Important legal notice
Home | Sitemap | F.A.Q. | Glossary | Contact | Search on EUROPA  

Summary of Treaty

Official Title Cartagena protocol on biosafety to the convention on biological diversity
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Place of Signature Montreal
Date of Signature 24/05/2000
Date of Entry Into Force 11/09/2003
Duration Indefinite
Agreement Suspension Justification

Objective of Agreement
To ensure an adequate level of protection for the transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that may have adverse effects on the environment and human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements
On 29 January 2000, after five years of discussions, ministers and delegates of more than 130 countries adopted, united in Montreal, a legal text officially called "Cartagena Protocol on the prevention of biotechnological risks to the Convention on biological diversity". Often named Cartagena Protocol, it covers genetically modified organisms (GMOs), i.e. every "biological entity able to transfer or to respond genetic material [and] having a combination of new genetic materiel obtained by recourse to modern biotechnology". Its objective is to contribute governing "transboundary movements, transit, the manipulation and the use of any GMO which could have bad effects on the conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity and involve risks to human health". It contains the precaution approach and in fact a condition for application, as set out in the principle No 15 of the Rio Declaration on environment and development adopted in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio. In the Protocol, the precaution approach can be read as follows: The absence of scientific certainty due to the insufficiency of relevant information and scientific knowledge concerning the extent of the potentially unfavorable effects of a GMO on the conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity in the importing Party, including the risks that it involves for human health, does not hinder this Party to take, as it is appropriate, a decision on the import of the GMO in question […] to avoid or reduce at least these potentially unfavorable effects." Regulation (EC) n° 1946/2003, of 15 July 2003, of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms [OJ L287 of 05/11/2003] puts into service the provisions of the Cartagena Protocol on the prevention of biotechnological risks. The Cartagena Protocol arises from the United Nations Convention on biological diversity signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and was drawn up to fulfill the requirements of its Article 19.
OJ Reference L201, 31/07/2002, p. 50
Depositary United Nations Organisation
Contracting Parties European Community, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Authentic Texts Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Subject Matters Environment
Authentic Texts Article 40 Convention
Entry into force conditions Article 37 Convention
Regional and International Organisation (REIO) Article 36 Convention
Date of Signature 24/05/2000
Conclusion Date 27/08/2002
Ratification Status AP
Conclusion Decision Council Decision of 25 June 2002 concerning the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety; OJ L201 of 31/07/2002, p.48
Date of Entry Into Force 11/09/2003
Reserves A declaration of EU competence exists for this treaty. To consult the text click on "to load all the summary data of the treaty".
Competence Mixed
Financial Provision of Agreement

Legal Basis Treaty EC: Article 175
General Comments


Last Update :   20/03/2013