The current body of European seed legislation is made up of 12 basic Directives
- Council Directive 66/401/EEC of 14 June 1966 on the marketing of fodder plant seed
- Council Directive 66/402/EEC of 14 June 1966 on the marketing of cereal seed
- Council Directive 2002/53/EC of 13 June 2002 on the common catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species
- Council Directive 2002/54/EC of 13 June 2002 on the marketing of beet seed
- Council Directive 2002/55/EC of 13 June 2002 on the marketing of vegetable seed
- Council Directive 2002/56/EC of 13 June 2002 on the marketing of seed potatoes
- Council Directive 2002/57/EC of 13 June 2002 on the marketing of seed of oil and fibre plants
- Council Directive 68/193/EC of 9 April 1968 on the marketing of material for the vegetative propagation of the vine
- Council Directive 1998/56/EC of 20 July 1998 on the marketing of propagating material of ornamental plants
- Council Directive 92/33/EEC of 28 April 1992 on the marketing of vegetable propagating and planting material, other than seed
- Council Directive 92/34/EEC of 28 April 1992 on the marketing of fruit plant propagating material and fruit plants intended for fruit production
- Council Directive 1999/105/EC of 22 December 1999 on the marketing of forest reproductive material Many of these date back to the sixties and seventies. As the balance of priorities has changed over the years, with elements such as food safety, traceability, new technologies and environmental aspects becoming more prominent, plus the expansion of the EU to now span 27 Member States, newer legal instruments may be more appropriate to regulate the marketing of S&PM to the benefit of both users and suppliers.
The Commission decided to review the legislation (the acquis) on the marketing of seeds and plant propagating material, as part of its better regulation initiative.