On June 30, 2021, the NSHS Policies and Procedures Advisory Board (PPAB) approved changes to the accreditation fee structure, intending to streamline fee assessment and establish a funding level that will support financial self-sustainability for NSHS. The PPAB, which reviews and directs the program, is comprised of representatives from the USDA-APHIS, ISU-Seed Science Center, ASTA, AASCO, AOSCA, and NPB.
Established in 2001 under authority of USDA-APHIS, the NSHS continues to provide value to the industry by enabling accredited entities (AEs) to perform official actions that support phytosanitary seed lot certification. The NSHS Administration Unit has provided services and support to AEs even though fee revenue has been insufficient throughout the duration of the program. However, improvements have still continually been made to the system, including an updated website and information materials, the establishment of a full-time coordinator to respond to questions, requests, applications, etc., as well as the coordinated review and adoption of methods to address emerging seed health testing needs.
It was a difficult but necessary decision by the PPAB to increase fees to ensure the financial stability and continuation of the NSHS accreditation program. The PPAB will continue to review the fee structure in the future and recommend increases as needed.
The new fee structure will be phased in starting in 2022. It will be implemented when accredited entities renew their accreditations or as new applicants are accepted into the program.