H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has issued Ministerial Decision No. (800) of 2015 on the registration of seeds and fertilizers to document and regulate imported and local seed varieties.
The new resolution effectively enhances seed production to support and facilitate the trade of farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizers.
The order will also pave the way for proper registration of these products, listing down their characteristics and all other essential technical information to enable farmers to choose environmentally-safe items. This provides the government with an opportunity to use the data for efficient seed trade.
Article 1 of the resolution bans the importation of unregistered seeds and fertilizers that have yet to meet the set requirements outlined in its provisions. Farms are also required to secure an ‘agricultural activity license’ from the Ministry of Environment and Water before they can import and distribute seeds.
For registration purposes, farms should also provide a complete technical description of the product issued by manufacturers for proper classification in the state. The information includes name and address of the company, scientific name, origin of seed production, category (F1 hybrids or non-hybrid seeds), resistance and pest handling, percentage of germination, and purity and vitality.
Article 2 states that the Ministry will register the seeds and fertilizers only after the requirements of Article 1 have been fulfilled, taking into account other relevant legislations. Failure to do so will lead to rejection of the application.
The resolution also prohibits the trading of locally-produced seeds and fertilizers for commercial use unless registered at the Ministry. Manufacturers are mandated to obtain a license from the Ministry before the production and distribution of their products as well as abide by the conditions for breeding and production of seeds and fertilizers in accordance with Ministerial Resolution (99) of 1993 carrying the special regulations of Federal Law No. (42) of 1992 and its amendments.
Article 4 outlines the exemptions from the Article 1 provisions, including companies participating in exhibitions set to take place in the UAE. Participating firms can import and put on display unregistered seeds and fertilizers after meeting specific conditions. Event organizers are required to provide the Ministry with a summary of the exhibition, its objectives, duration and venue.
They are likewise obligated to ask for permission to import seeds or fertilizers, providing the Ministry with essential information such as the type and quantity of products for each participating company. Requests to release seeds and fertilizers for exhibition purposes must also be submitted for each exhibitor.
Research centers and universities are also allowed to import samples of unregistered seeds and fertilizers for scientific research purposes. The institutions must send a request for importation and permission to release the sample products to the Ministry, as well as provide a report on the results of their experiment.
Article 5 maintains that manufacturers should adhere to the requirements outlined in its provisions, which also cover the release of the consignment. A special request for the release of the consignment must be provided to the Ministry along with an inspection certificate for germination and purity.
The certificate must meet international standards and pass the procedures of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) or other institutions accredited by government authorities of the country of origin. The article also emphasizes the importance of the manufacturers’ adherence with the export and re-export requirements of the exporting countries, including an application for Phytosanitary Certificates.