USDA Update on Importation of Hemp Seeds
Today the USDA announced new rules on the importation of hemp seeds. We want to thank Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Tester (D-MT) for their efforts to find a quick solution to this problem as many in the hemp industry finalize their plans to plant for the 2019 season. They sent a letter to the Customs and Border Patrol agency urging them to update their guidance to allow for legal hemp seed imports.
Below is a notice sent out by USDA today with an update on how the new process will work.
The passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill, Section 10113) removed hemp and hemp seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) schedule of Controlled Substances. This action removed hemp and hemp seeds from DEA authority for products containing THC levels not greater than 0.3 percent. Therefore, DEA no longer has authority to require hemp seed permits for import purposes.
U.S. producers and hemp seed exporters have requested assistance from USDA to provide an avenue for hemp seed exports to the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the importation of all seeds for planting to ensure safe agricultural trade. Under this authority, USDA is providing an alternative way for the safe importation of hemp seeds into the United States.
Importation of Hemp Seed from CanadaHemp seeds can be imported into the United States from Canada if accompanied by either: 1) a phytosanitary certification from Canada’s national plant protection organization to verify the origin of the seed and confirm that no plant pests are detected; or 2) a Federal Seed Analysis Certificate (SAC, PPQ Form 925) for hemp seeds grown in Canada. 
Importation of Hemp Seed from Countries other than CanadaHemp seeds may be imported into the United States from countries other than Canada if accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country’s national plant protection organization to verify the origin of the seed and confirm that no plant pests are detected. 
Hemp seed shipments may be inspected upon arrival at the first port of entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure USDA regulations are met, including certification and freedom from plant pests.
Questions or requests for information regarding hemp can be sent to farmbill.hemp@usda.gov.More information about industrial hemp production is available at www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/farmbill-hemp.
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