What are Orange Certificates?

Orange Certificates are test reports that, through tightly controlled sampling, represent entire lots of seed. They are often used by customs officials in import/export.

What is the process for getting an Orange Certificate?

The process for ISTA Orange Certificates is tightly controlled.

  • **Please Note** If the seed lot is not in the State of Oregon, please check with the Seed Lab for authorized sampler availability.


  • The lot must meet the following requirements: lot is correct size, in final containers, in final condition (i.e. treatment or coating is applied), sealed (e.g. single line of stitching), labeled with unique lot number, and ready for sampling. If at all possible, the lot should be set down before the request is sent to the lab since samplers can show up very quickly. It is the customer's responsibility to communicate with the warehouse.
  • Once the lot is ready, the customer requests the OIC using Online Services.  New customers should contact the Seed Lab for instructions to set up an account.
  • The lab reviews the request before arranging for sampling. Lot size, species, and requested tests must comply with the ISTA Rules and the lab's own accreditation.
  • The lab informs samplers.
  • When the sampler arrives at the warehouse, the lot needs to be already set down, accessible, and ready for sampling. If not, the sampler will leave and may charge a show-up fee.
  • The ISTA  authorized sampler verifies that the lot information is correct and that the lot complies with ISTA rules and sampling guidelines. The seed is then sampled.
  • Custody of the sample must be under control of the lab (via the ISTA authorized sampler) until the sample is received at the lab.
  • The lab tests the seed using the ISTA Rules.
  • The lab issues the Orange Certificate. Certificates are mailed unless a customer requests to pick them up in person. Certificates may only be given to the person listed on the certificate or an authorized company representative. You may be asked to provide identification.

Special points of consideration

  • Only species in the ISTA rules can be tested. This may be checked by contacting the lab, or checking Chapter 2 of the ISTA Rules. This chapter is freely available on the ISTA website. Maximum lot sizes can also be checked using Chapter 2.
  • Only tests for which the lab is accredited, or tests not in the ISTA Rules (must be accompanied by at least one test that is in the rules), can be reported on an ISTA certificate.
  • If you want the following information on your certificate, you have to request it:
    • Common names (scientific names are always provided)
    • Crops and weeds separated in the purity or OSD
    • Percentages for crops and weeds (a seed count is provided for the OSD)
  • The lot of seed must be in its final condition and containers, ready to ship, and SET DOWN for sampling. All treatment and rebagging must be complete before sampling.
  • If for some reason the lot cannot meet ISTA sampling requirements, it may be possible to issue a Blue Certificate instead.