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Seed regulatory modernization

The scope of seed regulatory modernization (SEED-RM) will focus on seeds other than seed potato, seed potatoes, variety registration and registered establishments that prepare seed and licensing of operators of the Seeds Regulations. Refer to section 2.1 on this page for information on different initiatives outside the scope of SEED-RM.

On this page

  1. Why we have the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations
  2. Purpose of seed regulatory modernization
    1. 2.1 Other seed initiatives
    2. 2.2 Potato and seed requirements
  3. Seed regulatory modernization working group
  4. Consultation activities
    1. 4.1 Needs assessment survey
  5. Additional resources

1. Why we have the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for administering and enforcing the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations. The main purpose of the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations is to protect producers and consumers from misrepresentation, prevent the use of low quality seed and to create a level playing field for companies and individuals involved in seed production.

2. Purpose of seed regulatory modernization

The Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations have undergone periodic amendments and modernizations since the first laws were established in 1905. The CFIA is committed to a full-scale review of Part I – Seeds other than Seed Potatoes, Part II-Seed Potatoes, Part III – Variety Registration and Part IV-Registration of Establishments that Prepare Seed and Licensing of Operators of the Seeds Regulations. During this initiative the CFIA is looking to update the Seeds Regulations to:

See CFIA's Forward Regulatory Plan for anticipated timelines for publication in Canada Gazette.

2.1 Other seed initiatives

These initiatives are outside of the scope of the SEED-RM full-scale review of Parts I, II, III and IV in the Seeds Regulations.

2.2 Potato and seed requirements

The requirements for seed and seed potatoes that are established under the Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations are outside the scope of SEED-RM. Examples of these include: phytosanitary requirements for the export, import and domestic movement of seeds and seed potatoes to prevent the introduction and spread of regulated pests, etc.

Ministerial exemptions for potatoes (excluding seeds) are covered by the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations under the Safe Food for Canadians Act and are outside the scope of SEED-RM.

3. Seed regulatory modernization working group

The purpose of the SEED-RM Working Group (WG) under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC's) Value Chain Roundtables is to provide a collaborative approach where government and impacted seed/seed potato stakeholders collaborate in the co-development of proposed options to provide recommendations to the CFIA for amending the Seeds Regulations.

Working group members:

4. Consultation activities

The CFIA is planning consultation activities to engage stakeholders throughout the seed regulatory modernization process. The information collected will provide insight for CFIA while updating the Seeds Regulations.

The CFIA encourages all stakeholders to participated in these consultation activities to provide feedback during SEED-RM.

4.1 Needs assessment survey

The needs assessment survey was the first consultation early in the SEED-RM process for both seed and seed potato. The information collected will be used to establish a baseline understanding of stakeholder needs. This survey provided insight from stakeholders on the following:

A "what we heard report" on the needs assessment survey is available on the CFIA completed consultations page.

Further information on Canada's current seed regulatory framework is available and based on 3 separate reports prepared by Synthesis Agri-Food Network developed under AAFC's Value Chain Roundtables to support the SEED-RM WG process:

5. Additional resources

Agri-food and Aquaculture Regulatory Review Roadmap

Incorporation by reference


Seed potato


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