Seed World

Avoid Seed Importation Problems with the Help of a Seed Lab

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If you’re in the business of importing seed, the challenges of doing so can be many. Meeting minimum import standards and conforming to regulations is a must.

The Seed Import Conformity Assessor (SICA) designation is given to specialized seed graders who are accredited to assess whether seed being brought into the country meets minimum import standards and is in line with federal regulations.

Did you know:

  • Seeds that are pre-treated with pesticides are considered pest control products under the Pest Control Products Act and are illegal to import unless the active ingredient and seed treatment product are registered in Canada for the purpose of treating seed
  • In order to import seed, you must provide a signed statement/declaration including a number of details about the seed including the species, lot designation and more
  • You must also provide an acceptable certificate of analysis stating the seed is from prohibited noxious weed seeds and meets minimum purity standards and acceptable germination percentages

These are just a few areas that SICA-accredited analysts have a lot of knowledge in. A good seed lab will have a SICA-accredited analyst on staff. CFIA-accredited analysts understand things like:

  • What foreign seed certificates mean and what they need to include
  • What exemptions exist regarding different allowances for lot size depending on what the seed is being used for
  • Whether noxious weeds might be present that are prohibited in Canadian seed imports
  • What varieties can be imported into Canada.

These are just a few things to be aware of, but not getting the advice of a SICA-accredited analyst can spell trouble for anyone importing seed who might not be as well-versed in the country’s Seeds Regulations as they should be.

SICA-accredited analysts can provide the best information on purity and germination to verify that the seed lot meets the minimum standards for importation. This information is then used to issue a seed analysis certificate.

Seed Check Technologies has SICA-accredited analysts on staff, but we also provide training to others who wish to become SICA-certified. The test assesses the candidate’s knowledge of the principles and practices of testing and grading of pedigreed seed and import conformity assessment.

Anyone wishing to become SICA accredited is evaluated on their ability to:

There’s no need for seed importation to be difficult and complicated — with the help of a seed lab you can benefit from the services of a SICA-accredited analyst and even get someone on your staff accredited. Maybe even yourself!

Want to Take the SICA Exam?

It’s recommended that you be familiar with the Seeds Act, Seeds Regulations, the Grade Tables, the WSO, ABCs of Seed Importation into Canada, and CSI-TECH 2.4 for Authorized Importers — Handling and Release of Seed Import into Canada.

Example of a question: For each lot imported into Canada, what information is an Authorized Importer required to provide to the CFIA?

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