Legal aspects of gathering and using biological material for genetic research

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Legal Requirements for Provenience, Transfer, Access and Utilization of Genetic Resources under consideration of the Nagoya-Protocol

Nagoya © DSMZ & GFBio

The Nagoya Protocol (NP) is an international agreement that entered into force on 12 October 2014. It aims at sharing the benefits resulting from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. The implementation of the Nagoya Protocol went into force across the EU Member States in October 2014 (EU Regulation 511/2014). Germany has implemented the EU Regulation 511/2014, since 1st of July 2016 it is effective.

The requirements for provenience, transfer, access and the utilization of genetic resources (Nagoya Protocol) do also apply for basic scientific research. Data being archived and/or processed by GFBio need to be compliant to the implemented relevant national and international regulations.

Genetic material that was collected prior to December 29, 1993 is not subject of international laws on biodiversity.

General information for scientists

Information on the National Focal Point and other relevant parties in Germany

Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing and ABS National Focal Point
Dr. Stefan Lütkes
Division N II 1, Nature Conservation and Landscape Management Legislation
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Robert Schumann Platz 3
53175 Bonn, Germany
+49 228 99 305 2670
+49 228 99 305 2694

ABS Competent National Authority
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Konstantinstr. 110
53179 Bonn, Germany
+49 228.8491.1311

Information provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Scientists have to check the ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) requirements before starting their research study. The GFBio data centers and all Natural Science Collections follow the CETAF Recommendations concerning ABS with the CETAF Code of Conduct and Best Practices. Thus they must ask researchers for permits and appropriate documentation before accepting biological material and data based on that material.