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Legal basis


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Close-up of a bacterium in blue.

The provisions on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation are based on various legal basis:

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The  Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) contains a range of obligations on access to genetic resources and sharing of the benefits arising from their utilisation (see Article 15 CBD, and additionally Article 8 (j), 10 (c), 16 and 19 CBD). The CBD entered into force on 29 December 1993. Further information is provided on 
the CBD website.

The Sixth Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 6) in April 2002 saw the adoption of the  Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilization. The Bonn Guidelines serve as inputs when developing and drafting legislative, administrative or policy measures on access and benefit sharing. Further information on the Bonn Guidelines is provided on the CBD website.

Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted at the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 10) to further elaborate the ABS obligations under the CBD. The Nagoya Protocol entered into force on 12 October 2014. Further information on the Nagoya Protocol is provided on the CBD website.

EU ABS legislation

Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 of 16 April 2014 lays down uniform measures for users of genetic resources (and of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources) to ensure compliance with the Nagoya Protocol in the Union.

Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1866 of 13 October 2015 lays down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 as regards the register of collections, monitoring user compliance and best practices.

Guidance document on the scope of application and core obligations of Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 (Notice No 2016/C 313/01)

German ABS legislation

In Germany, the EU legislation is supplemented from 1 July 2016 with the entry into force of the Act Implementing the Obligations under the Nagoya Protocol and Transposing Regulation (EU) No 511/2014.

Other international ABS rules

Alongside the ABS rules under the CBD and their implementing provisions in the Nagoya Protocol, there are also specialised ABS rules for various specific sectors. Their application is subject to the condition, however, that they must be consistent with and do not run counter to the objectives of the CBD and of the Nagoya Protocol (Article 4(4) of the Nagoya Protocol). 

In relation to access to and the utilisation of genetic resources for food and agriculture, the specialised ABS rules of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) may be applicable.
Further information on the ITPGRFA

With regard to human pathogens, the access and benefit sharing rules laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIPF) may be applicable.
Further information on the PIPF

Competent National Authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Division I 1.3
Konstantinstr. 110
D-53179 Bonn
Tel.:   +49(0)228 8491 1211
Fax:   +49(0)228 8491 1229
Email: Nagoya-CNA@bfn.de

Booklet on Nagoya Protocol

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Cover booklet on Nagoya Protocol

Flyer on Nagoya Protocol

Poster on Nagoya Protocol

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