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Third National Report on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Record information and status
Record ID
109103
Status
Published
Date of creation
2015-10-29 16:03 UTC (michael.eckerstorfer@umweltbundesamt.at)
Date of publication
2015-10-29 16:03 UTC (michael.eckerstorfer@umweltbundesamt.at)

Origin of report
1. Country
  • Austria
Contact officer for report
Coordinates
Dr. Helmut Gaugitsch
Head of Unit Landuse & Biosafety
Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Environment Agency Austria) (EAA)
Spittelauer Lände 5, 1090 Vienna, Österreich/Austria
Vienna, Vienna
Austria, 1090
Phone:+43 1 31304 ext 3133
Fax:+43 1 31304 ext 3700
Email:helmut.gaugitsch@umweltbundesamt.at
Consulted stakeholders
9. Organizations/stakeholders who were consulted or participated in the preparation of this report
Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Science and Research, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES)
Submission
10. Date of submission
2015-10-29
11. Time period covered by this report
Start date
2011-10-01
11. Time period covered by this report
End date
2015-10-29
Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Is your country a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB)?
  • Yes
Article 2 – General provisions
14. Has your country introduced the necessary legal, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the Protocol?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.1.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, and 3.1.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • A domestic regulatory framework is fully in place
15. If you indicated that a national biosafety framework exists in the above question, when did it become operational?
This question is relevant to the indicator 1.1.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 2001 or earlier
16. Which specific instruments are in place for the implementation of your national biosafety framework?
  • One or more national biosafety laws
  • One or more national biosafety regulations
  • One or more sets of biosafety guidelines
  • Other laws, regulations or guidelines that indirectly apply to biosafety
17. Has your country established a mechanism for the budgetary allocations of funds for the operation of its national biosafety framework?
  • Yes
18. Does your country have permanent staff to administer functions directly related to the national biosafety framework?
  • Yes
19. If you answered Yes to question 18, how many permanent staff members are in place whose functions are directly related to the national biosafety framework?
  • More than 10
20. Has your country’s biosafety framework / laws / regulations / guidelines been submitted to the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH)?
  • Yes
21. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 2 in your country
The EU biosafety framework as reported by the European Commission (EC) is directly or indirectly applicable to Austria. The EU-Regulations as referenced by the EC are directly applicable, the relevant EU-Directives have been transposed into Austrian legislation.
The Austrian Gene Technology Act regulates the application of GMOs in agriculture and medicine in a general way. It is in force since 1995 and was amended several times. The Act transposes the European Directive for the deliberate release and the placing on the market of GMO products, as well as the EU Directive concerning contained use of GMOs. Implementation of the Austrian Gene Technology Act is supported by a number of ordinances established at the federal level.
To implement measures for Co-existence of GM crops and non-modified crops the 9 federal provinces ("Bundesländer") introduced specific regulations, which apply within their territories.
An overview on the Austrian legal framework is provided at http://www.biosafety.at/ms/biosafety/en/enbiosafety_law/ ; a brief description of the framework is available at: http://bmg.gv.at/home/Schwerpunkte/Gentechnik/Fachinformation_Allgemeines/ , Section Behördeninformationen: "Description of Austrian Regulations on Genetic Engineering"
Article 5 - Pharmaceuticals
22. Does your country regulate the transboundary movement, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) which are pharmaceuticals?
  • Yes
23. If you answered Yes to question 22, has this information been submitted to the BCH?
  • Yes
24. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 5 in your country:
The EU framework for medical products as outlined by the submission of the European Commission also applies for Austria. The relevant provisions of Directive 2001/18/EC are transposed into Austrian law by the Austrian Gene Technology Act (for further information see http://www.biosafety.at/ms/biosafety/en/enbiosafety_law/ )
Article 6 – Transit and Contained use
25. Does your country regulate the transit of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.8.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
26. Does your country regulate the contained use of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.1.2 and 1.8.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
27. If you answered Yes to questions 25 or 26, has this information been submitted to the BCH?
  • Yes
28. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 6 in your country:
The EU framework as outlined by the submission of the European Commission also applies for Austria. The relevant provisions of Directive 2001/18/EC are transposed into Austrian law by the Austrian Gene Technology Act (for a description see http://bmg.gv.at/home/Schwerpunkte/Gentechnik/Fachinformation_Allgemeines/ , Section Behördeninformationen: "Description of Austrian Regulations on Genetic Engineering").
Articles 7 to 10 – Advance Informed Agreement (AIA) and intentional introduction of LMOs into the environment
29. Has your country adopted law(s) / regulations / administrative measures for the operation of the AIA procedure of the Protocol OR a domestic regulatory framework consistent with the Protocol regarding the transboundary movement of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.1.2 and 3.1.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
30. Has your country established a mechanism for taking decisions regarding first intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • Yes
31. If you answered Yes to question 30, does the mechanism also apply to cases of intentional introduction of LMOs into the environment that were not subject to transboundary movement?
  • Yes
32. Has your country established legal requirements for exporters under its jurisdiction to notify in writing the competent national authority of the Party of import prior to the intentional transboundary movement of an LMO that falls within the scope of the AIA procedure?
  • Yes
33. Has your country established legal requirements for the accuracy of information contained in the notification?
  • Yes
34. Has your country ever received an application / notification regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
35. Has your country ever taken a decision on an application / notification regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
38. In the current reporting period, how many applications/notifications has your country received regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • None
39. In the current reporting period, how many decisions has your country taken regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • None
46. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Articles 7-10 in your country, including measures in case of lack of scientific certainty on potential adverse effects of LMOs for intentional introduction to the environment
Further details on the implementation of Articles 7-10 in Austria and the other EU-Member-States are outlined in the submission of the European Commission with regard to the EU regulatory framework.
Article 11 – Procedure for living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (LMOs-FFP)
47. Has your country adopted specific law(s) or regulation(s) for decision-making regarding domestic use, including placing on the market, of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
48. Has your country established legal requirements for the accuracy of information to be provided by the applicant?
  • Yes
49. Has your country established a mechanism to ensure that decisions regarding LMOs-FFP that may be subject to transboundary movement will be communicated to the Parties through the BCH?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
50. Has your country established a mechanism for taking decisions on the import of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.1.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
51. Has your country indicated its needs for financial and technical assistance and capacity-building in respect of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
52. Has your country ever taken a decision on LMOs-FFP (either on import or domestic use)?
  • Yes
53. How many LMOs-FFP has your country approved to date?
  • More than 10
54. In the current reporting period, how many decisions has your country taken regarding the import of LMOs-FFP?
  • More than 10
55. In the current reporting period, how many decisions has your country taken regarding domestic use, including placing on the market, of LMOs-FFP?
  • More than 10
56. Has your country informed the Parties through the BCH of its decision(s) regarding import, of LMOs-FFP?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, always
57. Has your country informed the Parties through the BCH of its decision(s) regarding domestic use, including placing on the market, of LMOs-FFP within 15 days?
  • Yes, but with delays (i.e. longer than 15 days)
58. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 11 in your country, including measures in case of lack of scientific certainty on potential adverse effects of LMOs-FFP
For a description of the comprehensive regulatory framework of the EU, which is applicable in Austria, pls. see the respective submission of the European Commission. Decisions for authorisition of LMOs-FFP are taken at the EU-level and authorise the use of these LMOs-FFP in all EU-member states, including Austria.
Austria itself has taken national decisions to introduce safeguard measures for some LMOs to prohibit the cultivation and in some cases the import and placing on the market of LMOs according to Directive 2001/18/EC and the respective provisions of the Austrian Gene Technology Act (Para. 60). These measures are based on concerns regarding the conclusions of the risk assessments conducted at the EU-level for these applications. For an overview on these decisions see: http://www.biosafety.at/ms/biosafety/en/enbiosafety_natdecisions/enbiosafety_decision1/
Article 12 – Review of decision
59. Has your country established a mechanism for the review and change of a decision regarding an intentional transboundary movement of LMOs?
  • Yes
60. Has your country ever received a request for a review of a decision?
  • No
61. Has your country ever reviewed / changed a decision regarding an intentional transboundary movement of LMOs?
  • No
62. In the current reporting period, how many decisions were reviewed and/or changed regarding an intentional transboundary movement of an LMO?
  • None
66. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 12 in your country
For general information see the submission of the European Commission with regard to the respective provisions of the EU regulatory framework. The provisions of Article 20 of Directive 2001/18/EC are transposed in national law by Austrian Gene Technology Law (GTG) Article 58b and 58e.
Article 13 – Simplified procedure
67. Has your country established a system for the application of the simplified procedure regarding an intentional transboundary movement of LMOs?
  • No
68. Has your country ever applied the simplified procedure?
  • No
70. In the current reporting period, how many LMOs has your country applied the simplified procedure to?
  • None
71. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 13 in your country
See submission of the European Commission with regard to the EU regulatory framework.
Article 14 – Bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements and arrangements
72. Has your country entered into any bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements or arrangements?
  • Yes
73. If you answered Yes to question 72, how many LMO-related collaborative bilateral/multilateral arrangements has your country established with other Parties/non-Parties?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.8 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
74. If you answered Yes to question 72, has your country informed the Parties through the BCH of the agreements or arrangements?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
75. If you answered Yes to question 72, please provide a brief description of the scope and objective of the agreements or arrangements entered into
As noted by the European Commission the treaties on establishment of the European Union entered into by all Member States including Austria, need to be regarded as an agreement in the scope of question 72. Among other things the Biosafety framework of the EU has to be implemented according to the aquis established by the EU treaties.
76. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 14 in your country
The Austrian government did not enter into any bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements, other the European Union itself.
The EU has determined as per Article 14(4) and 9 (2) (c) that it relies on its existing legislative framework for intentional movements of GMOs within the European Union and for imports of GMOs into the European Union. This decision has been communicated to other Parties through the Biosafety Clearing-House.
Articles 15 & 16 – Risk Assessment and Risk Management
77. Has your country established a national framework for conducting risk assessments prior to taking decisions regarding LMOs?
  • Yes
78. If you answered Yes to question 77, does this framework include procedures for identifying and/or training national experts to conduct risk assessments?
  • Yes
79. How many people in your country have been trained in risk assessment, monitoring, management and control of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.3 of the Strategic Plan
a) Risk assessment:
  • 10 or more
b) Management / Control:
  • 10 or more
c) Monitoring:
  • 10 or more
80. Is your country using training material and/or technical guidance for training in risk assessment and risk management of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
81. Is your country using the "Manual on Risk Assessment of LMOs" (developed by CBD Secretariat) for training in risk assessment?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
82. Is your country using the "Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs" (developed by the Online Forum and the AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management) for training in risk assessment?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
83. Are the currently available training materials or technical guidance on risk assessment and/or risk management of LMOs sufficient?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.6 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
84. Does your country have the capacity to detect, identify, assess and/or monitor living modified organisms or specific traits that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking into account risks to human health?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.4.2 and 1.6.3 of the Strategic Plan
a) Detect:
  • Yes
b) Identify:
  • Yes
c) Assess:
  • Yes
d) Monitor:
  • Yes
85. Has your country adopted or used any guidance documents for the purpose of conducting risk assessment or risk management, or for evaluating risk assessment reports submitted by notifiers?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
a) Risk assessment:
  • Yes
b) Risk management:
  • Yes
86. Is your country using the "Guidance on Risk Assessment of LMOs" (developed by the Online Forum and the AHTEG on Risk Assessment and Risk Management) for conducting risk assessment or risk management, or for evaluating risk assessment reports submitted by notifiers?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
87. Has your country adopted any common approaches to risk assessment with other countries?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
88. Has your country cooperated with other Parties with a view to identifying LMOs or specific traits that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.4.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
89. Has your country ever conducted a risk assessment of an LMO including any type of risk assessment of LMOs, e.g. for contained use, field trials, commercial purposes, direct use as food, feed, or for processing?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.3.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
90. If you answered Yes to question 89, please indicate the scope of the risk assessments (select all that apply):
  • Commercial production
  • Field trial
  • LMOs for Contained use
  • LMOs for direct use as food
  • LMOs for direct use as feed
91. If you answered Yes to question 89, were the summary reports of the risk assessments submitted to the BCH?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes, always
92. If you answered Yes to question 89, were risk assessments conducted for all decisions taken on LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment or on domestic use of LMOs for direct use as food, feed, or for processing?
  • Yes, always
93. If you answered Yes to question 89, how many risk assessments were conducted in the current reporting period?
  • 10 or less
94. Has your country taken measures to ensure that any LMO, whether imported or locally developed, undergoes an appropriate period of observation that is commensurate with its life-cycle or generation time before it is put to its intended use?
  • Yes
95. Has your country established a mechanism for monitoring potential effects of LMOs that are released into the environment?
  • Yes
96. Does your country have the infrastructure (e.g. laboratory facilities) for monitoring or managing LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.2.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
97. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Articles 15 and 16 in your country
Decisions with regard to release and placing on the market of LMOs are taken on an EU level according to its regulatory framework and are binding for all EU Member States, including Austria. This biosafety framework mandates to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment prior to decision making. For further information see the respective submission of the European Commission.
According to Direction 2001/18/EC the justifications for national safeguard measures which are based on concerns about the conclusions of the EU-wide risk assessment of the respective LMOs do not require a full risk assessment to be conducted.
Article 17 – Unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures
98. Has your country established and maintained appropriate measures to prevent unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • Yes
99. Has your country established a mechanism for addressing emergency measures in case of unintentional transboundary movements of LMOs that are likely to have significant adverse effect on biological diversity?
  • Yes
100. Does your country have the capacity to take appropriate measures in the event that an LMO is unintentionally released?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.8.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
101. In the current reporting period, how many times has your country received information concerning occurrences that led, or may have led, to unintentional transboundary movement(s) of one or more LMOs to or from territories under its jurisdiction?
  • Never
105. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 17 in your country
Further details are outlined in the submission of the European Commission with regard to the EU regulatory framework.
Article 18 – Handling, transport, packaging and identification
106. Has your country taken measures to require that LMOs that are subject to transboundary movement are handled, packaged and transported under conditions of safety, taking into account relevant international rules and standards?
  • Yes
107. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs-FFP clearly identifies that, in cases where the identity of the LMOs is not known through means such as identity preservation systems, they may contain living modified organisms and are not intended for intentional introduction into the environment, as well as a contact point for further information?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
108. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs-FFP clearly identifies that, in cases where the identity of the LMOs is known through means such as identity preservation systems, they contain living modified organisms and are not intended for intentional introduction into the environment, as well as a contact point for further information?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
109. If you answered Yes or Yes, to some extent to question(s) 107 and/or 108, what type of documentation does your country require for the identification of LMOs-FFP?
  • Existing types of documentation
110. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs that are destined for contained use clearly identifies them as living modified organisms and specifies any requirements for the safe handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point for further information, including the name and address of the individual and institution to whom the LMO are consigned?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
111. If you answered Yes or Yes, to some extent to question 110, what type of documentation does your country require for the identification of LMOs that are destined for contained?
  • Existing types of documentation
112. Has your country taken measures to require that documentation accompanying LMOs that are intended for intentional introduction into the environment of the Party of import, clearly identifies them as living modified organisms; specifies the identity and relevant traits and/or characteristics, any requirements for the safe handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point for further information and, as appropriate, the name and address of the importer and exporter; and contains a declaration that the movement is in conformity with the requirements of this Protocol applicable to the exporter?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
113. If you answered Yes or Yes, to some extent to question 112, what type of documentation does your country require for the identification of LMOs that are intended for intentional introduction into the environment?
  • Existing types of documentation
114. Does your country have available any guidance for the purpose of ensuring the safe handling, transport, and packaging of living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.6.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
115. Does your country have the capacity to enforce the requirements of identification and documentation of LMOs?
  • Yes
116. How many customs officers in your country have received training in the identification of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 10 or more
117. Has your country established procedures for the sampling and detection of LMOs?
  • Yes
118. How many laboratory personnel in your country have received training in detection of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 10 or more
119. Does your country have reliable access to laboratory facilities for the detection of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
120. How many laboratories in your country are certified for LMO detection?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
121. How many of the certified laboratories in the previous question are currently operating in the detection of LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.3.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
122. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 18 in your country:
Further details on the implementation of Articles 18 in Austria and the other EU-Member-States are outlined in the submission of the European Commission with regard to the EU regulatory framework.
Article 19 – Competent National Authorities and National Focal Points
123. In case your country has designated more than one competent national authority, has your country established a mechanism for the coordination of their actions prior to taking decisions regarding LMOs?
  • Yes
124. Has your country established adequate institutional capacity to enable the competent national authority(ies) to perform the administrative functions required by the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety?
  • Yes
125. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 19 in your country
See also the detailed submission of the European Commission with regard to implementation of article 19 in the EU and its Member States.
Article 20 – Information Sharing and the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH)
126. Please provide an overview of the status of the mandatory information provided by your country to the BCH by specifying for each category of information whether it is available and whether it has been submitted to the BCH.
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
a) Existing national legislation, regulations and guidelines for implementing the Protocol, as well as information required by Parties for the advance informed agreement procedure (Article 20, paragraph 3 (a))
  • Information available and in the BCH
b) National laws, regulations and guidelines applicable to the import of LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (Article 11, paragraph 5)
  • Information available and in the BCH
c) Bilateral, multilateral and regional agreements and arrangements (Articles 14, paragraph 2 and 20, paragraph 3 (b))
  • Information available and in the BCH
d) Contact details for competent national authorities (Article 19, paragraphs 2 and 3), national focal points (Article 19, paragraphs 1 and 3), and emergency contacts (Article 17, paragraph 3 (e))
  • Information available and in the BCH
e) Reports submitted by the Parties on the operation of the Protocol (Article 20, paragraph 3 (e))
  • Information available and in the BCH
f) Decisions by a Party on regulating the transit of specific living modified organisms (LMOs) (Article 6, paragraph 1)
  • Information available and in the BCH
g) Occurrence of unintentional transboundary movements that are likely to have significant adverse effects on biological diversity (Article 17, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
h) Illegal transboundary movements of LMOs (Article 25, paragraph 3)
  • Information not available
i) Final decisions regarding the importation or release of LMOs (i.e. approval or prohibition, any conditions, requests for further information, extensions granted, reasons for decision) (Articles 10, paragraph 3 and 20, paragraph 3(d))
  • Information available and in the BCH
j) Information on the application of domestic regulations to specific imports of LMOs (Article 14, paragraph 4)
  • Information available and in the BCH
k) Final decisions regarding the domestic use of LMOs that may be subject to transboundary movement for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (Article 11, paragraph 1)
  • Information available and in the BCH
l) Final decisions regarding the import of LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing that are taken under domestic regulatory frameworks (Article 11, paragraph 4) or in accordance with annex III (Article 11, paragraph 6) (requirement of Article 20, paragraph 3(d))
  • Information available and in the BCH
m) Declarations regarding the framework to be used for LMOs intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing (Article 11, paragraph 6)
  • Information available and in the BCH
n) Review and change of decisions regarding intentional transboundary movements of LMOs (Article 12, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
o) LMOs granted exemption status by each Party (Article 13, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
p) Cases where intentional transboundary movement may take place at the same time as the movement is notified to the Party of import (Article 13, paragraph 1)
  • Information not available
q) Summaries of risk assessments or environmental reviews of LMOs generated by regulatory processes and relevant information regarding products thereof (Article 20, paragraph 3 (c))
  • Information available and in the BCH
127. Has your country established a mechanism for strengthening the capacity of the BCH National Focal Point to perform its administrative functions?
  • Yes
128. Has your country established a mechanism for the coordination among the BCH National Focal Point, the Cartagena Protocol focal point, and the competent national authority(ies) for making information available to the BCH?
  • Yes
129. Does your country use the information available in the BCH in its decision making processes on LMOs?
  • Yes, always
130. Has your country experienced difficulties accessing or using the BCH?
This question is relevant to indicator 4.1.8 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
131. Is the information submitted by your country to the BCH complete and up-to date?
  • Yes
132. Please indicate the number of regional, national and international events organized in relation to biosafety (e.g. seminars, workshops, press conferences, educational events, etc.,) in the last 2 years:
This question is relevant to indicator 4.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 10 or more
133. Please indicate the number of biosafety related publications that has been made available in your country in the last year:
This question is relevant to indicator 4.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
134. If biosafety related publications were made available (see question above), please indicate which modalities were preferred:
This question is relevant to indicator 4.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • National website
135. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 20 in your country
The Austrian BCH focal point is regularly coordinating his activities with the national focal points from the other EU member states, with the BCH focal point of the European Community and with the SCBD secretariat. Relevant information is on the one hand submitted to the BCH central portal and on the other hand available at the national BCH in German and English language.
Advice and help by the SCBD staff concerning technical questions regarding operation of the BCH is kindly acknowledged.
Article 21 – Confidential information
136. Has your country established procedures to protect confidential information received under the Protocol?
  • Yes
137. Does your country allow the notifier to identify information that is to be treated as confidential?
  • Yes, always
138. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 21 in your country
For further information regarding confidential information see the respective submission of the European Commission.
Article 22 – Capacity-building
139. Does your country have predictable and reliable funding for building capacity for the effective implementation of the Protocol?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.6 and 3.1.8 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
140. Has your country received external support or benefited from collaborative activities with other Parties in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • No
142. Has your country provided support to other Parties in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • Yes
143. If you answered Yes to question 142, how were these resources made available?
  • Bilateral channels
144. Has your country ever initiated a process to access GEF funds for building capacity in biosafety?
  • No
147. During the current reporting period, has your country undertaken activities for the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • No
149. During the current reporting period, has your country carried out a capacity-building needs assessment?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
151. Does your country still have capacity-building needs?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.7 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
153. Has your country developed a capacity-building strategy or action plan?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
154. Does your country have in place a functional national mechanism for coordinating biosafety capacity-building initiatives?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
155. How many biosafety short-term training programmes and/or academic courses are offered annually in your country?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • 1 per year or more
156. Has your country submitted the details of national biosafety experts to the Roster of Experts in the BCH?
  • Yes
157. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 22 in your country, including further details about your experience in accessing GEF funds
Austria has again contributed to capacity building initiatives (some funded by GEF) in the field of biosafety for the effective implementation of the Protocol.
Article 23 – Public awareness and participation
158. Has your country established a strategy or put in place legislation for promoting and facilitating public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs?
  • Yes
159. Has your country designed and/or implemented an outreach/communication strategy on biosafety?
This question is relevant to indicator 5.3.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
160. Does your country have any awareness and outreach programmes on biosafety?
This question is relevant to indicator 5.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
161. If you answered Yes to question 160, please indicate what entity is responsible for carrying out the programmes and/or services and at which level the programmes take place (e.g. local, national, etc.):
This question is relevant to indicator 5.3.1 of the Strategic Plan
At the national level the Austrian Ministry of Health (BMG) is responsible for carrying out awareness and outreach programmes and for supporting the respective services, among them:
* providing basic information materials on Biosafety (e.g. see new brochure for the public with information as regards green biotech applications for food&feed consumers, http://www.bmg.gv.at/home/Service/Broschueren/ )
* providing access to all relevant sources of regulation at the national and EU-level
* providing access to the published outcome of Biosafety research studies conducted by the BMG
* providing contact information and links to national institutions involved in Biosafety activities in Austria, e.g. as involved in scientific risk assessment, decision making, enforcement of risk management, public information/participation, stakeholders (NGOs, industry, professional association, academia).
162. Has your country established a biosafety website searchable archives, national resource centres or sections in existing national libraries dedicated to biosafety educational materials?
This question is relevant to indicators 2.5.3 and 5.3.3 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
163. How many collaborative initiatives (including joint activities) on the Cartagena Protocol and other Conventions and processes has your government established in the last 4 years?
This question is relevant to indicator 5.2.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • None
164. Has your country established a mechanism to ensure public access to information on living modified organisms that may be imported?
  • Yes
165. Has your country established a mechanism to consult the public in the decision-making process regarding LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
166. Has your country established a mechanism to make available to the public the results of decisions taken on LMOs?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
167. Has your country informed the public about existing modalities for public participation in the decision-making process regarding living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
168. If you answered Yes to question 167, please indicate the modalities used to inform the public:
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • National website
  • Newspaper
  • Public hearings
169. If you indicated more than one modality for public participation in question 168, which one was most used?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.5.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • National website
170. Has your country taken any initiative to inform its public about the means of public access to the Biosafety Clearing-House?
  • Yes
171. How many academic institutions in your country are offering biosafety education and training courses and programmes?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.7.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 3 or more
172. Please indicate the number of educational materials and/or online modules on biosafety that are available and accessible to the public in your country:
This question is relevant to indicators 2.7.2 and 5.3.4 of the Strategic Plan
  • One or more
173. In the current reporting period, has your country promoted and facilitated public awareness, education and participation concerning the safe transfer, handling and use of LMOs?
  • Yes
174. If you answered Yes to question 173, has your country cooperated with other States and international bodies?
  • No
175. In the current reporting period, how many times has your country consulted the public in the decision-making process regarding LMOs and made the results of such decisions available to the public?
  • Never
176. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 23 in your country
For further information regarding EU-wide implementation of Article 23 see the respective submission of the European Commission.
In the current reporting period no applications for deliberate release of LMOs or notifications of work in contained use at relevant safety levels and volumes, which require national consultation and participation activities were filed in Austria.
Article 24 – Non-Parties
177. Has your country entered into any bilateral, regional, or multilateral agreement with non-Parties regarding transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • No
178. Has your country ever imported LMOs from a non-Party?
  • Yes
179. Has your country ever exported LMOs to a non-Party?
  • No
180. If you answered Yes to questions 178 or 179, were the transboundary movements of LMOs consistent with the objective of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety?
  • Yes
181. If you answered Yes to questions 178 or 179, was information about these transboundary movements submitted to the BCH?
  • Yes, always
183. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 24 in your country:
For further information regarding Article 24 implementation see the respective submission of the European Commission; all imports were authorised according to the EU biosafety framework.
Article 25 – Illegal transboundary movements
184. Has your country adopted domestic measures aimed at preventing and/or penalizing transboundary movements of LMOs carried out in contravention of its domestic measures to implement this Protocol?
  • Yes
185. Has your country established a strategy for detecting illegal transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • Yes
186. In the current reporting period, how many times has your country received information concerning cases of illegal transboundary movements of an LMO to or from territories under its jurisdiction?
If you replied Never to question 186 please go to question 191
  • More than 10
187. If your country received information concerning cases of illegal transboundary movements of an LMO in the current reporting period, has your country informed the BCH and the other Party(ies) involved?
This question is relevant to indicators 3.1.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • Only the other Party(ies) involved
188. If your country received information concerning cases of illegal transboundary movements of an LMO in the current reporting period, has your country established the origin of the LMO(s)?
  • Yes
189. If your country received information concerning cases of illegal transboundary movements of an LMO in the current reporting period, has your country established the nature of the LMO(s)?
  • Yes
190. If your country received information concerning cases of illegal transboundary movements of an LMO in the current reporting period, has your country established the circumstances of the illegal transboundary movement(s)?
  • Yes
191. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 25 in your country
For further information regarding measures concerning illegal transboundary movement of LMOs see the respective submission of the European Commission.
Article 26 – Socio-economic considerations
192. Does your country have any specific approaches or requirements that facilitate how socio-economic considerations should be taken into account in LMO decision making?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.7.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
193. If your country has taken a decision on import, has it ever taken into account socio-economic considerations arising from the impact of the LMO on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity?
  • No
194. How many peer-reviewed published materials has your country used for the purpose of elaborating or determining national actions with regard to socio-economic considerations?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.7.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • 50 or more
195. What is your country's experience, if any, in taking socio-economic considerations into account in LMO decision making? Please give details:
This question is relevant to indicator 1.7.3 of the Strategic Plan
None at present
196. Has your country cooperated with other Parties on research and information exchange on any socio-economic impacts of LMOs?
  • Yes
197. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 26 in your country
Discussions on the consideration of socio-economic aspects of LMO use and specifically discussions concerning the implementation of Directive 2015/412/EU are ongoing both at the national level and in coordination with the respective activities of other EU member states and the European Commission. Austrian experts are participating in the work of the European GMO Socio-Economics Bureau and have conducted and published own studies addressing the issue (e.g. Greiter Anita, Miklau Marianne, Heissenberger Andreas, Gaugitsch Helmut (2011): Socio-Economic Aspects in the Assessment of GMOS-Options for Action. Umweltbundesamt Reports, Vol. 0354; ISBN: 978-3-99004-157-4, http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/aktuell/publikationen/publikationssuche/publikationsdetail/?pub_id=1941)
For further information regarding EU level activities see the submission of the European Commission.
Article 27 – Liability and Redress
198. Has your country ratified or acceded to the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress?
  • Yes
200. Has your country received any financial and/or technical assistance for capacity-building in the area of liability and redress relating to living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicator 2.4.1 of the Strategic Plan
  • No
201. Does your country have administrative or legal instrument that provide for response measures for damage to biodiversity resulting from living modified organisms?
This question is relevant to indicators 1.5.2 and 2.4.2 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
202. Here you may provide further details on any activities undertaken in your country towards the implementation of the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress
At the national level liability and redress were covered by an amendment of the Austrian Law on Genetic Engineering (Gentechnikgesetz), specifically by Articles 79a-m according to amendments introduced in 1998 and 2004 respectively.
For a discussion of the EU-wide regulatory framework see the submission by the European Commission.
Article 28 – Financial Mechanism and Resources
203. How much additional funding (in the equivalent of US dollars) has your country mobilized in the last four years to support implementation of the Biosafety Protocol, beyond the regular national budgetary allocation?
This question is relevant to indicator 1.2.5 of the Strategic Plan
  • 100,000 USD or more
Article 33 – Monitoring and reporting
204. Does your country have in place a monitoring and/or an enforcement system for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol?
This question is relevant to indicator 3.1.6 of the Strategic Plan
a) Monitoring system:
  • No
b) Enforcement system:
  • No
205. Has your country submitted all the previous due National Reports?
  • Yes
Other information
184. Please use this field to provide any other information on issues related to national implementation of the Protocol, including any obstacles or impediments encountered.
It has to be noted that as far as the EU and its MS are concerned, there are two layers of implementation of the Protocol, one at EU level and one at national level.
The present report contains information on implementation of the Cartagena Protocol at the Austrian national level. The EU Commission in her submission will provide information on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol at the EU level as well as information on the respective EU legislation.
Comments on reporting format
185. Please use this field to provide any other information on difficulties that you have encountered in filling in this report
Pls. take note of the respective comments submitted by the European Commission