Language selection


Notice to Registered Seed Establishments, November 2019

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

Licensed Operators and Accredited Graders at Registered Seed Establishments (RSEs) are asked to review the following information provided by the Seed Section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Regulatory and Policy Updates

Seed Section has updated the policy for the Implementation of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives (QSP 152.1).

The Cannabis Act and Regulations came into effect on Oct 17, 2018. Learn more about CFIA's role in the regulation of cannabis seed. The Industrial Hemp Regulations 2018 were posted in Canada Gazette II on July 11, 2018.

Effective April 23, 2020, treated seed sold in Canada must have both French and English labelling of the health and safety information of the treatment. Read the industry advisory, Changes to bilingual labelling requirements of treated seed, coming into force on April 23, 2020 to learn more.

A new Description of Variety form for oilseed soybean is now available online.


Schedule I of the Seeds Regulations (the Regulations) does not include cannabis species (other than industrial hemp). Nevertheless, cannabis seed must meet the weed seed and other crop seed standards set out in Table IV. There is no germination standard for cannabis (other than industrial hemp).

Seed graded with a Canada pedigreed grade name must be drawn by a licensed operator, a GB or GD grader, or a person under the supervision of the grader.

Graders and Seed Import Conformity Assessors (SICAs) should be aware that the germination percentage recorded for small seeded legumes must include hard seeds for the purposes of comparing germination percentages in the grade tables.

Several common errors delay the release of imported seed. Please ensure that: the unique lot number identifier appears on all import documents; the information on the seed analysis certificate (SAC) meets Canadian standards, and the end use of the seed is clearly stated. Including the importer's fax number or e-mail address is optional, but may help speed the issuance of a Notice of Import Conformity.

An imported lot of pedigreed seed sold in Canada must have a Canada pedigreed grade name and official seed tag. The assigning of the Canada pedigreed grade name must be done by an accredited GB or GD grader or a recognized foreign (U.S.) grader and be based on seed testing results. The Canada pedigreed grade name cannot be assigned simply by assumptions based on the official tag of the exporting country.

Information regarding the standards and labelling requirements for seed mixtures is available here.

As per the Regulations, pedigreed graded seed sold in Canada must be in fastened, tamper-proof containers unless the seed is delivered by an establishment registered as a bulk storage facility (BSF) under Part IV of the Regulations.

Seed images and fact sheets for approximately 100 weed seeds (both the Weed Seeds Order, 2016 and CFIA regulated pest plants) are available here. The International Seed Morphology Association (ISMA) is another identification resource available to seed graders.

Canadian seed exporters must correctly use PPQ 925 seed analysis certificates when shipping seed to the U.S. While recognized laboratories are responsible for issuing this certificate in accordance with established procedures, exporters are responsible for applying for the certificate and using it correctly.

The Varieties of Crop Kinds Registered in Canada is a searchable downloadable database of varieties registered in Canada.

When importing seed of crop types subject to variety registration please ensure that the variety is registered. For a list of crop types subject to variety registration, click here.

Please direct any questions to the CFIA by email:

Date modified: