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Notice to seed laboratories: Expansion of the Recognition of Export Grain Analysis by Authorized Laboratories (REGAL) program

June 2, 2020

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) has expanded the Recognition of Export Grain Analysis by Authorized Laboratories (REGAL) program so that Canada's grain exporters have more testing options to get their product to market faster. Effective immediately, Canadian accredited seed laboratories and Canadian ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories participating in the program as REGAL authorized laboratories can now test grain export shipments for percentage soil determination, live insects and/or specific weed seeds for any country.

The demand for laboratory testing to support phytosanitary certification continues to increase due to new trade markets and changing import regulations related to plant pests and pest carriers.

Canadian seed and grain industries have expressed a critical need for faster testing to obtain phytosanitary certification for export markets.

As a result, the CFIA has expanded the REGAL program. The program previously tested grain shipments destined for China, India, Mexico and Vietnam for specific weed seeds, live insects and percentage soil. Grain exporters are now encouraged to use REGAL authorized laboratories to conduct these tests for grain shipments to any country.

The Seed Laboratory Accreditation and Audit Protocol (Seed LAAP) outlines a long-standing CFIA-administered program where private laboratories carry out tests for seed certification. The REGAL program for the grain industry is consistent with other existing alternative service delivery arrangements under which laboratories provide testing services for a fee of their choice. The actual test required for phytosanitary certification, whether it is an analysis for weed seeds, for live insects or of soil, is very similar to purity testing for seed certification. The CFIA has testing protocol and program documentation that defines the testing requirements for this program. Accredited seed laboratories or ISO/IEC 17025 laboratories that want to participate will be expected to implement the required testing protocol and program requirements.

The CFIA continues to oversee the REGAL program and to authorize laboratories to participate.

To find out more and to become an accredited testing facility, please contact the CFIA by email at cfia.ssts-ssts.acia@canada.ca.

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