Customs Circular


This is to alert my regional MISB colleagues to a recent US Customs memorandum.

REF: Suspension of guidelines regarding the importation of hemp seed and related products.

Please advise the exporters of hemp products in your region that US Customs has issued a memorandum on January 5, suspending the guidelines of December 7, 1999. Please refer market access questions to Ron Krystynak , Deputy Director for the US, Western Hemisphere, International Trade Policy Directorate, at (613) 759-7653 For convenience, I will summarize the main points, but copy of the original memorandum can be obtained from US Customs as follows: 

Vera Adams,

Director, Commercial Processing, at (202) 927-0360


  1. On December 30, 1999, the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) requested US Customs to suspend the guidelines of December 7th,1999.
  2. The ONDCP, together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will review the issue to determine whether the policy to allow for traces of THC in hemp products is consistent with their National Drug Control Strategy.
  3. In the meantime, and until the final determination is made, Customs field personnel is instructed to take the following action:
  4. For sterilized hemp seed and hemp products containing THC, effective immediately: 

A) "Any hemp product, or part thereof, which contains ANY amount of THC is subject to seizure. Customs retain the right to sample shipments of hemp products to verify the presence of THC."

The field personnel is instructed to use constructive seizure procedures.

B) Unsterilized cannabis (hemp) seed:

Unsterilized hemp seed, capable of germination, is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and may be imported into the US only by persons registered with the DEA and holders of special permits. Shipments without permit will be seized.

Juan Miranda

Special Crops

Tel: (613) 759-6240

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada