Government Agencies and Regulations: Resources for Organic Seed Producers

eOrganic authors:

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance

Linda Brewer, Oregon State University

This is an Organic Seed Resource Guide article.

International Regulations

  • National Seed Health System.    
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    United States Dept. of Agriculture.
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
    The National Seed Health System provides specific standards for laboratory seed health tests and seed crop field inspections that may be used for the issuance of a phytosanitary certificate to meet international regulations regarding export of seed from the United States.
    Phone: 301-734-8537
  • EXCERPT database
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    Center for Environmental and Regulatory Information Systems (CERIS)
    The Export Certification Project (EXCERPT) database contains information on more than 250 countries needed for the preparation of phytosanitary certificates accompanying plants exported from the United States. Full search access to the EXCERPT database is by annual subscription.
    1435 Win Hentschel Blvd, Suite 207
    West Lafayette, IN 47906-4154
    Phone: 765-494-6616
    Fax: 765-494-9727

Federal Regulations

  • Seed Regulatory and Testing Service
    Link: (verified 2 Apr 2010)
    Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture 
    The Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch enforces interstate commerce provisions of the Federal Seed Act and provides seed testing service under the Agricultural Marketing Act.
    The Federal Seed Act:

  1. regulates the interstate shipment of agricultural and vegetable seeds
  2. requires that seed shipped in interstate commerce be labeled with information that allows seed buyers to make informed choices
  3. requires that seed labeling information and advertisements pertaining to the seed must be truthful
  4. helps promote uniformity among State laws and fair competition within the seed trade
    Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch
    801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C
    Gastonia, North Carolina 28054-2193
    Phone: 704-810-8871

State Regulations


  • Oregon Seed Law. Chapter 633. Grades, Standards and Labels for Feeds, Soil Enhancers and Seeds. 2011 Edition.
    Link: (verified 12 Mar 2014).
  • Oregon Seed Rule.  Oregon Department of Agriculture.
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009).
  • Noxious Weed Control Program. Plant Division, Oregon Department of Agriculture.  
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    The program operates to fulfill part of the Department's mission to protect Oregon's agricultural industry and natural resources by preventing and limiting the spread and impact of invasive exotic plant species (noxious weeds) which displace and compete with native and desirable domestic plant species.
    635 Capitol Street NE
    Salem, OR 97301-253
    Phone: 503-986-4621


  • Noxious Weed Control Board, Washington State Department of Agriculture 
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    Our mission is to serve as responsible stewards of Washington by protecting and preserving the land and resources from the damaging effects of noxious weeds.
    P.O. Box 42560
    Olympia, WA 98504-2560

    Phone: 360-902-2053


  • California Seed Law and Seed Inspection Regulations.  
    Link: (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services.
    Pest Exclusion Branch. Nursery, Seed and Cotton Program.
    1220 N Street, Room A-372
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Phone: 916-654-0312


Published January 17, 2009

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.