Welcome to the Austrian Biosafety Clearing House (A-BCH)

Legal framework for the Biosafety Clearing House

The Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) is a core element of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB). The CPB is an extension agreement for Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992.

The Protocol came into force in September 2003. Austria ratified the Protocol in August 2003 and is thus one of the initial Parties to the Protocol.

In the European Union the terms of the Cartagena Protocol including the requirements with regard to the BCH are implemented by the European Regulation (EC) 1946/2003, which is in force in all EU Member States since November 2003.

The BCH is open for participation to Non-Parties of the Cartagena Protocol. Certain Non-Parties, such as the USA, actively participate in the BCH.

The BCH was established according to Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol as an obligatory information platform for the parties to the Protocol and for the information of the general public.

The BCH shall facilitate the exchange of scientific, technical and legal information with regard to risk assessment and authorisation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are crucial for the implementation of the Protocol as well as for the general exchange of information. According to the terminology of the Cartagena Protocol GMOs are also denominated as living modified organisms (LMOs).

The BCH hosts information which is necessary for the export of LMOs into other countries according to the Advanced informed agreement  (AIA).

What is the content of the A-BCH?

The A-BCH contains information on

  • aims of the BCH mechanism and structure of the BCH
  • Austrian National Focal Points and Competent Authorities
  • legal framework for the use of GMOs
  • Austrian decisions regarding the use of GMOs
  • the Cartagena Protocol and its implementation

BCH-Central Portal

The A-BCH is linked to the international information node of the BCH - the Central Portal of the BCH (BCH-CP).

The BCH-CP contains all information which is notified by Parties in standardised, searchable formats.

Welcome to the Austrian Biosafety Clearing House

The Webpages of the Austrian Biosafety Clearing House (A-BCH) constitute the Austrian information node of the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) - the international information system according to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

The Austrian contributions to the BCH and the A-BCH are maintained by Umweltbundesamt.