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Access and Benefit Sharing

Legislation

EU ABS Regulation

Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on compliance measures for users from the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the Union was adopted on 16 April 2014. Implementing the mandatory elements of the Nagoya Protocol in the European Union, it entered into force on 9 June 2014 and applies from the date the Nagoya Protocol itself entered into force for the Union, i.e. 12 October 2014.

For information on possible access measures adopted by EU Member States, please consult their country profile on the international ABS Clearing-House.

Designated Competent Authorities under the Regulation EU (No) 511/2014

Designated Competent Authorities in the EU Member States are responsible for implementing the EU ABS Regulation (new information will be added here as soon as it is communicated to the Commission).

Commission Implementing Regulation

The Implementing Regulation contains measures on some specific aspects, as provided for in the EU ABS Regulation, in particular registered collections, best practices and monitoring of user compliance. It was adopted by the Commission on 13 October 2015, with entry into force on 9 November 2015.

With regard to the monitoring of user compliance, a web-based application (DECLARE) was created to allow users' submission of due diligence declarations online. The manual for users of DECLARE provides an explanation on its use.
You will also find attached a privacy statement regarding the protection of your personal data in DECLARE.

The Implementing Regulation was developed with the support of the EU Member States' representatives in the ABS Committee. Before presenting its draft Regulation to the Committee, the Commission also gathered input from stakeholders on a discussion paper and its annexes reflecting ideas to be included in the draft. Subsequently stakeholders were invited to submit written comments on the paper. Some 50 organisations participated in this targeted consultation (click on the links in the list to see written submissions). The Commission prepared short summaries of stakeholders' written submissions and of its proposal for taking into account the views expressed during the consultation.

Best practices

"Best practices" under the terms of the EU ABS Regulation (Art. 8 of EU ABS Regulation) are procedures, tools or mechanisms, developed and overseen by associations of users or other interested parties, which – when effectively implemented – help users of genetic resources to comply with the obligations of the EU ABS Regulation. The procedural requirements for the recognition of best practices are set out in the Implementing Regulation. Applications for recognition of best practices can be sent to the Commission's functional mailbox ENV-F3-NAGOYA-ABS@ec.europa.eu. Once recognised as such by the Commission, best practices will be included in a dedicated register.

Register of collections

A registered collection (Art. 5 of the EU ABS Regulation) refers to a collection which has demonstrated the capacity to apply standardised procedures for exchanging samples of genetic resources (and related information), to supply genetic resources (and related information) to 3rd persons with documentation providing evidence that the genetic resources have been accessed in accordance with applicable ABS legislation, to keep records of samples etc. The procedural requirements for the registration of collections of genetic resources are set out in the Implementing Regulation. The European Commission is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Register of collections within the Union, whereas the Member States are responsible for verifying that the collection meets the criteria set out in the EU ABS Regulation and granting the status of registered collection. Once Member States have recognised any collections in line with Article 5 of the Regulation, they are included in a dedicated Register. Currently there is one registered collection in the Register.

Guidance documents and Consultation Forum

A guidance document on the scope of the EU ABS Regulation has been adopted on 22 August 2016 and published in the Official Journal on 27 August 2016. A report on utilisation practices among the upstream actors (collections, researchers at universities, etc), prepared by a contractor, was one of the many elements that fed into this guidance document. The issues raised in the guidance document were discussed in the Consultation Forum, the first meeting of which was held in January 2016.

Additional sectorial guidance on Cosmetics, Animal Breeding, Plant Breeding, Biocontrol, Pharmaceuticals, Food and Feed, Biotechnologies and Upstream Actors (Collections and Research) is being developed.

Implementation and enforcement

In order to ensure a uniform implementation of the EU ABS Regulation across the European Union and provide a platform for cooperation between the Member States Competent Authorities as well as with the European Commission, the Commission has set up the ABS Expert Group. The Group meets approximately four times a year to share information, best practices and lessons learnt, and to develop guidance for the users of genetic resources. A summary record of the meetings of the ABS Expert Group is published in the Register of Commission Expert Groups.