Language selection


Imported seed advisory for non-authorized importers

It is important to follow the requirements for importing seed under the Seeds Regulations. The information provided applies to importers who are not authorized under Part IV of the Seeds Regulations.

Requirement to keep foreign seed separate and intact

The Seeds Regulations state:
"Seed must be kept separate and intact in the original package(s) until a notice of import conformity has been issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, indicating that the seed meets the requirements of the Seeds Regulations."

Using the seed before CFIA approval is a violation of the Seeds Regulations and may result in enforcement, up to including prosecution.

Requirements of the Plant Protection Act and regulations and other acts and regulations are not addressed here that may apply to your import.

How to import seed into Canada

Step 1. Refer to the ABC's of seed Importation into Canada and the Automated Import Reference System for requirements and harmonized system (HS) codes.

Step 2. Submit all required information at the time of import:

Note: Refer to the ABC's of seed Importation into Canada (Section L) for a list of exemptions from the required import documentation.

Step 3. The Canadian Border Services Agency assigns a transaction number. Submitted documentation is accounted for by the National Import Service Center (NISC).

Note: foreign seed has not yet been cleared for use in Canada and must remain separate and intact.

Step 4: The CFIA's Import Conformity Assessment (ICA) office assesses documentation to confirm seed conformity. Seed must meet minimum import requirements for purity and germination. Information required for assessment:

Step 5: The ICA office issues a letter of conformity to the importer.

Step 6: Seed is cleared and approved for end use in Canada.

To avoid common errors that delay the clearance of imported seed or could prevent the use of seed entirely, ensure the following is completed:

For more details on what is an acceptable certificate of analysis and other seed import requirements, please refer to the ABC's of seed Importation into Canada.


General import inquiries should be sent to your local CFIA office.

For questions on the clearance of a specific shipment, contact the Import Conformity Assessment (ICA) office at

For questions regarding this advisory, contact the Seed Section at

Date modified: