The previous system, which relied on European results over the last five years, has been scrapped and replaced with a new one that gives precedence to teams winning their domestic titles.
It means no country can possibly have more than two teams in the top set of seeds.
The winners of the 2014-15 Champions League will be joined as top seeds by the winners of the titles in England, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany and Russia.
If the Champions League winner is also their domestic league winner, then the champions of the eighth-ranked association Holland – PSV Eindhoven – would be added to the list of top seeds despite only ranking 30th in the UEFA club coefficient list.
With Chelsea well on their way to winning the Premier League, it will mean Arsenal and Manchester United dropping into the second pot of seeds if they qualify for next year’s tournament.
Manchester City have now dropped out of UEFA’s top 16 clubs, falling behind Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen, so if they make it into the competition, a tough draw would be likely.
City missed out on a top-seeding last year, even as Premier League champions, and ended up struggling through a group that included Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Roma before being knocked out by Barcelona in the round-of-16.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: “Football is about winning, it’s about competition, it’s about sporting merit. I think it’s kind of a natural thing to give to those who have won a competition a special treatment like this.”