Check All Seed Import Parcels, Warns Customs

[Customs Public Notice No. 117/2020 dated 03.09.2020]

DIN No: 20200979OA00002E8AD9

Subject: Advisory on Threat of Unsolicited/ Mystery Seed Parcels from unknown sources.

Attention of all importers, exporters, Customs Brokers and all other stakeholders is invited to Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare Advisory issued vide F. No. 18-10/202-PP.I1 dtd. 11.08.2020 on the above mentioned subject.

2. It has come to the notice of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Fanners Welfare that threat of unsolicited / suspicious seed parcels with mislabelled packages from unknown sources was reported in many countries like US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Japan and some European countries. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) termed it as 'brushing scam' and 'agricultural smuggling' and also reported that unsolicited seed parcels may contain seeds of an alien invasive species or an attempt to introduce pathogens or diseases that may pose serious threat to environment, agriculture ecosystem and bio-security.

3. It is pertinent to note that plants and plant products including seeds are regulated for import into India as per the provisions of Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003and issued under the Destructive Insects & Pests (DIP) Act, 1914.

4. In view of above, it is advised that utmost vigilance may be exercised for which, no parcel of any seed shall be released without proper and thorough inspection as per Plant Quarantine Order, 2003, to prevent the entry of any new pests and diseases into the country. The unsolicited seed parcels can be a threat to bio-security of our country, even in very small quantities. In this context, special emphasis may be given on such parcels that may be arriving through courier or postal services.

8. This Public Notice should be considered as Standing Order for the purpose of officers and staff of department and should be strictly complied with.

9. Difficulties, if any, may be brought to the notice of Additional Commissioner of Customs, (Import), ACC, Mumbai.

F. No. S/3-MISC-PRO-05/2020-21/ACC(I)