NDUSTRY NEWS ASIAN SEED − 9 T By Dr. Andreas Wais ISTA Secretary General he International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) will host its next two annual meetings in Asia. The ISTA 2018 Meet- ing, which is the 31st edition, is taking place 11-14 June in Sapporo, Japan, while the 32nd ISTA Congress, is planned 26 June–3 July, 2019 in Hyderabad, India. The program of the events includes the technical work- shops, a scientific sympo- sium discussing the latest results in applied seed sci- ence, a detailed insight into the work of the ISTA Tech- nical Committees, including their achievements and future plans. Uniformity in seed testing is the mission of ISTA. Found- ed in 1924, with the aim to develop and publish standard procedures in the field of seed testing, ISTA is inextri- cably linked with the history of seed testing. With 225 member laborato- ries in over 70 countries/dis- tinct economies worldwide, ISTA membership is truly a global network. In Asia, ISTA counts 66 member labora- tories and 14 personal or associate members, making Asia one of the key member areas of ISTA. Internationally, ISTA engages with a number of organisa- tions like being a founding member of the World Seed Partnership as well as oper- ating via a Memorandum of Understanding with The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The ISTA membership con- sists of two main categories: Corporative, which include Member Laboratories and In- dustry Members; and Individ- ual, which include Personal and Associate Members. Member Laboratories may receive ISTA accreditation, which would allow them to issue their test results in a stan- dardized and internationally accepted manner using ISTA Interna- tional Certif- icates. These Certificates facilitate inter- national trade and function as a kind of Seed Quality Passport. In related news, ISTA recently announced new enhanced security protection measures for our Orange and Blue International Seed Analysis Certificates. Effective immediately, the new ISTA Certificates will possess an ISTA water mark, a unique registration number, bar-code system correspond- ing to the unique registration number and an ISTA holo- graphic sticker on the bottom right portion of the certificate. Previous certificates may still be used and costs of the new certificates – which can be ordered via ISTA's web- site (url at end) or from ISTA Accredited Laboratories – will not increase. The ISTA Certificates as- sure that the test results are reproducible, true and repre- sent the quality of the seed. ISTA International Certificates exist in two versions – the so-called Orange Internation- al Certificate and the Blue International Certificate. An Orange International Cer- tificate is issued when both sampling from a seed lot and testing of this sample are performed under the responsibility of ISTA accredited laboratories. The results reported on an Orange International Certificate refer strictly to the lot as a whole at the time of sampling. A Blue International Certifi- cate is issued when sampling from the lot is not under the responsibility of an accred- ited laboratory or if seed mixtures are tested. Interested parties may find more details under seedtest.org. Japan to India: ISTA in Asia for Next Two Annual Meetings UPOV’s New Online Variety Registration Tool Free Untill December 2018 The 74-member International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is urging greater adoption of its on- line registration tool, UPOV PRISMA PBR. 21 nations and the EU currently accept applications to participating PVP Offices in a digital format, affording easy transmission of application data for Plant Breeders’ Rights. This allows users a one- stop multilingual interface to obtain intellectual property protection for varieties at home and internationally. It translates much of the information in the Technical Questionnaire automatically, and allows re-use of relevant data in subsequent applications. To qualify for registration, new plants must be novel and not previously marketed in countries where rights are applied for; they must be distinct from other varieties; must display homogeneity; and traits unique to the new variety must be stable. The tool lets users specify differing roles (e.g.: drafter, signatory, translator, agent), is secure and confidential – and free to use till December, 2018 For more information about the tool, see upov.int/upovprisma