Only a few weeks ago shipping seed to Brazil from the United States was not feasible, but thanks to Brazil’s revision of its recently published Norm 36, this market is much more accessible.

Norm 36, originally published in Dec. 30, 2010, is a new Brazilian regulation that establishes general phytosanitary import requirements for seed. There is an annex for each country shipping seed to Brazil; the annex for the United States is annex 14, which lists 118 different kinds of seeds (corn wasn’t one of them).

The original Norm 36 required companies to have:

• Phytosanitary certificates with declarations stating that shipments were free of all 490 Brazilian quarantine pests of concern;

• Completed their own laboratory analysis for these pests;

• Treated seed for arthropods with approved methods;

In addition, all incoming seed shipments would be held and retested.

When the United States learned of this new publication in mid-January, the American Seed Trade Association’s Ric Dunkle, senior director for seed health and trade, immediately began working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“We were completely blindsided by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture because they didn’t inform anyone of their new requirements,” Dunkle says. “These new import requirements lacked technical justification and made it impossible for companies to successfully import seed to Brazil, basically shutting down the market.