Law:Seeds Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. S-8

An Act respecting the testing, inspection, quality and sale of seeds


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Seeds Act.

R.S., c. S-7, s. 1.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. In this Act,

“analyst”

« analyste »

“analyst” means a person designated as an analyst pursuant to section 5;

“grade”

« catégorie »

“grade”, in respect of seed consisting of seed potatoes, includes any class thereof;

“grade name”

« dénomination de catégorie »

“grade name” includes any mark, description or designation of a grade;

“inspector”

« inspecteur »

“inspector” means a person designated as an inspector pursuant to section 5;

“label”

« étiquette »

“label” includes any legend, word, mark, symbol or design applied or attached to, included in, belonging to or accompanying any seed or package;

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food;

“package”

« emballage »

“package” includes a sack, bag, barrel, case or any other container in which seed is placed or packed;

“penalty”

« sanction »

“penalty” means an administrative monetary penalty imposed under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act for a violation;

“place”

« lieu »

“place” includes any vehicle, vessel, railway car or aircraft;

“prescribed”

Version anglaise seulement“prescribed” means prescribed by regulation;

“seed”

« semences »

“seed” means any plant part of any species belonging to the plant kingdom, reresented, sold or used to grow a plant;

“sell”

« vente »

“sell” includes agree to sell, or offer, keep, expose, transmit, send, convey or deliver for sale, or agree to exchange or to dispose of to any person in any manner for a consideration.

“Tribunal”

« Commission »

“Tribunal” means the Review Tribunal continued by subsection 4.1(1) of the Canada Agricultural Products Act;

“violation”

« violation »

“violation” means any contravention of this Act or the regulations that may be proceeded with in accordance with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 2; R.S., 1985, c. 49 (1st Supp.), s. 2; 1994, c. 38, s. 25; 1995, c. 40, s. 86; 1997, c. 6, s. 87.


Prohibitions

Seed not conforming to standard, etc.

3. (1) Except as provided by the regulations, no person shall

(a) sell, import into Canada or export from Canada any seed unless the seed conforms to the prescribed standard and is marked and packed and the package labelled as prescribed; or

(b) sell or advertise for sale in Canada or import into Canada seed of a variety that is not registered in the prescribed manner.

Grade name resembling other grade name

(2) No person shall

(a) sell, import into Canada or export from Canada seed under a grade name or designation so closely resembling a grade name established under subsection 4(1) as to be likely to be mistaken therefor; or

(b) apply to seed or to a package containing seed a grade name or other designation so closely resembling a grade name established under subsection 4(1) as to be likely to be mistaken therefor.

Exception

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the seed meets the requirements prescribed for the grade, has been graded and inspected as required by the regulations and is marked and packed and the package labelled in the prescribed manner.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 3; R.S., 1985, c. 49 (1st Supp.), s. 3.


Regulations

Regulations

4. (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) establishing grades with appropriate grade names for seeds;

(a.1) providing, with respect to grades requiring varietal purity, for the determination of varietal purity of seeds and, in particular, for any such determination to be made by the Canadian Seed Growers' Association and any standards established by that Association to be used;

(b) prescribing the terms and conditions under which and the manner in which seed crops may be inspected or seeds may be graded or tested;

(c) prescribing the minimum standards of purity, germination, quality and disease for seeds;

(d) respecting the packing and marking of seeds and the marking and labelling of packages of seeds;

(e) prescribing the terms and conditions under which variety names of seeds may be used;

(f) exempting any seed or any person from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Act;

(g) respecting the taking of samples and the testing of seeds for the purposes of this Act;

(h) respecting the fees that may be charged for any services provided under this Act;

(h.1) prescribing information that shall be given, and prohibiting or restricting the use of variety names, in labelling or advertising seeds for sale or making, in prescribed circumstances, offers of seeds for sale;

(h.2) respecting the registration of varieties of seeds and the amendment of the register of such varieties;

(h.3) specifying terms and conditions to which registration referred to in paragraph (h.2) shall be subject, including any limitation respecting the duration of any such registration or restricting any effect thereof to a region specified in the regulations;

(h.4) prescribing the procedure for review of cases involving the refusal, suspension or cancellation of any registration referred to in paragraph (h.2);

(h.5) determining the cases in which and the conditions, including provision of a bond or suretyship, under which seeds shall, for the purposes of this Act, be transported and stored on importation;

(i) respecting the detention, preservation and safeguarding of anything seized under section 8;

(i.1) providing for any reasonable costs incidental to any seizure under this section, and to the detention of the thing seized, to be payable by and recoverable from the person entitled to possession thereof at the time of the seizure;

(j) respecting the disposition of anything forfeited under section 8;

(k) prescribing anything else that by this Act is required to be prescribed; and

(l) generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

Minister to determine weeds

(2) The Minister may, by order, determine the species of plants the seeds of which the Minister deems are weed seeds for the purpose of establishing grades under this Act.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 4; R.S., 1985, c. 49 (1st Supp.), s. 4; 1994, c. 26, s. 65(F); 2001, c. 4, s. 117.

Certificates

4.1 The Minister shall, for the purposes of subparagraph 46(b.1)(iii) of the Canadian Wheat Board Act, issue certificates certifying that the applicable provisions of this Act and the regulations have been complied with in respect of seeds imported into Canada.

1988, c. 65, s. 144.


Enforcement

Designation of inspectors

5. (1) The President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency may designate inspectors and analysts under section 13 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act for the purposes of this Act.

Designation

(1.1) The President of the Canada Border Services Agency may designate inspectors under paragraph 9(2)(b) of the Canada Border Services Agency Act for the purposes of enforcing this Act.

Certificate to be produced

(2) Inspectors shall be given certificates in a form established by the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or the President of the Canada Border Services Agency, as the case may be, attesting to their designation and, on entering any place under subsection 6(1), an inspector shall show the certificate to the person in charge of the place if the person requests proof of the inspector’s designation.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 5; 1997, c. 6, s. 88; 2005, c. 38, s. 131.

Previous VersionPowers of inspectors

6. (1) Subject to subsection (1.1), an inspector may at any reasonable time

(a) enter any place in which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds there is any seed to which this Act applies;

(b) open any package found in that place that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds contains any such seed;

(c) examine the seed and take samples thereof; and

(d) require any person to produce for inspection or for the purpose of obtaining copies or extracts any books, shipping bills, bills of lading or other documents or papers with respect to the administration of this Act or the regulations.

Warrant required to enter dwelling-house

(1.1) Where any place referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is a dwelling-house, an inspector may not enter that dwelling-house without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection (1.2).

Authority to issue warrant

(1.2) Where on ex parte application a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath

(a) that the conditions for entry described in paragraph (1)(a) exist in relation to a dwelling-house,

(b) that entry to the dwelling-house is necessary for any purpose relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act, and

(c) that entry to the dwelling-house has been refused or that there are reasonable grounds for believing that entry thereto will be refused,

the justice of the peace may issue a warrant under his hand authorizing the inspector named therein to enter that dwelling-house subject to such conditions as may be specified in the warrant.

Use of force

(1.3) In executing a warrant issued under subsection (1.2), the inspector named therein shall not use force unless the inspector is accompanied by a peace officer and the use of force has been specifically authorized in the warrant.

Assistance to inspectors

(2) The owner or person in charge of any place described in subsection (1) and every person found in that place shall give an inspector all reasonable assistance to enable the inspector to carry out his duties and functions under this Act and shall furnish the inspector with any information he may reasonably require with respect to the administration of this Act and the regulations.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 6; R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 21.

Obstruction of inspectors

7. (1) No person shall obstruct or hinder an inspector in the carrying out of his duties or functions under this Act.

False statements

(2) No person shall make a false or misleading statement either orally or in writing to an inspector or other officer engaged in carrying out his duties or functions under this Act.

R.S., c. S-7, s. 8.

Seizure

8. (1) Where an inspector believes on reasonable grounds that this Act or the regulations have been contravened, the inspector may seize the seed or package by means of or in relation to which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds the contravention was committed.

Detention

(2) Any seed or package seized pursuant to subsection (1) shall not be detained after

(a) the provisions of this Act and the regulations have, in the opinion of the inspector, been complied with, or

(b) the expiration of six months after the day of the seizure,

unless before that time proceedings have been instituted in respect of the contravention, in which event the seed or package may be detained until the proceedings are finally concluded.

Forfeiture

(3) Where the Tribunal decides that a person has committed a violation, or a person is convicted of an offence under this Act, the Tribunal or the convicting court, as the case may be, may, in addition to any penalty or punishment imposed, order that any seed or package by means of or in relation to which the violation or offence was committed be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 8; 1995, c. 40, s. 87.


Offences And Punishment

Contravention of Act or regulations

9. (1) Every person who, or whose employee or agent, contravenes any provision of this Act or any regulation made under paragraph 4(1)(e) or (h.1) is guilty of

(a) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both; or

(b) an indictable offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

Contravention of other regulations

(2) Every person who, or whose employee or agent, contravenes or fails to comply with any regulation, other than a regulation made under paragraph 4(1)(e) or (h.1), is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Imprisonment precluded in certain cases

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (2), imprisonment shall not be imposed in default of payment of the fine imposed as punishment.

Recovery of fines

(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (2) and a fine imposed as punishment is not paid when required, the prosecutor may, by filing the conviction, enter as a judgment the amount of the fine and costs, if any, in the superior court of the province in which the trial was held, and the judgment is enforceable against the person in the same manner as if it were a judgment rendered against the person in that court in civil proceedings.

Offence by agent or by employee

(5) In a prosecution for an offence under this Act, it is sufficient proof of the offence to establish that it was committed by an employee or agent of the accused, whether or not the employee or agent is identified or has been prosecuted for the offence, unless the accused establishes that the offence was committed without his knowledge or consent and that the accused exercised all due diligence to prevent its commission.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 9; R.S., 1985, c. 49 (1st Supp.), s. 5; 1995, c. 40, s. 88.

Limitation period

10. (1) Proceedings by way of summary conviction in respect of an offence under this Act may be instituted

(a) in the case of an offence that is a misrepresentation of the variety name or purity of variety of a seed, within three years after the time the subject-matter of the prosecution becomes known to the Minister; or

(b) in the case of any other offence, within two years from the time when the subject-matter of the prosecution becomes known to the Minister.

Minister’s certificate

(2) A document purporting to have been issued by the Minister, certifying the day on which the subject-matter of any prosecution became known to the Minister, is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the document and is evidence of the matters asserted in it.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 10; R.S., 1985, c. 49 (1st Supp.), s. 6; 1997, c. 6, s. 89.

Certificate of analyst

11. (1) A certificate of an analyst stating that the analyst has examined a substance or a sample submitted to the analyst by an inspector and stating the result of the examination is, in any proceedings for a violation, or for an offence under this Act, evidence of the statement contained in the certificate.

Admissibility

(2) In any proceedings for a violation, or for an offence under this Act, a document purporting to be the certificate of an analyst shall be received in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person by whom it purports to be signed.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 11; R.S., 1985, c. 49 (1st Supp.), s. 7; 1995, c. 40, s. 89.

Venue

12. A complaint or information in respect of an offence under this Act may be heard, tried or determined by a provincial court judge or a justice if the accused is resident or carrying on business within the territorial jurisdiction of the provincial court judge or justice, although the matter of the complaint or information did not arise in that territorial jurisdiction.

R.S., 1985, c. S-8, s. 12; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.


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