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Chapter 19:13

Seeds Act

Acts 40/1965, 53/1973 (s. 49), 39/1979, 29/1981, 11/2001, 22/2001 (s. 4)

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

  1. Short title.
  2. Appointment of registering officer.
  3. Registration of sellers of seed and seed testing laboratories.
  4. Cancellation of registration.
  5. Reasons to be given by registering officer.
  6. Appeal to Minister.
  7. Unregistered person or laboratory may not sell or test seed.
  8. Use of variety names.
  9. Requirements relating to seed sold.
  10. Savings as to sale of seed.
  11. Introduction of Seed Certification or Approval Scheme.
  12. Provisions of scheme.
  13. Appointment of inspectors and analysts.
  14. Powers of inspectors.
  15. Importation of seed.
  16. Sampling of imported seed.
  17. Requirements relating to seed exported.
  18. Publication or distribution of false advertisements concerning seed.
  19. Preservation of secrecy.
  20. Limitation of actions against State.
  21. Testing of seed and publication of results.
  22. Prohibitions on production or sale of seed.
  23. Offences and penalties.
  24. Procedure and evidence.
  25. Special defences in case of prosecutions.
  26. Acts or omissions by manager, agent or employee.

AN ACT to provide for the registration of sellers of seed and seed testing laboratories; to regulate the importation, exportation and sale of seed; to provide for the testing, certification and inspection of seed; and to provide for other matters connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 16th August, 1971.]

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Seeds Act [Chapter 19:13].

                   2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“advertisement” includes any statement, picture, design or device— (a)      published in any newspaper or public print; or

(b) contained in any handbill, circular or other matter which is distributed to members of the public through the post or brought to the notice of the public in any other manner whatsoever;

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

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

“kind” means all related species and subspecies of any plant which are known by the same common name;

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

“Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“registered” means registered in terms of this Act;

“registering officer” means the person appointed as registering officer in terms of section three;

“seed” means any seed, including seed potatoes, which the Minister has, by statutory instrument, declared to be seed for the purposes of this Act;

“seed analyst” means a person appointed a seed analyst in terms of section fourteen;

“seed inspector” means a person appointed a seed inspector in terms of section fourteen;

“sell” includes to offer, advertise, keep, expose, transmit, convey, deliver or prepare for sale or exchange or to dispose of for any consideration whatsoever or to transmit, convey or deliver in pursuance of a sale, exchange or disposal as aforesaid;

“variety” means a subdivision of any kind which can be differentiated from other subdivisions of that kind by growth, plant, fruit or other characteristics and any uniform group which is a first generation hybrid (F1) reconstituted on each occasion by crossing two or more breeding stocks maintained by inbreeding.

                   3    Appointment of registering officer

Subject to the law relating to the Public Service, the Minister shall appoint an officer in the Public Service to be styled the registering officer who shall be in charge of registering sellers of seed and seed testing laboratories.

                   4     Registration of sellers of seed and seed testing laboratories

  • Every application for registration as a seller of seed or as a seed testing laboratory shall be submitted to the registering officer in the prescribed form and shall be accompanied by the prescribed registration fee.
  • On receipt of an application for registration and any further information he may require, the registering officer may register such seller or such laboratory in a register kept for the purpose.
  • Any registration under this section may be made subject to such conditions as may be fixed by the registering officer and shall be valid for such period as may be prescribed.
  • A registration certificate in the prescribed form shall be prominently displayed on the premises of a registered seller of seed or seed testing laboratory, as the case may be.

                   5    Cancellation of registration

If the registering officer is satisfied that any conditions subject to which a seller of seed or seed testing laboratory was registered have not been complied with, the registering officer may cancel such registration.

                   6    Reasons to be given by registering officer

The registering officer shall, on written application being made within the prescribed period, supply in writing within the prescribed period reasons for his decision in every case where— (a) an application for registration has been rejected; or

  • a registration has been cancelled in terms of section five; or
  • an applicant for registration is not satisfied with the conditions subject to which he has been registered.

                   7    Appeal to Minister

Any seller of seed or seed testing laboratory—

  • whose application for registration has been rejected; or
  • whose registration has been cancelled in terms of section five; or
  • who or which, as the case may be, is not satisfied with the conditions subject to which he or it has been registered: may appeal against such rejection, cancellation or conditions, as the case may be, to the Minister whose decision shall be final.

                   8    Unregistered person or laboratory may not sell or test seed

(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall— (a) sell seed unless he is registered as a seller of seed; or

(b) test seed otherwise than in a laboratory registered as a seed testing laboratory.

  • Subsection (1) shall not apply to the sale of seed which is grown by any farmer and sold by him to a person for use as seed by such person.
  • Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level eight or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection inserted by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]

                   9    Use of variety names

(1) No person shall, unless specially authorized by the Minister—

  • add to the variety name under which any seed is sold any qualifying term or reference whatsoever;
  • sell seed of any variety under a name other than the name given to it by its discoverer or originator.

Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection inserted by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]

10 Requirements relating to seed sold

(1) No person shall sell any seed unless such seed—

  • complies with the prescribed requirements; and
  • is packed in a container which complies with the prescribed requirements:

Provided that the Minister may prescribe classes of seed which shall be exempt from this section if sold subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection inserted by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]

11 Savings as to sale of seed

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