Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
6/24/2019

Article 1. Seeds.

§ 3.2-4000. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires another meaning:

"Advertisement" means any representation relating to seed within the scope of this article that is not also required labeling.

"Agricultural seed" means seeds of grass, forage, cereal, and fiber crops; any other seed commonly recognized as agricultural seed; and any lawn seed, turf seed, and mixtures thereof (including any noxious-weed seeds that may be present).

"Bag" or "packet" means a container in the form of a sack or pouch.

"Blend" means a mechanical combination of varieties of the same kind that is identified by a blend designation and is always present in the same percentages in each lot so designated.

"Brand" means the name, term, design, or trademark of seed offered for sale.

"Bulk" or "in bulk" means loose seed in bins or other containers, but not bags or packets.

"Certified seed," "registered seed," or "foundation seed" means seed produced and labeled in compliance with the procedures and requirements of an official certifying agency of a state, the United States, a province of Canada, or the government of a foreign country where the seed was produced.

"Code designation" means an identification assigned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Conditioning" means any process of cleaning, scarifying, treating, or blending seed that changes the purity or germination of the seed.

"Controlled conditions" means minimum seed stock standards established by regulation.

"Cool-season lawn and turf seed" means the seed of any lawn and turf grass identified in the section of the most current Recommended Uniform State Seed Law, as established by the Association of American Seed Control Officials, pertaining to label requirements for agricultural, vegetable, and flower seeds.

"Distribute" means to import, consign, produce, mix, blend, condition, sell, offer for sale, barter, warehouse, or supply seeds in the Commonwealth.

"Dormant seed" means viable seed other than hard seed that fails to germinate when provided the specified germination conditions.

"Flower seed" means any seeds of herbaceous plants grown for their blooms, ornamental foliage, or other ornamental parts; any other seeds commonly recognized as flower seeds; and any seeds designated as flower seeds by regulations.

"Germination" means the percentage, by count, of seeds under consideration capable of producing normal seedlings in a given period of time and under conditions specified by regulations.

"Guarantor" means the person whose name appears on the label.

"Hard seed" means seeds that do not absorb moisture and germinate, thus remaining hard during the period prescribed for germination by regulations.

"Hybrid" means the first generation seed of a cross produced by controlling pollination or using sterile lines and combining: (i) two, three, or four inbred lines; (ii) one inbred line, or a single cross, with an open-pollinated variety; or (iii) two varieties or species, except open-pollinated varieties of corn.

"Inbred line" means a relatively stable and pure breeding strain resulting from: (i) four or more successive generations of controlled self-pollination; or (ii) four successive generations of backcrossing male sterile lines.

"Inert matter" means all matter not seeds and includes broken seeds, sterile florets, chaff, fungus bodies, and stones as determined by methods prescribed by regulations.

"Kind" means related species or subspecies known by a common name including wheat, oats, hairy vetch, white sweet clover, cabbage, and cauliflower.

"Labeling" means all labels, tags, and any other written, printed, or graphic statements or representations (including representations on invoices) in any form pertaining to any seed.

"Lawn and turf seed" means seeds of grasses commonly recognized and sold for lawns or other areas where turf is grown for beautification or erosion control.

"Lawn or turf seed mixture" means two or more kinds of agricultural seeds that are combined and sold for lawns or other areas where turf is grown for beautification or erosion control.

"Lot" means a definite quantity of seed that is identified by a number or other identification and is uniform throughout for the factors appearing on the label.

"Mixture" means seeds consisting of more than one kind or variety, when claimed or present, in excess of five percent of the whole.

"Name of mixture" means the name or term designating a specific lawn or turf seed mixture.

"Noxious-weed seed" means prohibited noxious-weed seeds and restricted noxious weed seeds.

"Origin" means the state, territory, foreign country, or designated portion thereof, where the seed was grown.

"Prohibited noxious-weed seed" means seeds of weeds that are highly destructive and not controllable by common practices.

"Pure seed" means agricultural or vegetable seed exclusive of inert matter and other seeds distinguishable from the kind, or kind and variety, being considered. Pure seed shall be determined by methods prescribed by regulations.

"Quantity statement" means the net weight (mass), net volume (liquid or dry), count, or other form of measurement of a commodity.

"Recognized variety name" and "recognized hybrid designation" mean the name or designation first assigned to the variety or hybrid by the person who developed and introduced it for production or sale.

"Registrant" means the person registering a lawn or turf seed mixture pursuant to this article.

"Restricted noxious-weed seed" means weed seeds that are very objectionable in fields, lawns, and gardens and are difficult to control by common practices.

"Sale" means the transfer of ownership of seed as evidenced by the exchange of payment or seed, in whole or in part.

"Screenings" means seed, inert matter, and other materials removed from agricultural seed or vegetable seed by cleaning or conditioning.

"Stop sale, use, removal, or seizure order" means an order that prohibits the distributor from selling, relocating, using, or disposing of seed until the Commissioner or the court gives written permission.

"Tolerance" means the allowable deviation from any figure used on a label to designate the percentage of any fraction or rate of occurrence in the lot and is based on the law of normal variation from a mean.

"Transgenetic" means any plant material or seed that has undergone the transfer of a gene from one genera to another.

"Treated" means seed that has received an effective application of: (i) a generally approved substance; (ii) a process designed to control or repel certain disease organisms, insects, or other pests; or (iii) any other treatment to improve its planting value.

"Tree and shrub seed" means seeds of woody plants commonly recognized as trees and shrubs and designated by regulations.

"Turf" means the same as that term is defined in § 3.2-3600.

"Variety" means a subdivision of a kind characterized by growth, plant, fruit, seed, or other characteristics that distinguish it from other plants of the same kind.

"Vegetable seed" means seeds of crops grown in gardens and on truck farms commonly recognized as vegetable seed and designated by regulations.

"Weed seed" means seeds, bulblets, or tubers of plants commonly recognized as weeds, including noxious-weed seeds.

Code 1950, § 3-219.2; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-263; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860; 2012, c. 297.

§ 3.2-4001. Authority of Board to adopt regulations.

The Board may adopt regulations:

1. Governing: (i) methods of sampling; (ii) methods of inspection; (iii) methods of testing in the laboratory and in the field; (iv) the establishment of standards; (v) the establishment of code designations; and (vi) the establishment of tolerances for agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, lawn and turf seeds, mixtures of such seeds, and screenings;

2. Providing a list of prohibited and restricted noxious-weed seeds;

3. Providing for the labeling of flower seeds by kind, variety, type, or performance characteristics as required by § 3.2-4008;

4. Providing a list of tree and shrub seeds subject to the seed purity and germination labeling requirements of subsection I of § 3.2-4008;

5. Providing for the registration of the pedigree of any hybrid;

6. Providing a list of those kinds of seed that may be sold only by variety name;

7. Establishing special labeling requirements, in addition to the requirements of § 3.2-4008, for the sale or distribution of seeds produced from transgenetic plant material;

8. Providing a list of second generation hybrids that may be sold as a hybrid;

9. Providing a list of seeds specified as lawn and turf seeds; and

10. Establishing tolerances that recognize variations between analyses, tests, label statements, and subsequent analyses to be used in enforcement.

Code 1950, §§ 3-219.8, 3-219.9:1; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, §§ 3.1-269, 3.1-271; 1994, c. 577, § 3.1-275.5; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4002. Authority of Commissioner to adopt regulations.

A. The Commissioner may, by regulation: (i) adopt the Rules for Testing Seeds established by the Association of Official Seed Analysts; (ii) amend the standards for seed; (iii) amend the prohibited noxious-weed seed list; and (iv) amend the restricted noxious-weed seed list.

B. Such regulations shall be effective upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations, who shall publish the regulations as a final regulation in the Virginia Register of Regulations with a preamble stating that the Board will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision of such regulation.

C. The Board, after giving notice in the Virginia Register of Regulations, may reconsider and revise the regulation adopted by the Commissioner. The revised regulation shall be effective upon filing with the Registrar of Regulations, who shall publish the regulation as final regulation in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Neither the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) nor public participation guidelines adopted pursuant thereto shall apply to the adoption, reconsideration, or revision of any regulation adopted pursuant to this section.

1994, c. 577, § 3.1-271.1; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4003. Powers and duties of the Commissioner.

The Commissioner may:

1. Establish and maintain seed-testing facilities;

2. Fix and collect fees for testing seeds for farmers and dealers that have requested the tests;

3. Establish and maintain facilities for the verification of kind and variety;

4. Publish the results of analyses, tests, examinations, studies, and investigations authorized by this article together with any other information he may deem advisable;

5. Cooperate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in seed law enforcement;

6. Require the registrant of any variety or hybrid offered for sale to furnish: (i) the recognized variety name or recognized hybrid designation of such variety or hybrid; (ii) a 1,000 viable seed sample of such seed; and (iii) the history of its development and the name of the person who developed such variety or hybrid and first introduced it for production and sale;

7. Require the registration annually of all fields planted for the production of hybrid seed on or before June 20 and provide for inspection of such fields; and

8. Appoint a seed advisory committee.

Code 1950, § 3-219.9; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-270; 1986, c. 615; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4004. Seed Fund; established.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Seed Fund, hereafter referred to as the "Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All fees and assessments paid pursuant to this article shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for carrying out the purpose of this article, except that the Commissioner shall deposit 50 percent of the inspection fee to the credit of the Virginia Agricultural Foundation Fund. The Virginia Agricultural Council shall administer all funds received from this section for the exclusive funding of lawn and turf research.

1994, c. 577, § 3.1-275.7; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4005. License required to market seed.

A. Any person whose name appears on the label of seed shall obtain a license from the Commissioner before distributing, selling, or offering to sell such seed in the Commonwealth. The applicant shall submit the application on a form furnished or approved by the Commissioner and shall pay a license fee of $50 at the time of application. Any person who fails to obtain a license prior to distributing, selling, or offering to sell seed shall be given a grace period of 15 working days from issuance of notification to obtain a license without penalty. Any person who fails to obtain a license by the end of the grace period shall pay a late fee of $50 in addition to the license fee amount. The assessment of this late fee shall not prohibit the Commissioner from taking further action.

B. Every license shall expire on December 31. If the holder files a renewal application on or before December 31, his license shall remain valid through January 31 or until issuance of the renewal license, whichever event first occurs.

C. The Commissioner shall refuse to issue the license to any person not in compliance with the provisions of this article, and shall revoke any license subsequently found not to be in compliance with any provision of this article.

1994, c. 577, § 3.1-275.2; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4006. Duty to maintain records.

Any person who sells, offers for sale, transports, or delivers agricultural or vegetable seed for transportation shall keep a complete record of sale, origin, germination, purity, variety, noxious weed seeds, and treatment of each lot of agricultural or vegetable seed offered for three years. The Commissioner shall have the right to inspect such records.

Code 1950, § 3-219.5; 1958, c. 483; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-266; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4007. Guaranty by seller.

A. Any person who sells seeds for producing crops shall be bound as guarantor that such seeds are true to kind and variety as represented at the time of sale. If such seeds are sold by an agent, the principal shall be bound by the representations of the agent with regard to the kind and variety of the seed.

B. Any person that sells seed for planting in a container that bears printed or written statements regarding the kind, variety, or quality of the seeds therein shall be bound as guarantor that such statement is accurate unless the seller affirmatively proves the existence of a contrary agreement between the parties.

Code 1950, § 3-219.13; 1958, c. 483; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-275; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4008. Labeling and advertising requirements.

A. All seed sold, offered for sale, transported, or advertised for planting purposes and all screenings shall bear or have attached in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label in the English language that provides the following information without further modification or denial in the labeling or advertisement.

B. For treated seed:

1. A word or statement indicating that the seed has been treated;

2. The commonly accepted chemical or generic name of the applied substance or treatment; and

3. A caution statement such as "Do not use for food or feed or oil purposes" if any substance in the amount present is harmful to human or other vertebrate animals. The caution for mercurials and similar toxic substances shall be a poison statement or symbol.

C. For agricultural seeds:

1. The recognized name of each kind (or kind and variety if that kind has been adopted by the Board pursuant to subdivision 6 of § 3.2-4001) of agricultural seed component in excess of five percent of the whole and the percentage by weight in order of predominance. Mixtures and agricultural seed may be sold by kind name if the seed is not for the production of an agricultural crop and the label clearly indicates "NOT FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION";

2. The word "mixture" or "mixed" shall appear conspicuously on the label if the guarantor is required to name more than one agricultural seed component;

3. The lot number or other lot identification;

4. The origin, if known; if not known, that fact shall be stated;

5. The percentage by weight of all weed seeds;

6. The name and number per ounce, pound, or metric equivalent of each kind of restricted noxious-weed seed present, subject to subdivision 1 e of § 3.2-4015;

7. The percentage by weight of agricultural and vegetable seeds other than the kind or kind and variety named on the label. Such information may be designated as "other crop seed," "other variety," or as both;

8. The percentage by weight of inert matter;

9. For each named agricultural seed:

a. The percentage of germination, exclusive of hard or dormant seed;

b. The percentage of any hard or dormant seed;

c. The month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages;

d. The "total germination and hard seed" may be stated following the information required by subdivisions a and b; and

e. The guarantor shall state separately on the label the percent of dormant seed.

10. The recognized hybrid designation for all hybrids;

11. The quantity statement; and

12. The code designation of the person who transports or delivers for transportation said seed in interstate commerce and the name and address of: (i) the person who sells, labels, or offers the seed for sale; or (ii) the person to whom the seed is sold or shipped for resale.

D. For vegetable seeds in containers of one half pound or less:

1. The name of kind and variety of seed;

2. The year packeted or put up, provided that the words "packed for" shall precede the year, or the percentage of germination and the month and year the test was completed to determine such percentage;

3. The quantity statement, except as provided by appropriate regulations;

4. The name and address of the person who labels, sells, or offers to sell the seed; and

5. For the seeds that germinate less than the standard last established by regulations:

a. The percentage of germination, exclusive of hard or dormant seed;

b. The percentage of any hard or dormant seed;

c. The month and year the test was completed to determine the percentages in subdivisions a and b;

d. The "total germination and hard seed" may be stated following the information in subdivisions a and b;

e. The guarantor shall state separately on the label the percentage of dormant seed; and

f. The words "below standard" in not less than eight-point type.

E. For vegetable seeds in bulk or in containers of more than one half pound:

1. The name of each kind and variety present in excess of five percent of the whole and the percentage by weight of each in order of its predominance;

2. The lot number or other lot identification;

3. For each named kind and variety:

a. The percentage of germination exclusive of hard or dormant seed;

b. The percentage of any hard or dormant seed;

c. The month and year the test was completed to determine the percentages in subdivisions a and b;

d. The "total germination and hard seed" may be stated; and

e. The guarantor shall state separately on the label the percent of dormant seed.

4. The quantity statement, except when in bulk;

5. The name and address of the person who labels, sells, or offers to sell the seed; and

6. The labeling requirements of subdivisions 1 through 5 for vegetable seeds sold from open containers shall be deemed to have been met if the seed is weighed from a properly labeled container in the presence of the purchaser.

F. Seeds or screenings offered for sale or distribution must be plainly labeled to indicate that such seeds or screenings are not for planting purposes if containing more than: (i) two percent by weight weed seeds; or (ii) prohibited noxious-weed seeds and restricted noxious-weed seeds in excess of the amounts prescribed by regulations.

G. For seeds in preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:

1. For flower seeds:

a. The name of the kind and variety or a statement of type and performance characteristics, as prescribed in the regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this article;

b. The month and year seed was tested or the year the seed was packaged;

c. The quantity statement, except as provided by regulations;

d. The name and address of the person who labels, sells, or offers to sell seed; and

e. Other special labeling requirements as determined by the Board.

2. For seeds of those kinds with standard testing procedures that germinate less than the germination standard established by regulations:

a. The percentage of germination exclusive of hard seed; and

b. The words "below standard" in not less than eight-point type.

3. For seeds placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device making it difficult to determine the quantity of seed without removal, a statement to indicate the minimum number of seeds in the container.

H. For flower seeds in containers other than packets prepared for use in home flower gardens or household plantings and other than preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:

1. The name of the kind and variety or a statement of type and performance characteristics as prescribed in regulations;

2. The lot number or other lot identification;

3. The month and year that the seed was tested or the year the seed was packaged;

4. The quantity statement, except as provided by regulations;

5. The name and address of the person who labels, sells, or offers to sell the seed; and

6. For those kinds of seed for which standard testing procedures are prescribed:

a. The percentage of germination exclusive of hard seed; and

b. The percentage of any hard or dormant seed.

I. For tree and shrub seeds:

1. The accepted common and Latin name of species;

2. The variety (if applicable);

3. The quantity statement;

4. The number;

5. The year in which seed was collected;

6. The origin indicating the specific locality where the seed was collected;

7. The month and year of the date the seed was tested;

8. The percentage by weight of pure seed;

9. The percentage by weight of inert matter;

10. The percentage by weight of other crop seeds;

11. The percentage of germination exclusive of hard or dormant seed;

12. The percentage of any hard seeds;

13. The speed of germination expressed in terms of the number of days the seeds will take to reach 90 percent of total;

14. The pregermination treatment used in test;

15. The total number of seed per pound;

16. The moisture content; and

17. The name and address of the person who labels, sells, or offers to sell the seed.

J. For lawn or turf seed mixtures in prepacked containers of 100 pounds or less the information shall include:

1. The recognized name of each kind or kind and variety of each agricultural seed component in excess of five percent of the whole, and the percentage by weight of each in order of its predominance;

2. The registered name of the mixture;

3. The lot number or other lot identification;

4. The percentage by weight of all weed seeds;

5. The name and number per ounce or per pound of each kind of restricted noxious-weed seeds present, subject to subdivision 1 e of § 3.2-4015;

6. The percentage by weight of other agricultural seeds not claimed in the formula;

7. The percentage by weight of inert matter;

8. For each named agricultural seed:

a. The percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed;

b. The percentage of any hard seed;

c. The month and year the test was completed to determine the percentages in subdivisions a and b; provided that the date of the first test of the components may be given for the entire mixture; and

d. For cool-season lawn and turf seeds and mixtures thereof, a "sell by" statement, which may provide a date no more than 15 months from the date of the germination test exclusive of the month of the germination test.

9. The quantity statement; and

10. The code designation of the person who transports or delivers for transportation the seed and the name and address of: (i) the person who sells, labels, or offers to sell the seed; or (ii) the person to whom the seed is sold or shipped for resale.

K. For transgenetic seed, in addition to any other requirements, the guarantor shall label all seed produced from transgenetic plant material pursuant to regulation.

Code 1950, § 3-219.3; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-264; 1994, c. 577, § 3.1-275.4; 2008, c. 860; 2012, c. 297.

§ 3.2-4009. Lawn and turf seed mixture; registration and labeling.

A. Any person packing or distributing lawn and turf seed mixture bearing a distinguishing name or trademark in prepackaged containers of 100 pounds or less shall register the mixture annually with the Commissioner and provide the following information:

1. The brand name of the lawn and turf seed mixture;

2. A statement of the specifications of the lawn and turf seed mixture indicating within five percent the percentage by weight of each kind of lawn and turf seed in the mixture;

3. A complete copy of all labeling that is to appear on the container;

4. An example of the analysis statement that is to appear on each container of a mixture; and

5. The name and address of the registrant and the name and address of the person whose name will appear on the label.

B. Every registration shall expire on December 31. If the holder files a renewal application on or before December 31, his registration shall remain valid through January 31 or until issuance of the renewal registration, whichever event first occurs.

C. The Commissioner may permit a change in the labeling or specifications of a lawn or turf seed mixture within a registration period without requiring new registration of the product provided that the name of the lawn and turf seed mixture and the specifications for the primary ingredients of the mixture are not changed.

D. The registrant shall pay to the Commissioner an annual registration fee of $50 for each named lawn and turf seed mixture in prepacked containers of 100 pounds or less prior to its distribution.

E. The Commissioner shall register the lawn and turf seed mixture if he finds that the components of the lawn and turf seed mixture are such as to warrant the proposed labeling and other claims for it and if the labeling and other submitted material comply with the requirements of this article.

F. If the Commissioner finds that the lawn and turf seed mixture does not warrant the proposed claims made for it or if the mixture and its labeling do not comply with the provisions of this article, he shall notify the registrant of the manner of noncompliance to afford the registrant an opportunity to make the necessary corrections.

G. If the Commissioner identifies any unregistered lawn and turf seed mixture during the registration year, he shall notify the guarantor and grant a grace period of 15 working days from issuance of notification for the guarantor to register the lawn and turf seed mixture and pay the registration fee without penalty. Any person required to register a lawn and turf seed mixture who fails to register within the 15 working day grace period shall pay to the Commissioner a $50 late fee in addition to the registration fee. The Commissioner may issue a stop sale, use, removal, or seizure order upon the lawn and turf seed mixture until its registration is complete.

Code 1950, § 3-219.14; 1966, c. 9, § 3.1-275.1; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4010. Lawn and turf seed; inspection fee.

A. Any person who introduces lawn and turf seed for sale shall pay the Commissioner an annual inspection fee by January 31 following the year in which the sale occurred. The inspection fee shall be the greater of $35 or three-tenths of one percent of the gross sales receipts for lawn and turf seed sold by that person in the Commonwealth during that year. Generally accepted accounting principles shall be used to determine the gross sales receipts. The Commissioner may inspect the sales records of the person required to pay the inspection fee.

B. Any person who fails to pay the inspection fee by January 31 shall be given a grace period of 15 working days from issuance of notification to pay the inspection fee without penalty. Any person who fails to pay the inspection fee by the fifteenth day of the grace period shall also pay a late fee of 10 percent of the inspection fee due or $50, whichever is greater. The assessment of the late fee shall not prohibit the Commissioner from taking further action.

1994, c. 577, § 3.1-275.3; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4011. Inspection.

A. The Commissioner may sample, inspect, analyze, and test seeds transported, sold, or offered for sale for planting purposes and screenings for any purpose. For these purposes, the Commissioner may enter: (i) any premises during business hours; and (ii) any truck or other conveyor by land, by water, or by air at any time when such conveyor is accessible, to access seeds, mixtures of seeds, screenings, and the records required to be kept under § 3.2-4006.

B. The Commissioner shall promptly notify the person who transported, sold, or offered the seed or screenings for sale, or who otherwise violated this article.

Code 1950, § 3-219.9; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-270; 1986, c. 615; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4012. Stop sale order.

The Commissioner shall issue and enforce a written or printed stop sale order to the owner or custodian of any lot of agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, lawn and turf seed, mixtures of such seeds, or screenings if he finds a violation of any provision of this article. The stop sale order shall prohibit further sale of such seeds, mixtures of seeds, or screenings until the Commissioner has evidence of compliance. The owner or custodian shall have the right to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The issuance of a stop sale order shall not limit the right of the Commissioner to pursue further remedy.

Code 1950, § 3-219.9; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-270; 1986, c. 615; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4013. Seizure; disposition of seeds.

Any lot of agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, lawn and turf seeds, mixtures of such seeds, or screenings sold, offered for sale, or held with intent to sell contrary to the provisions of this article shall be subject to seizure on complaint of the Commissioner to the appropriate court. If the court finds the seeds, mixtures of seeds, or screenings in violation of this article and orders condemnation, such seeds, mixtures of seeds, or screenings shall be denatured, processed, destroyed, relabeled, or otherwise disposed of; provided, that the court first allows the claimant an opportunity to apply for the release of the seeds, mixtures of such seeds, or screenings, or permission to condition or relabel to bring the material into compliance.

Code 1950, § 3-219.10; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-272; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4014. Assessment for variance from guarantee.

A. The Commissioner may make an assessment for variance from guarantee upon the guarantor if any person sells seed if he finds such seed: (i) is not within testing tolerance of the labeled analysis; (ii) contains restricted noxious-weed seeds in excess of the amount claimed on the label; (iii) is not labeled; or (iv) is not labeled in accordance with the provisions of this article. The Commissioner shall make an assessment for variance from guarantee equivalent to one percent of the amount of money the person from whom the sample was taken receives from the sale of the seed or $100 (whichever is greater), upon each lot of seed or portion thereof the Commissioner found in violation, except as provided in subsection B. The Commissioner shall make the assessment for variance from guarantee only on the lot or portion sold after the Commissioner sampled the lot.

B. The Commissioner shall make an assessment for variance from guarantee upon the guarantor of three times the amount the Commissioner calculates pursuant to subsection A if the Commissioner finds that: (i) the seed contains prohibited noxious-weed seeds; (ii) the seed contains restricted noxious-weed seeds in a prohibited amount; (iii) the guarantor has mislabeled such seed as to variety including a component of a mixture; (iv) the person who sold the seed does not have the records required in § 3.2-4006 available for inspection; or (v) the person who sold the seed does not have a laboratory analysis available for inspection.

C. The guarantor on whom the assessment for variance from guarantee is made shall pay the assessment to the Commissioner within 60 days from the date the Commissioner issues the assessment. Any person who fails to pay the assessment within 60 days shall pay a late fee of 10 percent of the assessment to the Commissioner in addition to the assessment. The Commissioner shall revoke the license of any person who fails to pay an assessment.

Code 1950, § 3-219.11; 1958, c. 483; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-273; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4015. Prohibitions.

It is unlawful to:

1. Transport, offer for transportation, sell, or offer for sale seed or seed mixtures:

a. Unless the germination test to determine the percentage of germination required by § 3.2-4008 is completed within nine months prior to the month of transportation, sale, or offer for sale, except for the germination test for cool-season lawn and turf seeds or mixtures thereof, which must be completed within 15 months prior to the month of transportation, sale, or offer for sale;

b. Not labeled in compliance with this article, not registered or falsely stated to be registered under § 3.2-4009, or having a false or misleading labeling or claim;

c. If there has been a false or misleading advertisement with regards to the seed;

d. Consisting of, or containing prohibited noxious-weed seeds in any amount;

e. Containing restricted noxious-weed seeds, except as prescribed by regulations;

f. Containing weed seeds in excess of one percent by weight, except as prescribed by regulations;

g. That have been treated and not labeled as required;

h. To which there is affixed names or terms that create a misleading impression as to the kind, kind and variety, history, productivity, quality, or origin of the seed;

i. Represented to be certified, registered, or foundation seed unless it has been produced, processed and labeled in accordance with the procedures and in compliance with regulations of an officially recognized certifying agency;

j. Represented to be a hybrid unless such seed conforms to the definition of a hybrid as defined in this article except those kinds named in regulations adopted by the Board as having agronomic value and flower seed generally defined as hybrids prior to the enactment of subsections G and H of § 3.2-4008 on July 1, 1966 as determined by regulations adopted by the Board;

k. Hybrid seed from a crop that has been inspected in the field by a duly authorized inspector and rejected because of failure to conform to the controlled conditions as specified by regulations;

l. Unless it conforms to the definition of a "lot"; and

m. Unless the variety or hybrid name or designation is the first variety or hybrid name or designation assigned to it by the owner of the variety or hybrid;

2. Transport, offer for transportation, sell, or offer for sale screenings unless labeled as provided in subsection F of § 3.2-4008.

3. Detach, alter, deface, or destroy any label required pursuant to this article or alter or substitute seed in any manner that may defeat the purpose of this article.

4. Disseminate false or misleading advertisement concerning agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, lawn and turf seeds, or screenings.

5. Hinder or obstruct the Commissioner in the performance of his duties.

6. Fail to comply with or supply inaccurate information in reply to a stop sale order; remove labels attached to or dispose of seed or screenings held under such order except as specified by the Commissioner.

7. Use the name of the Department or the results of tests and inspections made by the Department for advertising purposes.

8. Use the words "type" or "trace" in lieu of information required by this article.

9. Label and offer for sale seed without keeping complete records as specified in § 3.2-4006.

10. Fail to obtain a license in accordance with § 3.2-4005.

11. Fail to register a lawn and turf seed mixture in accordance with § 3.2-4009.

12. Fail to pay inspection fees in accordance with § 3.2-4010.

13. Sell, offer for sale, or advertise as noncertified a variety if a certificate of plant variety protection has been issued under the Plant Variety Protection Act specifying sale only as a class of certified seed. The guarantor may label seed from a certified lot by variety name when the guarantor uses the seed in a mixture if the guarantor is the owner of the variety or the owner of the variety gives the guarantor approval to use the variety name.

Code 1950, § 3-219.4; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-265; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860; 2012, c. 297.

§ 3.2-4016. Exemptions from certain provisions.

A. The provisions of §§ 3.2-4008 and 3.2-4015 and subdivision 6 of § 3.2-4001 shall not apply to:

1. Seed or grain sold or represented to be sold for purposes other than for planting, except as required by subsection F of § 3.2-4008;

2. Seed for conditioning when: (i) consigned to, being transported to, or stored in a processing establishment; and (ii) the accompanying invoice or labeling bears the statement "Seed for conditioning";

3. Any carrier of seed or screenings in the ordinary course of business provided that the carrier does not also produce, condition, or market agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, lawn and turf seeds, or screenings; and

4. Untested seed sold on his own premises by a grower who collected gross receipts for selling seeds produced by him of $1,000 or less during the preceding year provided that the seed bears the statement "These seeds have not been tested" on each package or bag.

B. The provisions of § 3.2-4009 shall not apply to any person who sells or offers for sale:

1. Any lawn and turf seed mixture provided he: (i) acted in good faith; and (ii) possessed a statement showing that the lawn and turf seed mixture has been previously registered and approved for sale;

2. Any agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, lawn and turf seeds, or screenings that are incorrectly labeled or represented as to kind, variety, or origin and cannot be identified by official examination unless he fails to: (i) obtain an invoice or grower's declaration or other labeling information; or (ii) take other reasonable precautions to insure the identity is that stated; and

3. Any tree or shrub seeds that are incorrectly labeled or represented as to subspecies, locality of collection, or year of collection unless he fails to: (i) obtain an invoice, grower's declaration, or other labeling information; or (ii) take other reasonable precautions to insure the accuracy of these statements as presented on the label.

Code 1950, § 3-219.6; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-267; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4017. Disclaimers, nonwarranties, and limited warranties.

No disclaimer, nonwarranty, or limited warranty used in any invoice, advertising, labeling, nor any other written, printed or graphic matter pertaining to seed may deny or modify any information required by this article or regulations adopted hereunder.

Code 1950, § 3-219.7; 1958, c. 483; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-268; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4018. Notice of violations; warning.

A. The Commissioner shall notify the custodian of any seed or screenings in violation of this article. The Commissioner shall forward a copy of notice to the guarantor.

B. Nothing in this article requires that the Commissioner report for prosecution or institute seizure proceedings if the Commissioner considers the violation of the law to be minor. In such cases, the Commissioner may provide a notice of warning in writing.

Code 1950, § 3-219.12; 1958, c. 483; 1966, cc. 9, 702, § 3.1-274; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4019. Duty of attorney for Commonwealth.

It shall be the duty of each attorney for the Commonwealth to whom any violation of this article is reported to commence proceedings in the appropriate court without delay.

1994, c. 577, § 3.1-275.6; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4020. Penalty.

Any violation of this article is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 3-219.11; 1958, c. 483; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-273; 1994, c. 577; 2008, c. 860.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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