SWI 132.1.1 Seed Program
Specific Work Instruction
Official Seed Sampling

15.0 Packaging, Sealing and Submission of the Sample

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All official seed samples submitted to the laboratory must be submitted in a sealed tamper- proof container.

15.1 Sample Submission Container

A suitable container for the submission of the sample to the seed laboratory is one that will maintain the integrity of the quality of the sample during transit and any storage of the sample before testing. The minimum size of the sample submitted must be as stated in Appendix III.

The suitability of the sample container will depend on the quality of the seed lot and the types of tests requested:

  1. when percentage pure seed, germination, purity, other seed counts, variety verification, disease or tetrazolium tests are requested, the most suitable container is an unused clean cloth or good quality manilla envelope. Samples for these tests should never be packaged in plastic bags. The exception is treated seed as indicated in Section 5;
  2. if a test for moisture determination is requested, these samples must be packaged in moisture-proof containers as described in Section 13.3.2.1.

15.2 Sealing the Sample

Each sample submitted to the SSTS or the Plant Pathology Unit (Fallowfield) must be sealed by the sampler as follows:

  1. when samples are packaged in cloth bags, metal seals must be affixed to the strings so that the sample cannot be opened without breaking the seal;
  2. if samples are packaged in paper bags or manilla envelopes, the samples must be sealed by affixing an adhesive patching label (Appendix XVIII) or official sealing tape. The label or tape must be affixed so that the sample cannot be opened without breaking the seal. The label or tape must be marked with the sampler's initials and dated;
  3. when a) or b) is not possible and samples from the same sampler are packaged in the same container together and submitted to the laboratory in the same shipment, the container into which the samples are packaged must be sealed in a tamper-proof manner such as:
    1. taping the box and initialling and dating through the tape so that the container cannot be opened without showing evidence that it has been opened;
    2. placing samples into a courier envelope and sealing; and
    3. enclosing a statement with the samples that the samples have been in the sampler's possession at all times, that the sampler packaged the samples him/herself into the shipping container and sealed the container.

15.3 Labelling the Submitted Sample

Each sample must be legibly labelled with the following information:

  1. the inspection sample number;
  2. crop kind;
  3. date of sampling;
  4. signature of the sampler;
  5. as applicable, variety name (for pedigreed seed of all crop kinds; and vegetable seed);
  6. as applicable, lot number (must be stated for all pedigreed seed and OECD sampling).

15.4 Accompanying Documentation

15.4.1 Documentation

The sampler must complete the SSF (Section 14.1 and Appendix V) and forward it with the sample. For samples submitted for the issuance of ISTA certificates, the Application for Seed Analysis for Export Purposes (Appendix IX) must also be completed and submitted.

15.4.2 Tags

The official seed sampler must verify that the tags are completed correctly.

15.5 Submission of the Sample to the Laboratory

After the sample has been packaged and identified for submission to the appropriate laboratory, it is necessary to protect the samples and documents during transit. Samples should be packed in sturdy containers, e.g., cardboard box, with packing materials such as newspaper, bubble pack, etc. or other shipping containers provided that the integrity of the sample will be secured.

Samples must not be left in the hands of the client. They must remain in the sampler's possession at all times until they have been securely sealed and packaged for submission to the laboratory, with the exception of samples for export that are sealed in a tamper-proof manner by the CFIA sampler for shipping by the applicant.

Samples should be submitted to the laboratory without delay. If samples cannot be submitted immediately, they must be stored appropriately in a cool, dry secure area. Samples that are not for moisture determination must not be shipped or stored in moisture-proof containers.

Samples for moisture determination can be shipped in the same container as samples submitted for other tests provided the samples are well secured in moisture-proof containers. Sampling for moisture must not be conducted when it will result in the sample being in transit over a weekend or a holiday, as the moisture test must be initiated as soon as possible after sampling. In addition, oilseeds, such as flax, rapeseed, mustard, oilseed radish or soybeans must not be sampled in a time-frame that there is any chance that the sample will arrive at the laboratory for testing on a Friday as the test requires a 17-hour drying period versus a 2-hour drying period for other crop kinds.

Mode of transportation will be at the discretion of the person submitting the sample and will be influenced by the priority of the test(s). When the sample is for the issuance of an ISTA certificate, a moisture test, an investigation sample, or is a high priority, the sample should be shipped by courier or the quickest mode available.

In general, regular mail, priority post, courier, and bus are used. Appendix III provides CFIA seed laboratory addresses and contact information.

15.5.1 Options for Submission of Marketplace Monitoring Samples of Large Seeded Crop Kinds

The following options are provided to standardize the procedures used by inspectors when both requesting laboratory purity analysis results and providing their own purity examination results for marketplace monitoring samples (MPF, MPI, MPN, MPP) of large seeded crop kinds (i.e., species in Grade Tables I to VI and XVI to XVIII). The options are intended to utilize the results of examinations conducted by trained inspectors and to provide support to inspectors when they are in training or have a need for their examination results to be verified. With standardized procedures, inspectors' purity examination data can be correctly incorporated in the compliance statements made for each marketplace monitoring sample. A compliance statement refers to: meets labelled grade (M), below grade, but within tolerance (BWT) and below grade, and out of tolerance (BOT).

For a lot that is below grade, based on the inspector analysed purity test, a sampler can submit a sample for germination testing to SSTS using the COM sample code to facilitate a quick turnaround.

Option 1 (intended for use by inspectors who cannot or choose not to do a complete purity examination independently)

The inspector submits an unexamined sample and requests a purity analysis on the SSF indicating that the sample has not been examined. SSTS' results will be entered in the database and reported on the SSTS laboratory report. The results and compliance statements will be part of the marketplace compliance data.

Option 2 (intended for use by inspectors who want verification of their retrieval and identification of impurities, either because they are in training or have found the retrieval/identification to be difficult, or are having their proficiency monitored)

The inspector submits the sample which they have examined. The impurities that were found must be removed from the examined sample, placed in a well-sealed envelope, and labelled appropriately. The inspector must indicate the impurities and the quantity of seed in which they were found, either on the SSF, or on the envelope. The inspector should also state the quantity examined on the SSF and indicate that the sample submitted is the examined sample. If the inspector requests a purity analysis on the SSF, the laboratory will re-examine the submitted sample to verify that all impurities were retrieved and to verify the identification of the impurities in the envelope. The SSTS laboratory report will show the results in the "Lab Results" section of the report and the identification of the impurities in the envelope will be recorded in the "Lab Comments" section of the report. If the inspector does not request a purity analysis on the SSF, the contents of the envelope will be identified and reported in the "Lab Comments" section of the SSTS laboratory report. The compliance statement on the SSTS laboratory report will be based on the inspector's results and the results as verified by SSTS, as applicable. The compliance statement will be part of the marketplace compliance data.

Option 3 (intended for use by inspectors who are trained to conduct purity examination of the sampled crop kind)

The inspector submits a SSF but does not submit a sample. The inspector provides his purity examination information (i.e., impurities found, the quantity in which they were found, and a compliance statement) in the Comments section of the SSF. No SSTS laboratory report is issued but the sample and the compliance statement are entered in the laboratory's database and will be part of the marketplace monitoring compliance data. If the inspector submits a sample without a request for purity analysis (i.e., may request a germination or true loose smut analysis) and provides purity examination data and a compliance statement in the Comments section of the SSF, the purity result will be incorporated into the sample compliance statement. The sample compliance statement will be included as part of the marketplace compliance data.

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