Malaysia’s long awaited New Plant Varieties Act 2004 (NPVA) is scheduled to come into force on 1st July 2008 after the enabling Regulations are approved by the Attorney General’s Chambers. The Act is modeled after the 1978 Act of International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention, provisions of Convention on BioDiversity and Intellectual Property Rights systems of other countries. The government is now considering amending the Act to be UPOV compliant.
The Department of Agriculture empowered to administer the Act is giving priority to 25 genera and species consisting of 8 Ornamental Crops (Chrysanthemum spp, Anthurium spp, Orchids (4 genera), Lilium spp, Gerbera spp); 4 Fruits Crops ( Mangifera Indica, Psidium guajava, Ananas comosus, Carica papaya); 4 Industrial Crops (Hevea brasiliensis, Piper nigrum, Theobroma cacao, Elaeis guineensis); 1 Cereal Crop (Oryza sativa); and 8 Forest Plantation Species (Tectona grandis, Khaya ivorensis, Khaya senegalensis, Acacia mangium, Paraserienthes falcataria, Octhamelus sumatrana, Nelolamarkia cadamba, Acacia hybrid)
It is expected that once NPVA comes into full force, more temperate flower and vegetable varieties (generally from Europe) would be protected in Malaysia. Watch this column for news on further developments in this area.