Procedure Rules for Dispute Settlement for the Trade in Seeds for Sowing Purposes and for Management of Intellectual Property are reviewed regularly and is published online. Rules in force prior to this date are available on request from the ISF Secretariat

ISF Procedure Rules for Dispute Settlement (2015)

Application

Article 5.2 of the Section B on Arbitration Procedure Rules requires applications for arbitration to be made in the country of the seller. Many national seed associations have arbitration chambers that provide the necessary facilities for conducting arbitration in accordance with ISF Rules and Usages for the Trade in Seeds for Sowing Purposes. Some have designated arbitration chambers in other countries to act on their behalf.

Deposit

A deposit must be paid to the Arbitration Chamber at the time of making the application. For current year the deposit is set at CHF 5,000.

Contact the relevant national seed association for more details.

Essential Derivation

ISF has adopted arbitration procedure rules tailored to the technical and legal aspects of essential derivation in plant breeding.

Regulation for the Arbitration of Disputes concerning Essential Derivations (RED)

Explanatory notes clarify and provide guidance on numerous provisions of these rules. RED is based on a threshold for essential derivation, measured as the genetic distance between varieties, above which the breeder of the putative essentially derived variety must demonstrate that his variety has not been predominantly derived from the initial variety.

RED does not anticipate any special requirements for the arbitrators and the choice of arbitrators is at the discretion of the disputing parties. To assist parties ISF provides a list of international arbitrators who have the necessary knowledge to handle a dispute on essential derivation.

The ISF Crop Sections have adopted guidelines for dealing with disputes on essentially derived varieties of perennial ryegrass, maize, oilseed rape, cotton and lettuce.

The protocol for assessing the genetic distance between diploid perennial ryegrass varieties is available to interested readers.

The list of the 3072 SNP markers used in the guidelines for maize is available to interested readers.

The technical rules for establishing a threshold for essential derivation are also available.

Errors & Omissions Insurance

Many seedsmen are under the impression that they are protected from liability claims on seed performance through a product liability insurance. However, this is often not the case. Companies are encouraged to insure themselves against liability claims for damage arising from non-performance of seed through an Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance scheme.

Seedsmens E&O Insurance is available to ISF members through an agreement reached between ISF, Iris Insurance Brokers Ltd and Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London. If you wish to apply for this insurance contact the ISF Secretariat.

Seedsmens Errors and Omissions Insurance
Seedsmens Errors and Omissions Insurance Application Form

Trade related topics - Seed Treatment

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