New Plant Varieties

– The Plant Breeder’s Rights Act (No. 18 of 2007).

Note: Regulations by statutory instrument have not yet been issued to date.


Applicant: the applicant can be a citizen or foreigner, can be resident in Zambia or not and the variety can be bred locally or abroad. A breeder of a new plant variety may apply to the Seed Control and Certification Institute for a plant breeder’s right in respect of the variety in the prescribed manner and form upon payment of a prescribed fee (Note:no regulations have been issued in respect of this yet). The application can be lodged individually or jointly. 

Conditions of protection: the variety must be new, distinct, uniform and stable.

Priority of application: the effective date is the date on which the application is lodged with the Registrar of the Institute. Priority can be claimed where an application is filed within twelve months of the date of filing the application in another country; a country which is a party to a bilateral or multilateral agreement concerning plant variety protection to which Zambia is a party (no agreements have been entered into by Zambia to the best of our knowledge).


Objection before grant: any person may, within sixty days from date of publication of notice of application object, in writing, to the application.

Duration of rights: twenty years for an annual crop and twenty-five years in the case of any tree or other perennial, commencing on the date on which the grant is made.

Annuities: the prescribed annual fee is payable during the duration of the plant breeder’s right.

Infringement: a person who infringes a plant breeder’s rights may be sued for an injunction or damages or both. The matter can also be submitted to arbitration if both parties agree.