Sunday, September 10, 2006

importing seeds into Canada

Hmmn. A new wrinkle has come up for me. I'm trying to remember if I have ever ordered seeds from an American (or any other country) before. Seems to me I have -- I know I have -- but it was so many years ago, the regulations may well have changed since then. So I tried to check. This is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency site regarding the ABC's of Seed Importation Into Canada, where wiser minds than mine can check it out. See if I have understood things correctly and let me know (please!) if I haven't, because I'm about to tell Kim in the U.S. how to mail me some seeds!!

Doing my best to interpret the "legalese", I have concluded that small amounts of seed are exempt from permits and fees provided that the weight of the seeds is small enough!

The following are exemptions: (referring to the "Import Declaration Form (Form 4560)" and the " Request for Release Approval Form")

1. Where the imported seed lot is 5 kg or less for large seeded crop
kinds such as peas, wheat, soybeans and corn or is 500 g or less for small
seeded crop kinds such as alfalfa, tomato or canola, neither the import
declaration information nor the certificate of analysis need be supplied. See
Section N (below) for clarification of importations with multiple small seed
2. Where the seed is being imported for research purposes or for
conditioning, the certificate of analysis need not include information on the
percent germination.
3. Certificates of analysis and import declarations are
not required for lots of herb seed that are 5 kg or less, or for flower seed,
tree or shrub seed, true potato seed, ginseng, seeds of aquatic plants or
onion/garlic multiplier sets.
4. For non-pedigreed seed of forage species,
the name of the variety need not be supplied on the import

For the purposes of calculating fees:
shipment" means an imported seed shipment that weighs less than
5 kg, in the
case of large seeded crop kinds; and
500 g, in the case of small seeded crop
There are no fees for the small shipments described above

At the Seed Site (based in the UK), on the "Seed Harvesting" page (tools of the trade -- harvesting, storing and exchanging seed), the author has many great tips. Another place I have to investigate in more depth!!

For plant parts, eg. roots, I have yet to check up on regulations. I do know that importation of things like potatoes, garlic and the like is likely to be complicated.

Oh, and before I forget, a very cool link from Kim on winter sowing.


Blogger Anita said...

Thanks a lot for visiting my garden blog. I am interested in "foreign" seeds as well. In January this year, I ordered some packages from Thompson & Morgen/UK.
I'll soon post a sort of a "Seed list" on my site for an international "seed swap". Would you be interested as well? That would be great!

12:24 p.m.  

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