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  • Author or Editor: J. Van Waes x
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In the European Community, a new variety of an agricultural crop must be submitted for official trials for DUS (Distinctness, Uniformity, Stability) and VCU (Value for Cultivation and Use) before commercialization. The guidelines for these tests are summarized in the European directive 70/457/EU (1970), revised in 2002 (2002/53/EU).  At present each EU country has a separate system for VCU testing. The EU directive stipulates that the VCU value must be satisfactory. The term “satisfactory” can be interpreted in different ways, so the level for admission for the same varieties may differ greatly between countries. For the market this can lead to a different assortment of varieties, adapted for the same ecological regions, but distributed over several countries. The different steps, from acceptance of a variety for trials, through the organization, the evaluation of parameters during the growing season, harvest modalities and data processing to the criteria for registration in Belgium are presented in the paper, followed by an analysis of the registration procedure in Belgium in comparison with other countries  Thereafter, a proposal is given for harmonization and international cooperation in the VCU testing of varieties adapted to comparable ecological regions of neighbouring countries and with the same crop exploitation and use of the final product. For these varieties it is important that nearly the same rules are used for the registration of VCU value. The basis for successful international cooperation is a good knowledge of the national systems, searching for similarities and finding a solution for differences.

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