On 24 March 2020 the President of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) has taken a "Decision concerning the extension of time limits" that fall in the period 17 March – 3 May included, until 4 May 2020 for parties to proceedings before the Office 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.
“The CPVO recognises that the COVID-19 crisis has direct implications for parties to proceedings who need to make the necessary practical arrangements and adapt their working methods in line with measures adopted by health authorities across the European Union” said Martin Ekvad, President of the CPVO.
“There is an impact on various sectors such as IT communications, postal and bank services and transport and delivery services in the EU. The CPVO and the network of Examination Offices are also adapting to the new extraordinary circumstances. It is therefore considered appropriate to extend time limits in proceedings before the CPVO and the Board of Appeal”, he added.
The extensions do not apply to the submission of material for technical examinations and the payment of examination fees because there are different deadlines for submitting material depending on the species in question. Certain technical examinations may start as scheduled, as applicants may be in the position to submit the material in question in time. In these cases, it would not be appropriate to postpone the tests. In other cases, a postponement would be necessary. For this reason, it is not appropriate to take a general decision on the postponement of the submission of plant material.
The CPVO will use its discretionary power to allow for postponements where that is needed taking into account the ongoing crisis. The deadline to pay for a technical examination is linked to the date to submit material. For this reason, it is not considered necessary to include an extension to pay the fee for the technical examination in the above mentioned decision.
An Explanatory note detailing the practical aspects of today’s Decision is also available. The Office will use the time until 4 May 2020 to assess the evolution of the crises and make all appropriate consultations.
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