ABS Focal Point Newsletter

[For the Dutch version, see the ABS Focal Point website.]
[Voor de Nederlandse versie, zie de website van het ABS-Loket.]

Welcome to the first ABS Focal Point newsletter. Here you'll read the latest news on access and benefit-sharing and the ABS Focal Point. Keep up to date with current affairs and learn more about different elements of ABS.

In this newsletter you can find:

  • Are you a user of genetic resources?
  • To DECLARE or not to DECLARE: when to submit a due diligence declaration.
  • Updated: Frequently Asked Questions.
  • New and updated website sections.

Are you a user of genetic resources?

Are you unsure whether you are a user of genetic resources? When your activities with genetic resources fall under the definition of utilisation, you are considered to be a user of genetic resources.

In short, utilisation of genetic resources means to conduct research and development on the genetic and/or biochemical composition of genetic resources. If your activities don’t include research or development, you are not a user.

But there are some exemptions in what constitutes utilisation under the EU ABS Regulation. For example, genetic resources that are covered by a specialised international ABS-instrument fall outside the scope of the EU ABS Regulation.

To help you determine whether you are a user, our new page offers guidelines on what is and what isn’t considered utilisation under the EU ABS Regulation.

  Read more in 'When am I a user?'

To DECLARE or not to DECLARE: when to submit a due diligence declaration

As a user of genetic resources, you need to apply due diligence. In some cases, you submit a declaration to state you have complied with these obligations, but in other situations this is not needed.

Lately we have noticed that it is not always clear for users of genetic resources when to submit a due diligence declaration and when this is not required. For example, declarations were submitted for genetic resources that were not in scope of the EU ABS Regulation.

Due diligence declarations are only submitted when the utilisation of genetic resources falls within the scope of the EU ABS Regulation and when one of the following situations applies: (1) external funding is received for research on genetic resources, and (2) final development of a product developed via the utilisation of genetic resources. In case both situations occur in the R&D process, due diligence declarations are submitted in both stages.

In other situations, e.g. in case of research on genetic resources without external funding and without final product development, no due diligence declaration needs to be submitted (but other requirements of the EU ABS Regulation may need to be fulfilled).

  Read more in 'To DECLARE or not to DECLARE'

Updated: Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the ABS Focal Point website recently went through some major changes. Based on your questions and new information we have received, we updated existing sections of the FAQ and added new sections.

EU ABS Regulation is a brand new section that highlights relevant elements of the EU Regulation 511/2014. It provides more information on when genetic resources are within the scope of the EU ABS Regulation, when you are a user of genetic resources, which specialised ABS instruments are recognised, and when to submit due diligence declarations.

Compliance and administration now contains additional information on how to minimise your administrative burden while still complying with ABS requirements.

Information on the implementation of the ABS legislation in the Netherlands is newly available in How is compliance monitored and enforced in the Netherlands?

The Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework was added to Which rules apply to ABS? and on the PIP Framework page.

Important terms was updated with the definitions of ‘country of origin’, ‘provider country’ and ‘due diligence declarations’.

Can’t find your question in the FAQ? Contact the ABS Focal Point.

  Read the FAQ

New and updated website sections

  FAQ: EU ABS Regulation
  FAQ: When am I a user of genetic resources?
  International instruments: PIP Framework
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