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Authorized Exporter Program

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In August 2008, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) launched the voluntary Authorized Exporter Program (AEP). The AEP was developed in response to changes to international agreements for the trade of seed (the Seed Schemes of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Council of the European Union) which allow for the authorization of private persons to sample, tag and test export seed lots certified pursuant to the OECD Seed Schemes. This initiative provides options to industry for the sampling and testing of export seed lots, roles that were previously the sole responsibility of the CFIA.

Under the AEP, private persons are authorized to affix OECD tags, sample export seed lots and test seed for purity and germination and issue internationally recognized reports of seed analysis according to International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Rules or the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) Rules. The CFIA maintains oversight through the review of documentation and the issuance of Varietal Certificates for every seed lot exported under the AEP. The CFIA's authority to inspect, detain or investigate any export seed lot is not affected by the implementation of the AEP.

Continuing changes in the global seed trade have opened up opportunities for Canadian pedigreed seed. The AEP is well positioned to enhance Canada's seed industry's options and its ability to provide significantly larger volumes of high quality Canadian seed to the global marketplace.

For more information about the Authorized Exporter Program please contact your local CFIA office.