SWI 132.1.1 Seed Program
Specific Work Instruction
Official Seed Sampling

9.0 Marking and Tagging the Seed Lot

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9.1 Lot Designation/Number

The marking of a seed lot must include a lot number/designation unique to the seed lot being sampled. It is the sampler's responsibility to verify that all containers in the lot are labelled with the unique lot number.

If seed lots of non-pedigreed seed are sampled by ISTA Rules for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate, the company must assign a unique lot number to the lot and mark or label each container in the seed lot with that unique lot number; a CDN number is not assigned by the CFIA to non-pedigreed lots with Orange International Seed Lot Certificates.

If OECD tags (Appendix X) are affixed to the seed lot containers, a Seed Inspection Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 1118) must be completed (Appendix XVI). The number printed on the Seed Inspection Certificate becomes the lot number preceded by the prefix CDN and the province code (e.g., CDN 9- 54321). The procedures in QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives must be followed for completion of the forms and tags.

The identification of the seed lot may be printed directly onto the container or onto tags or labels which may be stitched, tied, or glued onto the containers. Certified seed lots stored in bulk are exempt from the requirement to be sold in fastened, tagged packages, provided the provisions of section 37 of the Seeds Regulations are met.

Indelible ink must be used in the printing and stamping of labels. If there is a change to the identification of the seed lot, one of the following must be carried out:

  1. remove the tag and affix a new tag,
  2. glue a new tag over the original tag, or
  3. cross out the incorrect information and add the correct information or secure a sticker with the correct information over the old information.
In general, the containers should be labelled with:
  1. lot number;
  2. net quantity of seed by weight or numerical count;
  3. name and address of the seller, packager or labeller;
  4. name of the crop kind;
  5. name of the grade of the seed; and
  6. variety name, if applicable.

Please see the Seed Label Verification Form for complete labelling requirements.

9.2 Types of Labels

  1. Tear - Resistant Labels
    These labels are made of tear-resistant material and are tied or sewn to the container.
  2. Adhesive Labels
    These labels must be affixed directly onto the container. They must have strong adhesive qualities and special cuts so that they cannot be removed without being destroyed. These labels should only be used on smooth or non woven materials.
  3. Preprinted Labels
    These labels are printed directly onto the bag with the lot number and additional lot information is printed onto the label during the filling of the bag.
  4. Bulk Pedigreed Seed Tag
    The Bulk Pedigreed Seed Tag (CFIA/ACIA 0067) (Appendix XVII) is an official tag for bulk pedigreed seed.

9.3 Tagging the Seed Lot

If tags are affixed to each container in a seed lot, the sampler must verify that the information on the tag or label corresponds to all the documentation.

9.3.1 OECD certified tags

When a seed lot for export is to be tagged with OECD tags (Appendix X) and /or requires the issuance of a Variety Certificate (Appendices XIV and XV), the procedures set out in QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives must be followed including application of maximum seed lot sizes. The species and variety must be listed in the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification.

It is the sampler's responsibility to verify that the variety to be exported with OECD tags is listed on the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification.

If the variety is not listed on the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification, the sampler must communicate that to the exporter and have the exporter contact either the Canadian Representative of the variety (for registered varieties) or the Form 300 Applicant (for Form 300 Certification varieties) to resolve the matter. The Canadian representative (or the Applicant in the case of Form 300 varieties) of the variety must send the request to add the variety to the National Designated Authority of the country in which the variety is maintained. For Canadian registered varieties the request should be sent to the CFIA's Variety Registration Office (VRO) at VRO-BEV@inspection.gc.ca. For crop kinds not subject to registration in Canada and going through the the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA) Form 300 Certification process in Canada, requests to add the variety to the OECD list should be directed to the CSGA at seeds@seedgrowers.ca.

Note that there are instances when varieties under examination for variety registration in Canada or another OECD country may be tagged with OECD Not Finally Certified tags prior to the addition of the variety to the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification; please contact the Seed Section at seedsemence@inspection.gc.ca for assistance in this scenario.

When the company prints the tags and seals the lot prior to sampling, the sampler must verify the sealing and that all information printed on the tags is correct on every container.

When OECD tags are affixed to a seed lot, the official seed sampler assigns the lot number. A numbered Seed Inspection Certificate is completed (Appendix XVI). This number, along with the province code prefixed by CDN, comprises the lot number, e.g., CDN 8-54321. The sampler must leave a copy of the Seed Inspection Certificate with the owner/operator at the time of sampling. The province codes are described in QSP 152.1Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives.

When a seed lot must be labelled according to EU Directives, the crop kind must be listed in an EU directive and the back of the OECD tag must bear the month and year that the seed was sealed. As a result, seed sampling may only take place if the date on the tag is the same month/year as the date of sampling or a month/year prior to the date of sampling. If the OECD tag bears a future date, the sampler must defer sampling until that future time or require that the OECD tags be corrected. Tags may be corrected manually or by applying a sticker over the incorrect date with the correct date. Corrections are to be made by the establishment and witnessed by the sampler.

It is the sampler's responsibility to verify that the species labelled according to EU Directives and bearing the 'meets EC Rules and Standards' claim is in fact listed in the EU Directives.

9.3.2 OECD Not Finally Certified Tag

The Variety Verification (VV) samples for seed lots labelled with "not finally certified" (NFC) tags are coded as VV (Appendix IV). Maximum lot sizes do not apply to OECD NFC seed lots. Since OECD NFC lots are generally very large and sampling of these lots by ISTA Rules may not be practical, it is acceptable to obtain the VV sample for OECD NFC lots from the retained sample originally drawn by the RSE's sampler. Alternatively, the sample may be drawn from the lot using ISTA Rules (without application of maximum lot size) if desired.

The VV samples are submitted from OECD seed lots for official storage for possible post-control testing. The official seed sampler must refer to QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives for more details.

9.3.3 Other Tags

There are cases in which pedigreed seed will not have a CDN number such as specialty lines, unregistered varieties. Occasionally, seed is exported with Canadian domestic tags. Appendix XI provides these tags. If seed lots for ISTA testing are non-pedigreed seed, the company must assign a unique lot number and mark or label each container in the lot with a unique lot designation/number. The official seed sampler's responsibility in both situations is to verify that all the operations are conducted in accordance with the ISTA Rules. Each container in a seed lot of non-pedigreed seed must be sealed with a metal seal or adhesive label.

9.3.4 EU Directives

When the client requests that the seed lot be labelled as meeting EC rules and standards, the standards of the appropriate European Council Directive must be met. The official seed sampler must refer to QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives for direction. If the crop kind presented for sampling is not listed in the EU Directive, it cannot be labelled or tested in accordance with the EC rules and standards but may still be eligible for export to the EU.

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