Import of Seeds in Brazil
Aug. 9, 2018
- Dr. Paulo Campante
Executive Superintendent, Brazilian Seed Association (ABRASEM)
Although the Plant Health Protection regulation is quite old, the regulatory framework on the movement of seeds in Brazil is relatively new and begins after Brazil join the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the 1990s, upon entry into the WTO, Brazil triggered a series of changes and adaptations in national legislation involving several links in the chain such as public and private research, the seed industry, trade, as well as public agencies in charge of implementing policies of the sector.
In the seeds sector several laws were updated, mainly in intellectual property, plant health, import and export, and standards related to seed production. When we analyze the phytosanitary regulation during this period it is possible to observe the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) publishing and repealing many laws and regulations trying organizing the movement of seeds and seedling in Brazil.
In 1996, in order to prevent the entry of pests into the country, Ordinance No. 641 was published, in which Brazil adopted the Directives for the Analysis of Pest Risk, COSAVE Standards. Just one year later, fearing the risk of shortages, the MAPA had to allow the importation, on an emergency basis, of the products that had previous importation approved in the country. By 2002, MAPA published Normative Instruction No. 60, which establishes that vegetable products traditionally imported from a specific origin, which do not have specific regulated phytosanitary requirements, may continue to be imported, while PRA has being developing. By that time, the standard also brought a list of vegetable products considered as "traditionally imported".
According to the norms, all plant propagation material should be considered as seed. In addition, by the rules, all kind of seed, no matter the quantities, just should be imported after be approved by the MAPA. According with Brazilian regulations, the importation of seeds is subject to the publication of the specific phytosanitary requirements established by means of Pest Risk Analysis - PRA.
In 2005, MAPA published Normative Instruction nº 06 internalizing in Brazil the guidelines of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regarding the use of PRA as an instrument for the establishment of phytosanitary requirements for the importation of plant products and their parts. The normative also establishes the Authorized Import Plant Products list or also called “PVIA list”. The list contained products that had at least one consignment imported during the period from 12 August 1997 to 16 May 2005, of the same origin, proposed use, and which did not present any quarantine pest interception Brazil.
One year later MAPA published the normative instruction nº 50, which establishes the rules for import and export of commercial seeds. The regulations were recently amended by Normative Instruction nº 25/2017 after a year of joint work between MAPA and the private sector through the Brazilian Association of Seeds (ABRASEM).
In 2010, in an attempt to open the market to new origins and streamline the flow of imports, MAPA published Normative Instruction nº. 36 authorizing the importation of more than 210 products and origins. The publication, however, was too abroad and did not comply with Brazilian and international regulations on the establishment of phytosanitary requirements. The publication was questioned by several countries that considered the new legislation as an unjustified barrier to trade and this situation just was solved in 2015, with the creation of a working group between the ABRASEM and members of the government to work on a new regulation that followed the principles of IN 06/2005. Finally, in 2015, Normative Instruction 16 was published with the phytosanitary requirements for the importation of seeds, from different species and countries and this problem was solved.
To facilitate understanding, we can say that there are four ways to import seeds in Brazil and the rules for each of them can vary according to the proposed use of the material. Importation of commercial seeds (regulated by Normative Instruction No. 25/2017), Import of seeds for VCU (regulated by Normative Instruction No. 25/2017), Re-export (regulated by Normative Instruction No. 25/2017) and import of seeds for research (regulated by Normative Instruction No. 52/ 2016). All the modalities foresee the prior authorization of the MAPA, which must be obtained before the material is internalized in the country. However, the similarities end there.
For commercial seeds the species and the origin must be included in the PVIA and samples are collected for phytosanitary and quality verification, if applicable. In the case of seeds destined for research, the species and the origin do not need to be included in the PVIA and there is no sample collection at the entrance.
For commercial seeds, VCU and re-export the released cargo goes to the destination designated by the importer, where it remains as depository until the issuance of the phytosanitary reports and the approval of the depositary's term (approximately 15 days for the release). In this case, the term for the authorization of boarding in the License of import is of 10 days and the validity of the authorization is of 120 days.
In imports by the Normative Instruction Nº. 25/2017, the Phytosanitary Certificate (issued by the National Phytosanitary Protection Organization - ONPF of the exporting country) must comply with the phytosanitary requirements indicated in the technical report inserted by the MAPA in the Import License (LI) issued through the System Integrated Foreign Trade - SISCOMEX.
In accordance with the legislation in force to obtain authorization to import research material, it is necessary that the interested company provides for the application in the form of Annex I of IN 52/2016 and that there is a Letter of Acceptance from the Quarantine Station. for the import.
For research seeds, the released cargo goes to a quarantine station officially accredited by the MAPA until the conclusion of the quarantine and the deadline to issue the boarding permit from 30 to 45 days. The validity of the authorization is two years (24 months). All shipments through the courier service of Normative Instruction Nº. 52/2016, by determination of the MAP, must be moored. This implies that they must undergo the same procedures as commercial charges. The final material must be destroyed or used for the formation of germplasm banks.
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