IASB issues amendments to IAS 16 and IAS 41 for bearer plants

30 June 2014

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) today published amendments that change the financial reporting for bearer plants, such as grape vines, rubber trees and oil palms.

IAS 41 Agriculture currently requires all biological assets related to agricultural activity to be measured at fair value less costs to sell. This is based on the principle that the biological transformation that these assets undergo during their lifespan is best reflected by fair value measurement. However, there is a subset of biological assets, known as bearer plants, which are used solely to grow produce over several periods. At the end of their productive lives they are usually scrapped. Once a bearer plant is mature, apart from bearing produce, its biological transformation is no longer significant in generating future economic benefits. The only significant future economic benefits it generates come from the agricultural produce that it creates.
The IASB decided that bearer plants should be accounted for in the same way as property, plant and equipment in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment, because their operation is similar to that of manufacturing. Consequently, the amendments include them within the scope of IAS 16, instead of IAS 41. The produce growing on bearer plants will remain within the scope of IAS 41.

Entities are required to apply the amendments for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016. Earlier application is permitted.

Commenting on the publication of the amendments, Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the IASB, said:

“This is an important amendment for those jurisdictions with large agriculture industries. I would like to thank those constituents who helped us to identify this issue through their feedback during the IASB’s agenda consultation and the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board, Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group and Emerging Economies Consultative Group for their valuable input.”