ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
3. Controller of Seeds
REGISTRATION OF SEED IMPORTERS, SEED CLEANERS AND SEED SELLERS
5. Registration of seed importers, seed cleaners and seed sellers [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
6. Application for registration of seed importer, seed cleaner or seed seller [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
7. Registration in cases of partnership business [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
8. Inspection on application for registration [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
9. Certificate of registration [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
10. Devolution and transfer of business of registered person [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
11. Cancellation of registration [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
12. Appeal to Minister [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
13. Alteration of particulars of registration [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
14. Exemption from registration [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
15. Establishment of seed-testing stations
16. Designation of official seed-testers
17. Registers of official seed-testers and seed-testing stations
18. Prohibition against testing of prescribed seed except in seed-testing stations
19. Delivery of samples for official seed-testing
20. Reports to be in forms prescribed
21. Seed inspectors
22. Authority of seed inspectors may be general or limited
23. Powers to take samples of seed
24. Powers to search premises and seize certain goods
25. Prohibition against obstruction, etc., of seed inspectors
LICENSING OF SEED SELLERS
26. Seed seller’s licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
27. Classification of the seed seller’s licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
28. Application for seed seller’s licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
29. Refusal to issue seed seller’s licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
30. Revocation of seed seller’s licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
31. Appeal to Minister where seed seller’s licence is refused or revoked or condition is imposed on the applicant [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
32. Application for new licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
33. Power of Minister to declare seed to be prescribed seed
34. Treating and cleaning of prescribed seed
35. Duties of seller on sale of prescribed seed
36. Disposal of sub-standard prescribed seed
IMPORT AND EXPORT OF SEED
37. Restriction on importation and exportation of certain seed [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
38. Seed importers to be registered [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
39. Conditions for importation of prescribed seed
40. Testing of imported prescribed seed
41. Importation of trade samples
42. Court may order forfeiture and disposal of illicit prescribed seed
CERTIFICATION OF SEED AND PRODUCTION OF SEED FOR CERTIFICATION
43. Certification of seed
44. Variety of certified seed
45. Registration of seed producers
46. Register of seed producers
47. Cancellation of registration of registered seed producer [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
48. Reasons for refusal to register or for cancellation [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
49. Appeal to Minister by seed producers [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
50. Certification of seed by the Controller of Seeds
51. Certified seed of Malawi to be produced from approved seed
52. Certificate to be produced on sale of Malawi Certified Seed
53. Certification of imported seed as Imported Certified Seed
54. Duties of seller on sale of certified seed in sealed containers
55. Prohibition respecting sale of uncertified seed
56. Prohibition against sale of certified seed without being in possession of appropriate certificate
OFFENCES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
57. Failure to comply with Act or regulations
58. Prohibition against tampering with samples
59. Prohibition against altering, defacing or removing official records, etc.
60. Prohibition against altering, etc., documents and marks
62. Prohibition against sale of prescribed seed without seed seller’s licence [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
63. Prohibition against sale of untested seed
64. Prohibition against sale of sub-standard prescribed seed
65. Prohibition against sale of prescribed seed under name other than varietal name
67. Inspection of registers
68. When Act not applicable to sale of prescribed seed
69. Exemptions from the provisions of this Act
70. Ministers decision upon appeal to be final [Repealed by 9 of 1996]
5 of 1988
9 of 1996
An Act to provide for the regulation and control of the production, sale, importation and exportation of seed for sowing, and for the testing and minimum standards of germination and purity thereof, and further to provide for the certification of seed and for matters incidental to or connected therewith
[13TH JANUARY 1997]
This Act may be cited as the Seed Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“advertisement” includes any statement, picture, design or device—
(a) published in any newspaper or other publication in general circulation to the public; 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;
“certified seed” means any prescribed seed which is certified under the provisions of Part IX;
“container” includes a bag, barrel, case, tin, package or any other container in which seed is placed or packed;
“contract of sale” includes an agreement to sell;
“Controller of Seeds” means the officer in the public service designated as such under the provisions of section 3;
“Imported Certified Seed” means any prescribed seed certified in the country of its origin imported by a registered seed importer and certified as Imported Certified Seed under the provisions of Part IX;
“label” includes any legend, work, mark, symbol or design applied or attached to, or accompanying, any seed or package of seed;
“licensed seed seller” means any seed seller licensed under Part VI;
“Malawi certified seed” means any prescribed seed produced in Malawi and certified as such under the provisions of Part IX;
“official seed-tester” means any public officer designated as an official seed-tester under Part IV;
“owner”, in relation to any seed, includes any person having for the time being the possession, custody or control thereof;
“prescribed seed” means any seed declared as such by an order made under section 33;
“purity” means analytical purity expressed as a percentage by weight;
“seed” means the part of any plant, customarily referred to as seed, intended for planting and includes seed potatoes;
“seed cleaner” means any person engaged in the trade or business of removing impurities from seed;
“seed cleaning plant” includes any premises used for the removal of impurities from seed;
“seed importer” means any person who, either exclusively or in conjunction with any other trade or business, imports seed into Malawi for resale;
“seed inspector” means any person designated as seed inspector under section 21;
“seed producer” means any person who, either exclusively or in conjunction with any other trade or business, produces seed for sale;
“seed seller” means any person who, either exclusively or in conjunction with any other trade or business, sells seed for sowing;
“seed-testing station” means any premises, suitably equipped for the purpose, where seed is tested for its purity and germination capacity;
“sell” includes to exchange or barter or to offer, advertise, keep, expose, transmit, convey or deliver for or in pursuance of a sale, exchange or barter;
“special variety” means any variety of prescribed seed which has been specified by the Minister pursuant to section 44 for the purposes of Part IX;
“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 reconstituted on each occasion by crossing two or more breeding stocks maintained by inbreeding.
(1) There shall be a Controller of Seeds for the purposes of this Act, who shall be an officer in the public service, and who, subject to the general and special directions of the Minister, shall be responsible for the administration of this Act.
(2) The Controller of Seeds may, subject to the general or special directions of the Minister, delegate any of his powers or functions under this Act to any officer in the public service.
The Controller of Seeds shall keep and maintain all registers prescribed or required under this Act, each of which shall contain such particulars as are prescribed in respect of such register.
REGISTRATION OF SEED IMPORTERS, SEED CLEANERS AND SEED SELLERS
[Repealed by 9 of 1996]
The Minister may establish and maintain, or designate one or more seed testing stations in Malawi.
Upon the establishment or designation of a seed testing station, and from time to time thereafter as occasion may require, the Minister shall, by notice published in the Gazette, designate an official seed tester or official seed testers, as the case may be, for each such seed testing station.
The Controller of Seeds shall keep and maintain the following registers—
(a) a register of official seed testers, which shall contain—
(i) the name and address of each official seed tester appointed under this Act;
(ii) such other particulars as may be prescribed;
(b) a register of seed testing stations, which stations shall contain—
(i) the name and address of each seed testing station established under this Act; and
(ii) such other particulars as may be prescribed.
(1) Any person who, in any place which is not a seed testing station, tests or purports to test for the purposes of this Act any prescribed seed shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) Upon the conviction of any person of an offence under subsection (1), the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, declare any machinery, equipment and chemicals and any prescribed seed found in the place concerned to be forfeited or order them to be destroyed without compensation.
(1) Any person who has produced or acquired any prescribed seed which has not been tested may take a sample of the seed to a seed testing station together with a statement in writing specifying such particulars as may be prescribed.
(2) The delivery of a sample of prescribed seed pursuant to subsection (1) shall be subject to payment of such fee as may be prescribed.
(3) Upon receipt at the seed testing station of any sample taken pursuant to subsection (1), the official seed tester shall test the sample in the manner prescribed and shall furnish to the person who sought the test a report there of setting out the date upon which the test was made, the findings resultant thereon and such other particulars as may appear to the official seed tester necessary for, or relevant to, the report.
Any reports, certificates or other documents issued or furnished by a seed testing station for the purposes of this Act shall be in the forms prescribed.
(1) There shall be seed inspectors licensed as such by the Minister for the purposes of this Act
(2) An application for a licence as a seed inspector shall be made to the Minister in the prescribed form, and shall be accompanied with the prescribed fees.
(3) The Minister shall cause a certificate of authority to be issued to each seed inspector.
(4) A seed inspector shall produce for inspection his certificate of authority upon the demand of any person affected by the exercise by him of any of his powers under this Act.
The authority of a seed inspector issued under section 21 may be—
(a) general, whereby the seed inspector shall be empowered to exercise all the powers of a seed inspector anywhere in Malawi; or
(b) limited, either—
(i) as to the specific powers exercisable by the seed inspector; or
(ii) as to the place or district in which such powers are exercisable by the seed inspector.
A seed inspector may take samples of any seed for any of the following purposes—
(a) for test or examination to determine whether the seed is prescribed seed or restricted seed; or
(b) for test to determine whether if the seed is prescribed seed it conforms to the standards of purity and germination prescribed therefor under this Act; or
(c) for such other purposes as may be deemed necessary by the seed inspector in relation to the exercise of his powers under this Act.
(1) A seed inspector may, for any of the purposes of this Act, and at all reasonable times, enter upon any land, building, premises or vehicle at or in which he has reasonable cause to believe that any prescribed seed or restricted seed is being stored, sold or transported for sale in contravention of this Act, or is being packed in packages or other containers which are marked or labelled, or are being marked or labelled, with any description, mark or date in contravention of this Act, and may, without liability for any payment to any person whosoever, take samples of the seed found therein and the owner of the land, building, premises or vehicle, or his agent or the person in custody or control thereof shall on demand furnish to the seed inspector a statement in writing containing such particulars with respect to the seed as may be required by the seed inspector who, further, may seize and remove therefrom and detain any prescribed seed or restricted seed or any package or container or any label, stamp or device for marking, stamping or labelling, or any book, record or document found therein, which would afford evidence of a contravention of this Act.
(2) Every seed inspector shall, on demand by the owner, or the person having custody of such land, building, premises, plant or vehicle, produce his authority to enter upon such land, building, premises, plant or vehicle.
(3) Any seed inspector who has seized and detained any item or thing pursuant to the authority under subsection (1), shall give to the person from whom such item or thing was seized a receipt for the seizure and detention thereof signed by such seed inspector.
(4) Any prosecution for an offence arising from the findings of an inspection conducted under subsection (1) shall be instituted only with the consent of the Chief Public Prosecutor; and in the event of the Controller of Seeds being advised in writing by the Chief Public Prosecutor that no prosecution should be instituted, then any item or thing seized in the course of the inspection shall be returned to the owner thereof or to the person from whose custody it was taken within ten days from the date of the receipt by the Controller of Seeds of such advice.
Any person who—
(a) obstructs or impedes a seed inspector in the due exercise of his powers under this Act; or
(b) refuses to furnish to a seed inspector, on request, any particulars or information to which the seed inspector is entitled under this Act; or
(c) wilfully or recklessly gives to a seed inspector or an authorized officer any false or misleading particulars or information with respect to any fact or matter to which the seed inspector is entitled under this Act,
shall be guilty of an offence.
LICENSING OF SEED SELLERS
[Repealed by 9 of 1996].
The Minister may from time to time, by order published in the Gazette, declare any seed to be a prescribed seed, and for each kind specify minimum standards of germination and other characteristics of seed quality.
(1) If, upon test made under Part IV, it is found and reported by an official seed tester that any prescribed seed does not conform to the prescribed standards of germination or purity, the owner thereof shall forthwith arrange for the prescribed seed to be treated or cleaned.
(2) Where any prescribed seed has been treated or cleaned pursuant to subsection (1), the owner may request a seed inspector to take, and the seed inspector thereupon shall take, a further sample thereof as required under this Act, which sample shall be sent by the seed inspector to a seed testing station for further test, and the owner may, as often as he so desires, cause further treatments or cleanings of such prescribed seed to be effected and further tests to be made in like manner until such time as the prescribed seed is found and reported by the official seed tester to conform to the standards of germination and purity prescribed therefor.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any person who sells, for sowing, any prescribed seed which has been tested in accordance with the provisions of this Act and found to conform to the standards prescribed shall—
(a) if the prescribed seed is sold in sealed containers, cause to be printed or stamped upon each such container or upon a label attached thereto or enclosed therein in such a way as to be legible without opening the container, in clear and legible letters and figures—
(i) the words “tested seed”;
(ii) the date upon which the prescribed seed was tested; and
(iii) such other particulars as may be prescribed;
(b) if the prescribed seed is sold in bulk quantities—
(i) and the seller is the person who caused the test to be made, furnish to the buyer at the time of sale a statement in writing containing the name and address of the seed testing station where the test was made, the date of the test, and a declaration by the seller that the bulk quantity sold by him is all or part of that from which the sample tested was taken, together with such other particulars as may be prescribed;
(ii) and the seller is not the person who caused the test to be made, furnish to the buyer at the time of sale a copy of the statement furnished, under the provisions of subparagraph (i), by the person who caused such test to be made, and shall endorse thereon a declaration that the bulk quantity sold by him is all or a part of that to which such statement was related at the time he procured the prescribed seed.
(2) Any person who fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) The validity of a contract for the sale of prescribed seed, or the right to enforce such a contract, shall not be affected by non-compliance with this section.
(4) For the purposes of this section—
(a) the expression “in bulk quantities” includes any quantity of seed, but does not include seed which is packed and sold in sealed containers;
(b) the word “sale” includes “gift”.
Subject to the provisions of section 34, if a sample of any prescribed seed is, upon test, found and reported by an official seed tester not to conform to the standards of germination and purity prescribed for such prescribed seed, the Controller of Seeds may—
(a) if such prescribed seed has been seized and detained in accordance with the provisions of this Act—
(i) subject to such conditions as to its sale and use as he may impose, direct its return either to the owner thereof or to the person from whose custody or control it was taken and in so directing the Controller of Seeds may impose such conditions as to its sale or use as he may consider necessary; or
(ii) order it to be destroyed without payment of compensation to the owner if, upon reasonable grounds, he is satisfied that it is in a state dangerous to public health or injurious to animals or plants;
(b) if the prescribed seed has not been seized or detained in accordance with the provisions of this Act—
(i) permit the owner thereof to retain the prescribed seed subject to such conditions as to its sale or use as the Controller of Seeds may impose;
(ii) order it to be destroyed at the premises where located or to be seized by the Controller of Seeds and destroyed, in either case without payment of compensation to the owner, if, upon reasonable grounds, he is satisfied that it is in a state dangerous to public health or injurious to animals or plants.
IMPORT AND EXPORT OF SEED
[Repealed by 9 of 1996]
(1) No seed importer shall import any prescribed seed into Malawi unless—
(a) such seed is not restricted seed;
(b) such seed conforms to the standards of germination and purity and other requirements prescribed therefor;
(c) if such seed is packed in a container, such container complies with the provisions of section 35 as to the manner of labelling;
(d) the genus, species and variety of such seed, and the country of its origin, is shown on an invoice or delivery note accompanying such seed at the time of its importation.
(2) The Minister may exempt any seed importer, or any particular species, variety or class of prescribed seed, from subsection (1) and such exemption may be subject to such conditions as the Minister may, in his discretion, impose.
(3) A person who fails to comply with subsection (1) or with any condition imposed by the Minister under subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence.
(1) Upon importation into Malawi of any prescribed seed, the seed importer to whom the prescribed seed is consigned shall, within seven days of its delivery to him, cause a sample thereof to be taken in the manner prescribed and sent for test to a seed testing station.
(2) No person shall sell or otherwise dispose of imported prescribed seed prior to the receipt, by the seed importer who imported such prescribed seed, of a report on the test of the sample thereof from the seed testing station confirming that the imported prescribed seed conforms to the prescribed standards of germination and purity.
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