Report Highlights:

China is the second largest market for planting seeds after the United States. It is self-sufficient in planting seeds for grains, but imports some grass, vegetable, and fruit seeds. China is the United States' second largest export market for seeds, fruit and spores for planting (HTS 1209) after Mexico. On November 4, 2015, the National People's Congress (NPC) approved amendments to China's Seed Law. This is the first change to the legislation since it was enacted in 2000. The revised law reduces the number of crops subject to variety registration requirements from 28 to five and creates a variety record system. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is currently working on developing implementing regulations. Domestic hybrid corn seed production rebounded 12 percent in 2015 following a sharp drop in production in 2014. Cotton seed production fell sharply as falling cotton acreage hurt demand. Seed imports in 2015 were relatively stable. However, grass seed imports are expected to fall in coming years due to a slowdown in the property market and restrictions on golf courses.

Executive Summary:

On November 4, 2015, the NPC approved amendments to China's Seed Law. This is the first change to the legislation since it was enacted in 2000. The revised law reduces the number of crops subject to variety registration requirements from 28 to five and creates a variety record system. This will reduce regulatory barriers for both domestic and imported seeds. MOA is currently working on developing implementing regulations. China's VAT rebate program for seed imports will stop on December 31, 2015 at the end of the 12th Five-Year-Plan (2011-2015). It is not known if the policy will be extended in the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).

China is the second largest market for planting seeds after the United States. MOA estimates 10.1 million tons of corn, rice, wheat, soybean, potato, cotton, and rapeseeds were planted in 2014, with a market value at $13.2 billion. Commercially produced seeds account for approximately 70 percent of seed use for these crops. Hybrid corn seed production rebounded 12 percent in 2015 to 1.1 million tons following a sharp drop in production in 2014. Cotton seed production in 2015 fell 44 percent from 2014 levels due to weak demand resulting from a continued decline in overall cotton acreage. Hybrid rice seed production remains steady.

China imported 64,205 MT of planting seeds in MY 2014/15 valued at $325 million, roughly the same as in MY2013/14. It is self-sufficient in planting seeds for grains, but imports some grass, vegetable, and fruit seeds. China is the United States' second largest export market for seeds, fruit and spores for planting (HTS 1209) after Mexico. Grasses such as ryegrass, Kentucky grass and fescue were the most imported seeds by value, followed by fruit and melon seeds. Industry experts expect grass seed imports to decline in coming years as a result of a downturn in the property market and restrictions on golf courses. The United States continues to be the largest seed supplier to China, and has a high market share in grass, sunflower, and fruit seeds.

POLICY ISSUES

Seed Law

On November 4, 2015, the NPC approved amendments to China's Seed Law. This is the first change to the legislation since it was enacted in 2000. Below are highlights of changes in the new Seed Law.

Reduce Variety Registration Requirements

The number of crops subject to variety registration requirements was reduced from 28 to five. The five seed varieties that will still need to be registered are rice, wheat, corn, cotton and soybeans. A “Green channel" is established to allow seed companies that meet certain requirements to conduct experiments required for the registration process themselves. Seed companies no longer need approval to introduce a registered variety to a similar ecological region in another province in China.

Create a Variety Record System

Variety registration will no longer be required for other crops, such as rapeseed, potato and peanuts. A variety record system is established for certain crops not covered by the revised seed registration system. Under this new system, varieties will no longer require pre-approval from the government, dramatically reducing regulatory barriers to new seed varieties and seed innovation. The government has not yet issued a list of crops to be covered by the variety record system.

Intellectual Property Rights

Portions of the “Regulation of the People's Republic of China on Protection of New Plant Varieties" are incorporated into the revised law and penalties for violations are strengthened.

Streamline Licensing

The Seed Production License and Seed Operation License are merged into one Seed Production and Operation License. Some requirements, such as minimum capital requirements, are removed to make it easier to obtain a license.

Government Support

Government support and subsidies for China's seed industry are increased. For example, seed production and collection machinery may now be included in the agricultural machine subsidy category.

MOA is currently updating implementation regulations to comply with the new Seed Law, including the Administrative Measures for Major Crops Variety Registration, and the Administrative Measures for Crop Seed Labelling.

Variety Registration

Some industry and the government advocated strongly for the seed registration system to be abolished in the revised Seed Law, arguing that it is slow, costly, and inhibits innovation. However, MOA successfully argued that the seed registration system needed to be retained to guide variety breeding and ensure safety of seed use. As noted above, the variety registration system was kept for five crops in the revised law.

MOA admitted that there are many problems with the current system and practices, such as insufficient testing capacity, incomplete variety assessments, lack of fairness in some tests, and data distortion. As a compromise, MOA released a notice in early November 2015 promising to improve variety registration, with particular attention to improving testing capacity, management, and oversight.

China's Variety Registration in 2014

Crops

National registration

Provincial registration

Rice

47

450

Wheat

21

122

Corn

29

443

Cotton

13

78

Soybean

14

101

Rape

9

60

Potato

7

51

Others

0

166

Total

140

1,471

Intellectual Property Rights

The seed industry is technology and research intensive, making effective IPR protection critical to its success. Weak IPR protection has been a major barrier to the development of China's seed industry. Variety violation and counterfeit seeds are common problems for both imported and domestic seeds. The structure of China's seed industry makes it difficult to protect IPR. While the number of Chinese seed enterprises declined 42 percent between 2011 and 2014, there are still over 5,000 registered seed companies. Many of these companies have little or no research and development capacity, creating little incentive for them to focus on protecting IPR.

The Chinese government is working to create a favorable environment for innovation in the seed sector by strengthening IPR legal protections, reducing the number of seed companies, and encouraging the private sector to be more involved in variety breeding. The new Seed Law improves IPR protection, and increases penalties for violations. In 2014, MOA, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce jointly carried out a national campaign to combat plant variety violations and counterfeit seed sales. Nation-wide checks were conducted on 22,000 enterprises and 49,000 markets. Over 6,400 cases resulted in enforcement action, and 31 Seed Production and Distribution Licenses were revoked.

Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Applications and Approvals

MOA reported that by September 2015, its PVP Office had accepted nearly fifteen thousand PVP applications and approved 5,625. The approval process generally takes 3-5 years, but can take longer. Almost two thirds of the applications were for rice and corn. Domestic agricultural research institutes and universities accounted for half of the applications. However, applications from Chinese enterprises have increased rapidly.

PVP Applications and Approvals

Plant

Applications

Approvals

2011

2012

2013

2014

Grand Total

(1999-2014)

2014 approval

Grand total

Rice

386

418

360

567

4,015

205

1,528

Corn

326

399

419

552

4,371

262

1,811

Wheat

118

94

84

123

1,090

36

408

Cotton

48

39

60

35

529

14

139

Soybean

47

61

37

69

463

37

179

Other major crops

73

82

119

96

785

52

233

Vegetable

97

95

74

141

799

48

200

Flower

128

105

117

107

941

134

240

Fruit

28

63

47

55

408

39

107

Others (pasture and tea)

4

5

16

27

81

0

0

Total

1,255

1,316

1,333

1,772

13,482

827

4,845

PVP Applicants

Applicant

Applications

Approvals

2011

2012

2013

2014

Grand Total

2014

Grand Total

Chinese research institutes

497

485

494

598

5,749

365

2,478

Chinese enterprises

530

584

618

932

5,185

245

1,558

Chinese universities/colleges

98

116

65

108

990

85

410

Chinese individuals

68

73

52

82

745

37

212

Foreign enterprises

57

89

98

48

729

88

177

Foreign individuals

2

4

2

0

40

6

7

Foreign universities/colleges

2

2

1

1

23

1

3

Foreign research institutes

1

8

3

3

21

0

0

Total

1,255

1,361

1,333

1,772

13,482

827

4,845

Patents

Seed related patent applications increased by 60 percent in 2014 to nearly five thousand, according to the 2015 China Crop Seed Industry Development Report. China does not allow plants to be patented. Therefore, unlike the United States where patents play an important role in variety protection, Chinese breeders mostly use PVP to protect their varieties. Seed related patent applications are divided into three categories: traditional breeding, modern breeding and seed processing. According to industry sources, many Chinese breeding patents are related to plant preservation.

Biotechnology and Planting Seeds

Domestically developed varieties of biotech rice and corn received biosafety certificates in 2009 and these were renewed in December 2014. None of these varieties were granted variety registration, the last step needed for commercialization. New varieties of domestically developed biotech corn are currently being reviewed by MOA. However, there does not appear to be political consensus yet on whether to commercialize biotech crops beyond cotton and papaya. To date, China has not approved any foreign biotech food or feed crops for domestic commercial production.

VAT Taxes

China's VAT rebate program for seed imports will stop on December 31, 2015 at the end of the 12th Five-Year-Plan (2011-2015). It is not known if the policy will be extended in the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020). On May 10, 2015, the State Council revoked MOA's ability to issue certificates of VAT exemption for imported plant seeds and breeding animals, and the importers were asked to pay VAT till September 14, 2015, when the Ministry of Finance released implementation rules on VAT exemption for imported seeds and breeding animals for 2015. The VAT paid during this time can be rebated if importers apply before December 31, 2015.

SEED MARKET

General situation

China is the second largest seed market in the world, annually using roughly 12.5 million tons of planting seed. MOA estimates 10.1 million tons of corn, rice, wheat, soybean, potato, cotton, and rapeseeds were used in 2014, with a market value at $13.2 billion. Commercially produced seeds account for approximately 70 percent of seed use for these crops. China is self-sufficient in rice, corn, wheat, cotton, and soybean seeds, and produces 80 percent of the vegetable and fruit seeds it uses. Farmers are relying less on saved seeds and are instead using government subsidy programs to purchase higher quality commercial seeds.

China's Seed Market in 2014

Seed

Seed use (1,000 tons)

Average seed usage (kg/ha)

Commercial rate (%)

Market value ($million)

Corn

1,196

29.1

100

4,419

Hybrid rice

244

15.6

100

1,912

Conventional rice

908

63.45

71

754

Wheat

4,674

194.4

76

2,672

Soybean

483

77.7

70

420

Potato

2,472

2165.8

39

2,327

Cotton

126

2.07

96

492

Rape

24

0.23

81

214

Corn

Hybrid corn seed production rebounded 12 percent to 1.1 million tons in 2015 following a sharp drop in production in 2014. Acreage increased 16 percent to 228,000 hectares on demand for new varieties. Gansu and Xinjiang continues to be the largest corn seed producers in China, accounting for roughly 75 percent of total production. However, the yield in Xinjiang reportedly decreased 35-40 percent due to extremely hot weather in July. Total supply in MY 2015/16 is estimated at 1.9 million tons, including 800,000 tons of carry-in stocks. MOA estimates MY2015/16 hybrid corn seed usage at 1.2 million tons, causing stocks to decrease to 700,000 tons.

Rice

2015 hybrid rice seed production is estimated at 239,000 tons, similar to production in 2014. Acreage increased 4 percent to 97,000 hectares. Some hybrid rice seed producing areas suffered unfavorable weather conditions, such as Hunan, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces, resulting in lower yields. Total supply in MY 2015/16 is estimated at 339,000 tons, including 100,000 tons in carry-in stocks. MOA estimates MY2015/16 hybrid rice seed demand (domestic usage and exports) at 250,000 tons, causing stocks to decrease to 89,000 tons.

Cotton

2015 hybrid cotton seed production is estimated at 1,780 tons, while conventional cotton seed production is estimated at 73,540 tons. Cotton seed production decreased 44 percent from 2014 due to weak demand resulting from a continued decline in overall cotton acreage. Cotton acreage declined approximately 30 percent over the last three years. Cotton seed supply in MY2015/15 is estimated at 4,780 tons for hybrid seeds and 114,740 tons for conventional seeds. MOA estimates MY2015/16 hybrid cotton seed demand at 4,200 tons and conventional cotton seed demand at 88,000 tons.

Prices

Seed prices remained stable relatively stable in 2015. According to MOA, average seed retail prices in 2014 were as follows:

China's Seed Prices in 2014

Crops

2014 Prices ($/lb)

2013 prices ($/lb)

Hybrid corn

1.65

1.61

Hybrid rice

3.49

3.45

Conventional rice

0.52

0.51

Soybean

0.55

0.54

Hybrid cotton

9.17

9.21

TRADE

Imports

China imported 64,205 MT of planting seeds in MY 2014/15 valued at $325 million, roughly the same as in MY2013/14. Grasses such as ryegrass, Kentucky grass and fescue were the most imported seeds by value, followed by fruit and melon seeds. The United States continues to be the largest seed supplier to China, and has a high market share in grass, sunflower, and fruit seeds.

Grass Seed Imports

Post forecasts that grass seed (rye, fescue, clover, and Kentucky) imports will remain stable in MY2015/16 at around 41,000 tons. While the potential elimination of VAT rebate for imported seeds may have a small short term impact on imports, its overall effect is expected to be minimal. The VAT rebate program for seeds suffered from a lack of transparency and unequal administration, and not all traders benefited equally from the program.

The medium term outlook for grass seed sales is cloudier. Industry contacts believe that China's landscape grass seed imports to decrease 30-40 percent in following years because of the bearish property market, government bans on golf course construction and closure of some existing courses, and fewer garden and landscaping projects as provincial government budgets become increasingly strained by the economic downturn. Forage seed imports, however, are expected to increase as a result of strong demand for forage for animal feed. On November 2, 2015, MOA released a plan called “Guidance on Corn Structural Adjustment in the “Sickle" Region" which called for corn area to be reduced by 3.33 million hectares by 2020 to alleviate excess corn stocks and reduce environmental damage. The land may be converted to other crops, including feed grass.

Sunflower Seed Imports

Post forecasts that sunflower planting seed imports will remain flat in MY2015/16 at around 1,200 tons. China's sunflower seed imports declined to 1,248 tons in MY2014/15 from 3,824 tons in MY2010/11 due to lower sunflower acreage and more competition from domestically produced seeds. Industry sources expect sunflower acreage to begin to recover as corn prices decline. However, sunflower planting seed imports are not expected to grow significantly due to higher domestic sunflower planting seed production. Industry sources report that an increasing number of variety owners are choosing to produce seeds in China to take advantage of lower production costs, reducing demand for imports.

The United States continues to be the largest supplier of sunflower seeds to China, accounting for 97 percent of China's total imports in MY 2014/15. According to Chinese Customs, the average price of sunflower seeds imported from the United States decreased 28 percent due to high domestic stocks and weak demand.

Vegetable Seed Imports

MY 2015/16 vegetable seed imports are forecast flat at approximately 8,500 tons. Farmers, faced with growing vegetable consumption and limited land, are looking for ways to increase yields. This in turn is generating demand for high quality seeds, including foreign varieties. Italy, Denmark, Thailand supplied 54 percent of China's vegetable seed imports in MY 2014/15.

The new Seed Law excludes all vegetables from variety registration, which may accelerate commercialization of vegetable varieties. Some vegetables were previously defined as major crops in certain provinces, such as cabbage in Shandong province and pepper in Hunan province, and were therefore subject to variety registration requirements.

While the government has not yet released details on the variety record system to be created under the new Seed Law, industry experts believe it will include some types of vegetables. If certain types of vegetables are included, both imported varieties and domestically produced varieties will be subject to the variety record requirements.

Exports

China exported 27,299 tons of planting seeds in MY 2014/15 valued at $263 million, similar to exports in MY2013/14. Rice seed accounted for over two-thirds of China's total planting seed exports in MY2014/15, followed by vegetable seed which accounts for 15 percent of total exports.

China's MY 2015/16 rice seed exports are forecast to rise slightly to 19,500 tons, compared to 18,769 tons in MY2014/15. China's rice seed exports have ranged between 17,000-20,000 tons over the last three years. Chinese seed companies have expressed concern that the government's tight restrictions on the movement of germplasm have hurt China's competitiveness internationally in hybrid rice seeds. China does not allow exports of hybrid parent rice seeds, and two-line hybrid rice seed exports are not allowed within five years after registration.

Seed Imports from the World in Volume & Value

MY(Jul-Jun)

Volume (MT)

Value (Thousand US$)

HS Code

Planting Seeds

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Total

40,700

64,642

64,205

255,160

320,066

325,523

10019010

Wheat

0

0

0

0

0

0

10020010

Rye

0

0

0

0

0

0

10030010

Barley

0

0

0

0

0

0

10040010

Oats

0

0

0

0

0

0

100510

Corn

384

168

350

5,805

3,572

5,204

10061011

Rice, long grain

0

0

0

0

0

0

10061019

Rice, other

1

0

0

7

0

1

10070010

Sorghum

0

0

0

0

0

0

10089010

Other cereals

0

0

0

0

0

0

12010010

Soybean seeds

0

0

0

0

0

0

12051010

Rape/Colza, low erucic acid

0

0

0

0

0

3

12060010

Sunflower

1,533

1,788

1,248

16,666

23,371

11,783

12072100

Cotton

0

0

0

0

0

0

12091000

Sugar beet

815

279

409

18,657

7,696

12,317

120921

Alfalfa

1,741

2,481

2,235

8,876

12,327

12,197

120922

Clover

1,798

2,300

2,946

7,475

10,639

14,496

120923

Fescue

6,957

14,636

10,740

13,606

29,621

19,903

120924

Kentucky

3,498

5,907

4,596

11,767

22,000

18,246

120925

Rye grass

12,835

21,227

22,183

17,976

30,060

30,025

120930

Herbaceous

9

27

50

14,529

11,498

13,847

12092990

Other Forage

15

1

0

180

10

2

120999

Fruit, Melon and Other

3,566

5933

10,891

21,402

31,489

35,990

120991

Vegetable

7,548

9,895

8,557

118,214

137,783

151,509

Major Seed Imports by Country of Origins

Clover Imports Volume and Major Origins (in MT) 120922

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Argentina

512

291

689

Denmark

215

279

597

Australia

299

511

517

United States

182

176

411

Canada

202

389

399

New Zealand

389

654

333

Total

1,798

2,300

2,946

Fescue Seeds Imports Volume and Major Origins (in MT) 120923

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

United States

6,231

13,599

10,454

Denmark

540

672

196

Canada

186

365

89

Total

6,957

14,636

10,740

Kentucky Grass Seeds Import Volume and Major Origins (in MT) 120924

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

United States

2,998

4,927

3,392

Denmark

384

954

1,204

Canada

116

26

0

Total

3,498

5,907

4,596

Rye Grass Imports Volume and Major Origins (in MT) 120925

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

United States

10,044

17,013

16,141

Denmark

737

2,224

3,769

Canada

1,771

1,422

1,571

New Zealand

218

472

547

Australia

45

45

64

Germany

21

50

42

Others

0

0

49

Total

12,835

21,227

22,183

Sunflower Planting Seed Imports Volume and Major Origins

(in MT) 12060010

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

United States

1,496

1,770

1,205

Others

36

19

43

Total

1,533

1,788

1,248

Fruit, Melon and Other Import Volume and Major Origins

(in MT) 120999

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

United States

2,298

4,191

6,422

Canada

312

931

2,975

Denmark

383

365

409

Australia

159

46

254

Argentina

175

154

222

Taiwan

91

88

169

Others

147

157

440

Total

3,566

5,933

10,891

Vegetable Import Volume and Major Origins (in MT) 120991

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Indonesia

2,506

4,187

2,176

Italy

1,064

1,446

2,138

Denmark

791

860

1,378

Thailand

719

1,016

1,133

United States

524

528

383

Japan

454

394

353

Vietnam

570

853

305

Australia

222

203

244

Taiwan

9

9

102

Others

691

401

346

Total

7,548

9,895

8,557

China Seed Exports

MY(Jul-Jun)

Volume (MT)

Value (Thousand US$)

HS Code

Planting Seeds

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Total

28,376

28,847

27,299

247,941

263,931

263,022

10019010

Wheat

5

0

0

0

0

0

10020010

Rye

0

0

0

0

0

0

10030010

Barley

0

0

0

0

0

0

10040010

Oats

0

0

0

0

0

0

100510

Corn Seed

56

261

246

148

946

1,112

10061011

Rice Long Grain

16,863

20,411

18,769

53,767

65,658

58,214

10061019

Rice Other

142

100

200

262

155

965

10071000

Sorghum

3

2

9

31

4

41

12011000

Soybeans

182

148

455

660

532

996

12051010

Rape/Colza, low erucic acid

6

5

66

13

21

323

12059010

Rape/Colza, nes

107

5

1

169

35

43

12060010

Sunflower Planting

1,184

986

1,106

4,955

4,193

4,877

12072100

Cotton Planting

98

4

850

595

43

1,644

120921

Alfalfa

228

333

105

601

1,014

461

120922

Clover

0

10

0

1

43

0

120923

Fescue

8

0

8

13

0

0

120924

Kentucky

64

10

0

404

39

0

120925

Rye Grass

5

0

3

6

0

8

120930

Herbaceous

653

514

419

13,775

9,952

11,211

12091000

Sugar Beet

7

0

0

48

2

0

12092910

Other Sugar Beet

13

15

22

69

111

290

12092990

Other Forage

493

460

455

1,037

1,278

1,879

120991

Vegetable

7,370

4,848

4,014

164,626

174,870

176,346

120999

Fruit, Melon and Other

889

735

571

6,761

5,035

4,612

China's Major Seed Exports and Major Countries of Origins

Rice, Long Grain Exports Volume and Major Destinations (in MT) 10061011

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Vietnam

9,425

1,0643

8,301

Pakistan

3,978

6,835

4,875

Philippines

1,725

800

3,593

Bangladesh

1,518

641

1,223

Indonesia

35

1,331

573

Others

182

160

205

Total

16,863

20,411

18,769

Vegetable Seed Exports in Volume and Major Destinations (in MT)120991

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Korea South

891

1,022

737

Netherlands

838

653

584

United States

716

727

480

Japan

444

481

436

Taiwan

267

228

323

Italy

448

361

246

Malaysia

90

83

167

Vietnam

100

179

145

Thailand

135

199

136

France

172

97

134

Bangladesh

107

95

114

Hong Kong

162

127

106

Spain

2,546

205

66

Others

454

389

339

Total

7,370

4,848

4,014

Fruit/melon Seed Exports in Volume and Major Destinations (in MT)120999

Country

MY12/13

MY13/14

MY14/15

Korea South

423

374

252

Japan

314

206

248

United States

26

18

21

Korea North

2

98

20

Others

125

37

29

Total

889

735

571

Notification of Ministry of Agriculture on Further Improving Work of Variety Test and Registration

Departments (committees and bureaus) of Agriculture (Agro-Pastoral Farming and Rural Economy) in All Provinces (Autonomous Regions and Municipalities Directly Under the Central Government), Agricultural Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and Heilongjiang General Administration of Agricultural Reclamation:

Over 20,000 varieties of major crops have been registered at the state and provincial authorities since the Seed Law were implemented, which made important contribution to safeguard agricultural production and increase farmers' income. In recent years, along with rapid development of the modern agriculture and seed industry, the evaluation index, testing capacity, and technology conditions cannot meet the need under the new situation. The society has strong objection on phenomenon such as “running site", even changing data, which negatively impact the authoritativeness and public credibility of variety registration. To solve the outstanding problems in variety registration, to adapt to “mode transition and structure adjustment" of agricultural production, and improve work of variety experiment and registration, hereby notify as follows:

1. Improve the guiding ideology for variety experiment and registration. Targeted with the adaption to agricultural “model transition, structure adjustment", oriented by market demand, rested on laws and regulations, adjust assessment index, expand experiment channels, promote information openness, enhance whole-way supervision, strengthen accountability pursuing, to ensure the justice, openness, science and efficiency of variety experiment registration, promote breeding innovation, and safeguard food security.

2. Establish diversified variety evaluation indexes with the variety's character safety as priority. Meet the demand from diversified production, timely revise variety registration standard; variety character safety shall be highlighted with condition of stabilizing yield. Resistance requirement shall be increased for pest and disease that endanger agricultural production. Adapt to the demand for mechanized production to increase requirements for lodging resistance, fast drying, and mature period suitability. Adapt to demand for efficient utilization of resources to increase requirements for water-saving and fertilizer-saving. As for the varieties for special uses, market utilizing value index shall be highlighted.

3. Expand variety registration experiment channels. Further dig experiment potential, and expand the experiment capacity for crops with a large quantity of applications. Encourage seed enterprises with integrated business in breeding, production and marketing to actively conduct experiment for their own varieties. Unions of enterprises, unions of research institutes and enterprises, and unions of research institutes with experiment capacity can voluntarily carry out variety experiment, which will be incorporated into unified management when criteria is matched. Encourage inter-provinces to jointly implement variety experiment and registration.

4. Open to the public on experiment procedure. Open to the public on the principles, conditions and procedures for varieties applying for registration entering experiment. Varieties for experiment shall be determined fairly. Open to the public on applications, the names and entity of experimenting varieties. Listen carefully to the opinion from variety registration applicants and experts when develop experiment plans. Establish open days for variety experiments, and the applicant can conduct site inspection on the variety performance during the critical period of the crop growing. Experiment data and summary result shall timely open to the society, and receive supervision.

5. Optimize experiment plan. Rationally divide ecological sub-areas according to natural conditions and climate elements, optimize the layout of test sites, set up experiment groups and control varieties scientifically, reasonably adjust experiment method, appropriately expand experimental plot area for large crops, and reduce plot duplication. State level testing shall adjust and reduce test zones if they only cover a single province, or cover a large range, or crops with small production area. Where a variety has been registered by a province, its applicant is permitted to carry out production test in other provinces within a region of the same ecologic type and can directly apply for state registration or provincial registration or variety introduction. Separate regional tests from production tests in the respect of spatial layout. For those varieties with outstanding general characters, regional tests and production tests can be conducted synchronously in the second-year. Varieties for special uses can appropriately expand test area, reduce test sites and times, regional tests and production tests can be conducted synchronously in the second-year.

6. Strengthen management of test process. Improve the mechanism that combines coded number with real names of varieties to prevent artificial interference. Organize applicants representatives to participate in crop harvest in regional tests and production tests. The reaping data shall be reported to a higher body immediately after it is confirmed by signatures of the three parties of test personnel, the responsible person of the test entity and the applicant representatives. Establish a review mechanism for test data, strictly control summarization of abnormal data. For characters determined by one ticket veto, registration committee members shall be organized to conduct site inspection during key period, and the test body shall keep relevant videos, images and other materials. Establish a reporting system for violations, make public the telephone number for reporting, and promote social supervision over variety test, examination and approval. Where there is dissent on the evaluation result of pest and disease, the organizing entity for test shall arrange another agency to reevaluate.

7. Strengthen capacity building of test conditions. Enhance the development of Internet of Things among test sites, allocate machinery and equipment for sowing, harvesting, and seed testing; establish platforms for data collection, processing, and analysis; gradually realize auto collection, instantaneous transmission, and scientific processing of test data. Enhance training for test staffs, increase their professional quality and ability.

8. Strengthen supervision over authenticity of varieties. Establish nationally unified data bases, standard sample banks and DNA fingerprint libraries for registered varieties. Focus on variety authenticity, strengthen spot check for the seed market and supervision over seed enterprises, and combat counterfeit seeds and violations.

9. Severely crack down “running site". Where an applicant bribes test personnel, their qualification for variety registration application shall be abolished; where a test personnel accepts bribes, they shall be subject to sanction, and the qualification for testing of the employer entity shall be revoked. Where a member of Variety Registration Committee accepts bribes or abuses his/her power, they shall be disqualified for the Variety Registration Committee, notify the employer and give associated sanction.

Where variety test and registration staffs resort to deceit, solicit or accept bribes, they shall leave the position and be subject to sanction, and the responsibilities of leadership shall be assumed to the person in charge of the entity who failed to do the management job. Information on violating laws and regulations shall be open to the public, and notify credit agency. Where a crime is constituted, criminal liability shall be assumed according to laws. Establish reporting system, open reporting phone number, and strengthen society supervision on variety test and registration.

10. Strengthen organizing and leadership. The administrative departments for agriculture shall incorporate variety registration work into performance evaluation scope, ascertain responsible bodies, and strengthen liability investigation. Establish regular exchange system for variety management personnel, and implement a system of one post for multiple persons, one person for multiple posts. Test bodies and personnel which stick to principles and have outstanding achievements during variety tests and registration should be encouraged and commended.

The administrative departments for agriculture under the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government shall pay high attention, formulate specific measures to improve the variety test and registration based on the notice and combined with local circumstances, constantly improve scientific level of variety test and registration.