The NSHS enables non-government agencies such as seed companies to carry out seed sampling, inspection, or laboratory testing for the issuance of phytosanitary certification.

There are four accreditation options:

  1. Seed Health Testing
  2. Phytosanitary Inspection
  3. Seed Sampling for Seed Health Testing
  4. Visual Inspection of Seed for Phytosanitary Certification

This can have major logistical benefits in eliminating delays in the process of shipping seed lots, resulting in a more efficient business model and better inspection facilitate logistical planning and can help avoid shipping delays.

Under the NSHS, accreditees can test, inspect, and sample their own crops faster and more efficiently. The advanced timing of the information from these tests and inspections allows earlier exports and deliveries to foreign customers.

By using the four accreditation options, seed producers are able to rapidly determine the plant health status of their seed crops, avoiding delays and extra costs that can occur with inspections done by government officials.

By having the earliest plant health information available, producers reduce the risk of losing or contaminating seed crops, improving their inventory management, and improving the quality of seed delivered to the end user.

Standardization of test methodologies through the NSHS should reduce discrepancies between inspection or test results performed by the seed industry, private laboratories, and regulatory/public laboratories and agencies.

Scientific review and approval of these seed testing and inspection methodologies establishes confidence in the health status of U.S. exports and provides quality assurance to importing countries. By being the first country to agree on standards, the U.S. has established an increased level of credibility and taken a lead in the international trade arena with a set of objectively determined sound standards which help protect producers from inconsistent foreign trading practices.


Audit Process

All NSHS auditors will have had the following qualifications:

  • Documented evidence of Quality System training by qualified auditors relevant to the accreditation options in the NSHS Accreditation program.
  • Conducted practice audits in the NSHS Accreditation options for which they are to be certified, as arranged by the NSHS, or has documented experience of conducting audits of systems comparable to the NSHS accreditation options.

Remote Audit Guidelines


NSHS Accreditation