International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The Multilateral System

Advisory Committee on the SMTA and the MLS

The Ad Hoc Technical Advisory Committee on the Multilateral System and the Standard Material Transfer Agreement discussed several important aspects of the implementation at its first meeting in 2010. These included: the legal access and benefit-sharing (ABS) space for national implementation of the International Treaty; the identification of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture under the control of the Contracting Parties and in the public domain; the legal and administrative measures to encourage natural and legal persons to voluntarily place material in the Multilateral System; access to material in in-situ conditions; scenarios in which the movement of PGRFA amounts to a ‘transfer’ and, therefore, require the use of the SMTA; and the payment required to the Benefit-sharing Fund in case of the commercialization of a single Product.

At its second meeting in August 2010, the Committee addressed the subject of initial and subsequent transfers of both PGRFA and PGRFA under development, including the use of the full text of the SMTA, the use of further conditions to the SMTA, and the need to notify subsequent recipients of the optional payment scheme under Article 6.11 of the SMTA. The Committee further discussed the practical and legal implications for natural and legal persons putting material into the Multilateral System. It also elaborated an opinion on the issue of non-food/feed uses of PGRFA, including aspects of limitations on the use of the SMTA and multiple-use crops; the applicability of the International Treaty to in-situ material under the management and control of Contracting Parties and in the public domain; and the possibility of making material available for direct use by farmers for cultivation.

You can find most of these and other opinions and advice under the section on Frequently Asked Questions on the SMTA.

The Committee held two more meetings in the 2012–2013 biennium to discuss remaining agenda items – with a resumed session of the fourth meeting in April 2013 to deal with 'Options for reflecting clarifications or interpretation of the SMTA'. The reports of the meetings were subsequently made available to the Fifth Session of the Governing Body, which took note and requested the Secretary to make them available, so that all users could benefit from the guidance. The compilation of opinions and advice was made available through a booklet published in English, French and Spanish.

Share this page