Procedures used by CGN for seed requests

CGN distributes seeds to any user for the purposes of breeding, research and/or education. It may wish to enquire the reasons for the request. Information concerning the user and the request is treated confidentially.

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 In agreement with the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, CGN has traditionally adhered to a policy of unrestricted availability of germplasm held in its genebank. CGN wishes to contribute to the utilization of its germplasm and thus considers all users, including public and private sector users and breeding companies, research organisations and organisations of farmers or growers, as relevant. However, for economic reasons CGN will generally not automatically fullfill requests for germplasm from individuals, or unmotivated requests for large numbers of samples, but will follow up to discuss the motivations for prospected use in these cases.


The user is obliged to sign a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA; to be signed by an authorised person of the organisation).

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If you wish to obtain germplasm from CGN, you should sign a MTA, usually the Standard MTA of the Multilateral System of the International Treaty (SMTA). If you place your request via e-mail don't forget to give your regular mailing address. Upon receipt of the completed and signed copy of the MTA (electronic version or hard copy) you will receive the requested germplasm as soon as possible.

If you prefer a hard copy procedure, the MTA needs to be signed on the official paper that will be sent to you by mail. A signed print out of the PDF file (e.g. sent by FAX) is no more than a preliminary document.

Users are requested to return their evaluation results to CGN. An embargo on the availability of those results for a limited number of years can be agreed upon. For subsequent passing the material to other users one has to consult the text of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA)

To ensure continued free availability of the germplasm the SMTA requests from the recipient of CGN's germplasm agreement beforehand on adherence to the principle of free availability. Such a Standard Material Transfer Agreement does not limit protection of material that is the result of breeding efforts, which have included CGN obtained germplasm as source material.



The seed shipments need to meet the (plant health) import requirements of the receiving country.

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For all EU countries the seed shipments need to meet EU regulations (known to CGN). Most non-EU countries use a system of import permits. The restrictions differ per crop and per country. In some countries small amounts for scientific purposes can be imported without an import permit. Please inform at your Plant Protection Service (working probably under the responsibility of your Ministry of Agriculture). The Phytosanitary Certificate (from the Netherlands) needs to confirm that the material meets the demands as formulated in the import permit. The Dutch officials need the import permit to find out the specific requirements of the importing country and include the requested information on the certificate. If an import permit is obligatory, it is important to send us the import permit as soon as possible. You can obtain it from your Plant Protection Service. If not obligatory, then please notify CGN and we will request a Phytosanitary Certificate without waiting for the import permit. For faster completion of seed requests a copy of the import permit can be sent to CGN in advance by fax or as a scan sent by email. With this copy CGN already can ask the Dutch Plant Protection Service to prepare the appropriate certificate.



Seed delivery awaits the MTA procedure, followed, if necessary, by the request of a Phytosanitary Certificate or Plant Passport (within the EU) from the Dutch Plant Protection Service. As soon as all documents are available, CGN dispatches the seeds to the user. The total timespan between initial request and final delivery may take several weeks.



CGN does not charge handling fees.

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Although CGN does not charge handling fees, in case of requests for detailed information or interpretation of such information, CGN may approach the envisaged user of the material for financial compensation for such requests, such to the discretion of CGN.