Scope of the Biosafety Clearing House

The Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) was established according to Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol as a joint information platform for the parties to the Protocol and as a tool for the general public to access this information.

Aims of the Biosafety Clearing House

The aims of the BCH are:

  • The BCH shall assist the Parties to implement the Protocol, taking into account the special needs of developing countries.It facilitates the general exchange of scientific, technical and legal information on living modified organisms (LMOs) concerning transboundary movement and release into the environment.
  • Furthermore it shall act as a platform to share experiences with the use of LMOs.The BCH provides the mechanism by which Parties are informed about final decisions regarding domestic use (including placing on the market) of LMOs that may be subject to transboundary movement for food, feed use or for processing.
  • Last but not least the BCH is the only means for the exchange of information as required by the Protocol, including information for the advance informed agreement procedure (AIA).

Purpose of the Austrian Biosafety Clearing House

The Austrian BCH (A-BCH) contains the Information required by the Cartagena Protocol and the Decisions of the Conferences of the Parties in German as well as in English language.

Additionally relevant Austrian information sources concerning the deliberate release of LMOs are interlinked to the A-BCH. Furthermore related information on GMOs published at the Website of the Umweltbundesamt is interlinked with the A-BCH.

The BCH-information submitted by Austria is also contained in searchable form and in all 6 UN-languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese) at the Central Portal of the BCH.

Additional information contained in the Biosafety Clearing House

Information which is crucial for operation of the Cartagena Protocol is maintained by the national competent authorities. Information at the central portal of the BCH can be updated also by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD).

Additionally to the set of core information supplementary information regarding capacity building on implementation of LMO regulation and the Cartagena Protocol, as well as general information on LMOs can by notified by anyone who holds knowledge on such information.