US Hemp Seed Policy, Jan. 2000

U.S. Customs Announces
New Hempseed Importation Policy

On August 9, 1999 U.S. Customs seized a load of sterilized hempseed at the Detroit, Michigan Border. After a lengthy political and legal challenge to the seizure, U.S. Customs has issued the following guidelines, and has indicated they will be available at in the coming weeks.

December 7, 1999
TO: All Directors, Field Operations
FROM: Director, Trade Programs

SUBJECT: Guidelines for the Trade Community Regarding the Importation of Hemp Seed and Related Products to be Disseminated to All Interested Parties

The purpose of this notice is to provide clear, uniform guidelines to the trade community, regarding the importation of products derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa L.). The following guidelines should be followed when such products are imported.

1) Hemp Seed: All shipments of hemp seed must be certified as sterilized or otherwise rendered incapable of germination.

2) Any Hemp Product: Any hemp product, or part thereof, which contains less than 0.3 percent THC may be imported legally into the United States. Any products which are found to have a THC content greater than 0.3 percent will be subject to seizure.

Note: Customs retains the right to sample selected shipments for verification of seed sterilization and to determine levels of THC present within the product.
Please note that unsterilized cannabis or hemp seed which is capable of germination remains a schedule one controlled substance and therefore, may only be imported into the United States by persons appropriately registered with the DEA and who have been granted import permits.

If you have any questions regarding the release of hemp seed or other hemp products, you may contact your local Customs port management or Ms. Vera Adams, Director, Commercial Processing. Customs Headquarters
at (202) 927-0360.
Vera Adams for
Elizabeth G. Durant
cc: Executive Director Field Operations