Oregon Import Seed Quarantine Program

Oregon Import Seed Quarantine Program

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP), along with USDA APHIS want to discontinue this program that allows Oregon dealers to unload shipments and have ODA sample import seed at a certified warehouse. The change would mean that all shipments would be unloaded and tested at the “first port of entry.”

A meeting was held on May 2 that included representatives from ODA, USDA APHIS, CPB and OSA. Nearly all Oregon dealers that use this program attended that meeting to learn why CPB wanted to discontinue the program, and to volunteer their many questions and concerns. Participants have since compiled and sent additional questions to the OSA office, who moved them up the chain of command to ODA, then CBP and USDA APHIS.

During these discussions, we have also been working with ASTA who has been busy working on our behalf with the parties involved in Washington D.C. ASTA set up a meeting with Oregon’s Congressman Kurt Shrader’s office on May 9, at which time they hand-delivered a letter from OSA about the issue.

We will have another meeting in early June to get answers to our questions. We will keep you informed of changes as they come about.

Background:

  • Implemented 15+ years ago to address inefficiencies and costs to Oregon seed importers
  • Established an MOU between ODA, USDA APHIS PPQ, and US Customs and Border Protection
  • Enabled inspections of enterable seed at locations outside the port of arrival – in approved warehouses that are inspected bi-annually by CBP Seattle
  • Opening of containers and seed sampling is done by ODA and inspected by USDA APHIS PPQ

Proposed Updates:

  • Align program with current agricultural quarantine policy – return inspections of seed imports to the first port of arrival
  • CBP can no longer incur the expense and added work of this program
  • Oregon seed imports can no longer be given special treatment

Requested feedback:

  • Impact of discontinuing this program on Oregon seed importers and national seed trade
  • Input to inform a transition process that will decrease negative impacts to seed trade