Publication - Consultation paper

Fees for seed testing, seed certification and associated seed functions: consultation

Published: 14 Feb 2020

Consultation on amending fees for seed certification, seed testing & associated seed functions to allow full cost recovery.

34 page PDF

462.0 kB

34 page PDF

462.0 kB

Fees for seed testing, seed certification and associated seed functions: consultation

34 page PDF

462.0 kB


Part II- Background to Services Provided by Scottish Government and Licensed Individuals/Companies

Crop certification schemes exist to protect farmers buying seed that has no identity. The scheme ensures that the product they receive meets certain quality standards. The current UK Cereal Scheme incorporates several quality control mechanisms, including official testing to ensure seed meets prescribed standards for germination, freedom from weeds, has varietal identity and purity, and has undergone a crop inspection.

SASA are a division of the Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate, within Scottish Government, act on behalf of Scottish Ministers as the Certifying Authority for Scotland. Responsible for the certification of beet, cereal, fodder, oil & fibre and vegetable seed, they are situated at Roddinglaw, just to the west of Edinburgh.

All agricultural seeds subject to the regulations (except vegetables, which can be sold as Standard Seed) have to be officially certified and can only be sold in labelled containers which preserve the integrity of the seed inside. The certification process requires that the seed be tested to ensure that it meets all the standards that apply to it. Some of these tests are made on the crop and some are made on the harvested seed. The majority of crops certified in Scotland are cereals. Table 1 below provides the most popular species and number of crop applications in Scotland over the last 3 years, while Table 2 shows other application over on average over a 3 year period.

Table 1

Table 1 - Number of Crop Applications From 2017 - 2019

Table 2

Average number of Crop Application per year since 2017


Swede Rape


Field Pea

Field Bean

Winter Rye







Seed Certification

Scottish Government has overall responsibility for seed certification in Scotland, but there are various functions within the process which can be carried out either by Government Officials or licensed individuals or companies. Scottish Government will license individuals to undertake crop inspections, seed sampling and/or seed testing if that person can demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. In addition Scottish Government will supervise and check at least 5% of the work carried out under licence. It is mandatory that those who wish to market, process, package or test seed must have the necessary qualified personnel, equipment and premises to carry out this work.

Certified Seed in Scotland in 2018/2019

In the 2018/19 season 53,828 tonnes of cereals were certified in Scotland. There has been a drop of approximately 4000 tonnes on the previous year. Table 2 Below shows the total area of Crops grown in Scotland (Ha) over the last 3 years.

Table 3

Table 3 - Total Area Of Cereals and Non Cereals Grown In Scotland (Ha)2017 -2019

More information on seed certification at SASA can be found at: