APHIS Amends Import Procedures for Tomato, Pepper Seeds

  • On August 29, 2019

Effective September 8, 2019, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the entry requirements for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and pepper (Capsicum spp.) seeds imported from all countries into the United States. This Federal Order (FO) will have major impacts on U.S. seed businesses.

Under the FO, APHIS is requiring all shipments of tomato and pepper seed from all countries be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate or a re-export phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration (AD). The AD must verify that the seeds have been tested for pospiviroids of quarantine significance prior to entry into the United States or that the seeds are produced in a country in which these pospiviroids are not known to occur. As a result of this import requirement, tomato and pepper seeds are no longer eligible for importation using a small lots of seed permit. The requirement for a phytosanitary certificate with the above additional declaration applies to all tomato and pepper seed entering the United States, including small lots of seed.

ASTA has a joint working group with APHIS and continues to hold discussions with the goal of finding a mutually agreeable solution. If your company has any specific concerns and/or data about the potential impacts of this order on your business, please contact Ric Dunkle ASAP so he can communicate these issues to APHIS.