Viable simply means that the seeds can germinate and sprout, that they are “live” seeds that will grow. I went to Google and typed in “viable definition” and this is what it had to say; “Capable of germinating, living, growing and developing.” and “said of spore or seed that is able to germinate or grow under favorable conditions.”
Most of our seeds are viable, and untreated (we explain that in our Are Your Seeds Treated or Untreated? article if you’re curious) for many, many reasons. We beleive that Mother Nature provided us with an immense array of wondrous plants to enjoy and respect, and chemicals can have many harsh side effects, including killing a seed’s ability to germinate.
But, the US government is making it more and more difficult to import viable seeds into the U.S., and there are actually several countries who will not allow viable seeds in at all. Australia is one such place, so it’s important to know your importation laws, even as a private citizen.