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Third National Report on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Record information and status
Record ID
109116
Status
Published
Date of creation
2015-10-31 00:22 UTC (viengpasith@yahoo.com)
Date of publication
2015-10-31 00:22 UTC (viengpasith@yahoo.com)

Origin of report
1. Country
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
Contact officer for report
Coordinates
Dr. Sourioudong SUNDARA
CPB-NFP
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
P.O Box 2279, Nahaidiao Road, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Vientiane
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Phone:+856 20 55629190
Fax:+856 21 740630
Email:sourioudong@yahoo.co.uk
Consulted stakeholders
9. Organizations/stakeholders who were consulted or participated in the preparation of this report
Dr. Kosonh Xayphakatsa, Local Consultant
Submission
10. Date of submission
2015-10-31
11. Time period covered by this report
Start date
2012-01-01
11. Time period covered by this report
End date
2015-10-30
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 partially 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
  • 2013
16. Which specific instruments are in place for the implementation of your national biosafety framework?
  • One or more national biosafety laws
17. Has your country established a mechanism for the budgetary allocations of funds for the operation of its national biosafety framework?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Internationally, the government can access to GEF allocation fund which Biosafety is a priority work in the biodiversity focal area under the Convention of Biological Diversity.

Domestically, the government has allocated some funding support to research and development activities that biotechnology is a priority task in order to implement the Biotechnology Safety Law (2014). In addition, the establishment of the GMO detection lab was established under the project of "Implementation of National Biosafety Framework" by UNEP-GEF support. This brings a possibility to create benefits from the GMO testing services which will be able to create a internal fund in terms maintenance and sustainable use for fullfill the national Biosafety framework.
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)?
  • Partially
21. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 2 in your country
Since Lao PDR has become a party of the Convention on Biological Diversity on September 20, 1996 and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on November 1, 2004. The Lao government is obliged to develop its national regulatory framework in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology for reducing potential consequences that may have an adverse effect biological diversity and human health. Laos has participated in a UNEF/GEF funded project to develop National Biosafety Framework (NBF). The NBF has been developed since 2002 and was adopted by the government on December 25, 2004. It consists of a combination of policy, legal, administrative and technical instruments that are set in place to address safety contains of six components including the government policy on Biosafety, the regulatory regime for Biosafety, administrative systems for Biosafety, mechanism for public education awareness and participation, capacity building programs to implement CPB and project priorities to implement the NBF.

This NBF was also used to prepare a Biosafety Law Draft which was introduced initially at the Lao Government Meeting on August 30, 2005 based on the comments from Ministry of Justice on 18 July 2005. The Law then adopted by the National Assembly on 18 December 2013, ref No. 017/NA and promulgated by the president of Lao PDR, Ref No. 058/PO, dated 28 January 2014. The law defines the principles, regulations and measures on management and monitoring of biotechnology safety to ensure safety in research, development, handling, movement, and the use of Genetic Modified Organisms (GMOs) resulting from the use of biotechnology, which may result in having negative impacts on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, with a focus on the limitation and reduction of risks to the life and health of human beings, animals, plants and the environment that can be linked at the regional and international levels, and which contribute to national socio-economic development.

The law is a significant indication which illustrates the country efforts on its commitment on the Cartagena Protocol. Since new decisions have been agreed by the Parties at the COP/MOP meetings of 2006 and 2008, the Biosafety regulations need to revise to be in-line with these COP/MOP decisions and also to be supported by drafting appropriate secondary and tertiary instruments. During this reporting period, contained use, food and feed and environmental release regulations are in the process of reviewing from the Ministry of Justice before sending the draft regulations to the National Biosafety Committee for adoption based on the Biosafety Law (2014). In addition, Biosafety Guideline, Administrative Task and Handling Application are drafted in order to support the law implementation and Biosafety in the nation.
Article 5 - Pharmaceuticals
22. Does your country regulate the transboundary movement, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) which are pharmaceuticals?
  • No
24. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 5 in your country:
The drugs and medical products imported for distribution in the Lao PDR shall be subject to registration or notification with the Department of Food and Drug of the Ministry of Health. This is clearly identified in Law on Drugs and Medical Products, No.07/NA, dated 21 December 2011.

Laos does not have a single regulation of transboundary movements, handling and use of living modified pharmaceuticals. Biotechnology and Safety Law is only available regulation in the country dealing with genetic modified organisms. The law scope is to individuals, legal entities, and domestic and international organizations working or operating in regard to Biosafety. It does not apply to medicines made from GMOs.

As the country is a member of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). It follows an ASEAN pharmaceutical agreement which is called ACCSQ Pharmaceutical Product Working Group. Under the agreement ASEAN Common Technical Requirements (ACTR) and Common Technical Dossier (ACTD) are applied to risk assessment prior to making of decisions on import genetic modified medicines such as human insulin and hepatitis vaccine B.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Risk assessment and risk management are identified in the Biosafety Law for facilitating the implementation of the protocol provision on transit, contained use, unintentional transboundary movement and emergency response. The assessment should be conducted before the initial release of GMOs to the nature.

During period of writing this report, Biosafety Guideline includes procedure for transportation, import, export, packaging and leveling of GMOs is drafted and in the development process.
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?
  • No
28. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 6 in your country:
No such decisions have been taken during the report period regarding to transit and contained use of LMOs.

In Biosafety Law, National Biosafety Committee (NBC) and Technical Coordination Committee (TCC) should be established in order to deal with the national biosafety activities. NBC should be designated by the Prime Minister and TCC should be adopted by the NBC Chair. The committees are in the process of government consideration. NBC plays a very significant role on instruction, making decision, guidance and adoption of biosafety regulations, manuals,  technical guidelines and other concerns.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
An administrative guideline is drafted and in the process of development and adoption by NBC.
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
Biotechnology Safety Law was enter into force in 2014 that biosafety committees, secondary biosafety regulations and technical guidelines are in the process of improvement and adoption by the government. The law is an outstanding result for implementing of National Biosafety Framework (INBF). The INBF project was funded by the UNEF/GEF from 2009 to 2014. The project has provided capacity to establish GMO Detection Lab at Biotechnology and Ecology Institute, Ministry of Science and Technology. Trainings and Technical Supports was included in the project activities to enhance the capability of technical staffs who are working on risk assessment, risk management, inspection and monitoring and LMO detection.

However, there is no sufficient, for instance: only qualitative analysis was trained by the  international expert in the hands-on training on detection of genetically modified organism. Some cases of GMO testing and certification has operated in terms of supporting the country biosafety activities. Ministry of Science and Technology have contacted with UNEP for accessing GEF funding support to strengthen the risk assessment and risk management on GMO capacity. This regional project is in the process of consulting with stakeholders and submitting project proposal to the donors.

Overall, no such decisions have been taken on applications/notifications regarding international transboundary movements of LMOs for international introduction into the environment. This is because of Laos has not been a country of import and export of LMOs for the purpose of international release into the environment during the reporting period.
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
  • No
48. Has your country established legal requirements for the accuracy of information to be provided by the applicant?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The FFP regulation is drafted and in the process of development and adoption by the NBC.    
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
  • No
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
  • No
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
  • Yes
52. Has your country ever taken a decision on LMOs-FFP (either on import or domestic use)?
  • No
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
Laos has not been gone through applications or final decision for the purpose of domestic use, including placing on the market, of a living modified organism that may be subject to transboundary movement for direct use as food or feed or for processing into the country, so we have no experiences in the implementation of the Article 11.

Domestically, Regulation on the Control on Production, Exported-Imported Safe Food was created in 2006 which purposes to define principles, rules, measures for production, processing, import, export and distribution of food in the country. National Food Safety Policy was later adopted by the government with involvement of concerned government agencies such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Industry and Commerce, Finance, Information and Culture, Education, Social Security, Science and Technology, Environment and local sectors that are related to food chain for protecting consumer's safety and health. The policy development was also based on the globalization of food trade, including the implementation of international and regional trade agreements. At the same time, the requirements of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (PPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreements of WTO create also obligations requiring the safety of food traded internationally in order to protect the sovereign rights of the member nations. This means increasingly important to identify the potential risks and benefits of these changes and to prevent adverse human health and economic consequences. Decisions of Ministry of Health Minister was also issued in 2009 on Food Labeling and Packing, No. 519/MOH in order to apply in processing, import, export and market introduction.

The National Consumer Protection Law has been implemented in 2010 by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce that food importers must be gone through all processes requested by the concerned stakeholders to ensure consumer and environmental safety. Moreover, it requires also labeling of commodities which will be placed into markets nationwide. This clearly appear in part II, Article 13-20. In 2013, Law on Food 06/NA was after that amended that basic principles on food is given additional from the previous including safety, healthy and meet the demands of international food standards, and international treaties and protocols that the country becomes parties. Operation measures are applied to ensure food safety such as application for registration of food, imported permit and certificate of registration for food imports.  
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
It is indicated in the Biosafety Law, Article 37 that agreement revision should be applied in the movement of LMOs. There is also mentioned in the draft of Biosafety Guideline that the revision of movement should be done by the NBC.
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
Lao PDR has not been gone through review of decisions any international transboundary movements of LMOs, so we have no experiences in the implementation of Article 12.    
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
No simplified procedures has not been adopted by the government for implementing Article 13 in the Biotechnology Safety Law. However, the simplified procedures is under consideration that intentional transboundary movement should or should not take place at the same time as the movement is notified to the Party of import. 
Article 14 – Bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements and arrangements
72. Has your country entered into any bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements or arrangements?
  • No
76. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 14 in your country
Lao PDR has not joined bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements and arrangements concerning the implementation of Article 14.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Risk Analysis is defined in Part III of the law which identify risk assessment, risk management and risk communication from Article 26-39. The details of risk assessment and management are also expanded in the draft biosafety guideline.
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:
  • 50 or more
b) Management / Control:
  • 50 or more
c) Monitoring:
  • 50 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
  • No
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
  • No
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
  • No
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?
  • No
95. Has your country established a mechanism for monitoring potential effects of LMOs that are released into the environment?
  • No
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
Lao PDR conducted the National Project of Implementation NBF that funded by the UNEF/GEF from 2009 to 2014. The project provided basic facilities like a real time PCR  for conducting GMO detection at Biotechnology and Ecology Institute, Ministry of Science and Technology.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
National Emergency Measure Contact Point has been nominated by the BCH NFP to take the role of Article 17. 
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?
  • No
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
  • No
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
Referring to question 100 above, the answer given is No because there is no specific emergency respond team on LMO exist, however in case an unintentional release of LMOs, some capacity should be available with involvement of concerned sectors such as Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Based on the Biosafety Law, National Biosafety Committee (NBC) plays the role also planning, reviewing and adopting the biosafety regulations and guidelines as well as leading the measures of unintentional transboundary movement and emergency response. Therefore, the NBC needs to be urgent established in order to move forward the biosafety activities.

Emergency measures is also found in the draft Food and Feed Biosafety Regulation where  suspension of the placing on markets or use of the food or feed in question; and laying down special conditions for food or feed in question are appeared in order to minimize any significant adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health. 
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
There is Part III: Risk Analysis of the biosafety law which identify risk assessment, risk management and risk communication from Article 26-39. The details of risk assessment and management are also expanded in the draft biosafety guideline that include procedures for transport, import, export, packaging and labeling of GM products.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
There are a draft LMO-FFP regulation and draft application forms that are in the process of improvement and waiting for adoption by NBC and TCC before their official applications. Ministry of Science and Technology has nominated ASEAN GM Food Network Testing Focal Point under the regional cooperation.  
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Recently, the government follows the WHO Codex International Food Standards, however in further  domestic guidelines/regulations should be consulted and considered nationally on labeling of the GM contained level in food and feed products. 
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Contained use regulation particularly LMOs is drafted and under the development which will includes  the requirements for the safe, handling, storage, transport and use, the contact point and necessary information. 
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, to some extent
Environmental Release Regulation is drafted and under the development and adoption which will includes the requirements of the party of import for example specific risk assessment and management reports, GMO test report and other relevant documentation. 
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Some trainings was provided to the concerned agencies on the enforcement as the outputs of the INBF project implementation. 
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The INBF project has supported primary trainings to enhance capacity of several technical staffs who are working in research institutes for sampling and detection.
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:
LMO Detection Lab was established under the support of the INBF project which assisted by the international experts from the Environment Agency Austria in 2014. Some GM testing activities (random from local markets and GMO certification) has operated based on available facilities and human resources. The lab is certified by the national standard.

Decisions of Ministry of Health Minister was also issued in 2009 on Food Labeling and Packing, No. 519/MOH in order to apply in processing, import, export and market introduction. Law on Food was adopted and amended in 2013 that provide basic principles on food including safety, healthy and meet the demands of international food standards, and international treaties and protocols that the country becomes parties.

Labeling requirements on LMOs is drafted under the FFP regulation and under the development and adoption process. The regulation indicates that granted approval by the National Competent Authority and NBC should be made before place any LMO on the market. 
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
According to the Biosafety Law (2014), Committee for Biotechnology Safety Administration should be established including National Biosafety Committee and Technical Coordination Committee. Location, function, structure, rights and duties of those committees are identified in the law from Article 54-60. 
125. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 19 in your country
In order to implement the Biotechnology Safety Law, NBC is  under the process of asking permission and adoption by the government. The NBC should be assigned by the Prime Minister, while TCC is appointed by NBC Chair.

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 but only partially available 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 but not in the BCH
c) Bilateral, multilateral and regional agreements and arrangements (Articles 14, paragraph 2 and 20, paragraph 3 (b))
  • Information available but not 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 not available
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 not available
j) Information on the application of domestic regulations to specific imports of LMOs (Article 14, paragraph 4)
  • Information available but not 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 not available
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 not available
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 not available
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 not available
127. Has your country established a mechanism for strengthening the capacity of the BCH National Focal Point to perform its administrative functions?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
BCH National Focal Point has conducted trainings to the National Authorized Users from relevant agencies for enhancing their knowledge on finding, reporting, using the BCH. During the reporting period, there was trainings such as training of trainers and training on access and registration to BCH provided by the BCH NFP and the international expert between 2012 and 2013. Based on administrative functions, Ministry of Science and Technology plays a significant role as being center provider among local and international channels.

Future activities is planed by the BCH NFP to enhance the mechanism for strengthening the capacity including training national users from concerned agencies across the country.
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
The government sees the important of Biotechnology Safety Clearing House which illustrates in the Article 44 in the Biotechnology Safety Law.   

The portal is to facilitate the information exchange of science, techniques, environment, laws, regulations, guidelines and experiences regarding to GMOs.
          
Online and offline modes will be designed and consulted with concerned stakeholders in order to establish a coordination mechanism.

129. Does your country use the information available in the BCH in its decision making processes on LMOs?
  • Not applicable
130. Has your country experienced difficulties accessing or using the BCH?
This question is relevant to indicator 4.1.8 of the Strategic Plan
  • Yes
Here you may provide further details
Although there is no difficulty on the access to BCH in overall, national BCH should be in local language for increasing the public participation and understanding. 
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
  • One 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
  • BCH Central Portal
135. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 20 in your country
Mechanism of coordination and administration of the BCH responsible team must be improved and adopted by the National Biosafety Committee for effectiveness of information and experience exchanges.
Article 21 – Confidential information
136. Has your country established procedures to protect confidential information received under the Protocol?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Confidential information is highlighted in the Article 25 under the law and in the draft secondary regulations and technical guidelines for protecting the applicant rights and interests in trade and national security. 
137. Does your country allow the notifier to identify information that is to be treated as confidential?
  • In some cases only
138. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 21 in your country
Further confidential system should be created and adopted by the National Biosafety Committee in order to protect the applicant rights and interests on the trade and security information. 
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
  • Yes
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?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Laos has received external support from UNEP-GEF to implement the National Biosafety Framework. The support has enhanced human resource and institutional capacity development. Moreover, Laos has participated in regional and global activities relevant to biosafety activities over the reporting period
For example:
(1)       The 11th Biosafety NPC Meeting Asia, 1st -5th July 2013, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
(2)       The 16th Asia Biosafety NPC Meeting, Thimphu, Bhutan, 9-13 June 2014.
(3)       The 11th Meeting of ASEAN GM Food Testing Network, Vientiane, Lao PDR, 14-15 August 2014.
141. If you answered Yes to question 140, how were these resources made available?
  • Bilateral channels
142. Has your country provided support to other Parties in the development and/or strengthening of human resources and institutional capacities in biosafety?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Laos has shared experiences and information regarding to biosafety activities among ASEAN member states and others.
143. If you answered Yes to question 142, how were these resources made available?
  • Regional channels
144. Has your country ever initiated a process to access GEF funds for building capacity in biosafety?
  • Yes
145. If you answered Yes to question 144, how would you characterize the process?
Please add further details about your experience in accessing GEF funds under question 157.
  • Average
146. Has your country ever received funding from the GEF for building capacity in biosafety?
  • Pilot Biosafety Enabling Activity
  • Development of national biosafety frameworks
  • Implementation of national biosafety frameworks
  • Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the BCH (Phase I)
  • Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the BCH (Phase II)
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?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Laos has just completed the biosafety project 2009-2014 which support the country to  implement the National Biosafety Framework. Some activities is continuing such as strengthen capability of technical staffs who are working in GM Lab and administration tasks. 
148. If you answered Yes to question 147, in which of the following areas were these activities undertaken?
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
  • Identification of LMOs, including their detection
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
  • Yes
150. If you answered Yes to question 149, has this information been submitted to the BCH?
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
  • Yes
152. If you answered Yes to question 151, indicate which of the following areas still need capacity-building.
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Risk management
  • Public awareness, participation and education in biosafety
  • Information exchange and data management including participation in the Biosafety Clearing-House
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Technology transfer
  • Identification of LMOs, including their detection
  • Socio-economic considerations
  • Implementation of the documentation requirements under Article 18.2 of the Protocol
  • Handling of confidential information
  • Measures to address unintentional and/or illegal transboundary movements of LMOs
  • Scientific biosafety research relating to LMOs
  • Taking into account risks to human health
  • (1) Exchange biosafety programes; (2) Support some equipment to upgrade the existing GMO Detection Lab to meet the needs of the international standard; (3) Set up GMO Lab in other institutions for supporting purpose. (4) Capacity Building on Emergency Response in case of unintentional release and accident happened.
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
  • Yes
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?
  • No
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
Human resource development is one priority works for the government which indicates research and development in the Article 8-18 of the Biotechnology Safety Law. A good example is Biotechnology and Biosafety issues has introduced in a study curriculum for university students. In addition, science and technology will become a development tool to support the country to meet the demand of sustainable social-econimic development and poverty reduction to 2030.

However, increasing support to fulfill the protocol obligations is necessary which include scientific and technical training in the proper and safe management of biotechnology, and in the use of risk assessment and risk management for biosafety, and the enhancement of technological and institutional capacities in biosafety. 
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Raising awareness on the Biotechnology Safety Law  has been done for a certain level as well as benefits and risk association with  biotechnology utilization before this report writing.
           
Based on the mentioned activities, assessment and monitoring should be conducted in order to understand the status and plan ahead the strategy and action plan to meet local demands and support the obligations as a party of Cartagena Protocol. In addition, Biotechnology and Biosafety Action Plan is drafted with consultation by stakeholders. 
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
  • No
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
  • No
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
  • One or more
164. Has your country established a mechanism to ensure public access to information on living modified organisms that may be imported?
  • Yes, to some extent
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, to some extent
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, to some extent
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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Lao BCH is created to use as a information exchange portal. This channel should develop the mechanism to involve public in the decision making process on GMOs that need further support from internal and external donors. Learning from other successors is considered as a significant approach.
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
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
  • 5 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
  • 10 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, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Some activities have been conducted in previous reporting period, however many activities need to promote and facilitate public awareness such as newspapers, forum, mailing list, public hearings and others.
174. If you answered Yes to question 173, has your country cooperated with other States and international bodies?
  • Yes
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?
  • Not applicable
176. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 23 in your country
No such decisions have been taken during the report period and the decision making process has not been adopted by the National Biosafety Committee yet.
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?
  • No
179. Has your country ever exported LMOs to a non-Party?
  • No
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?
  • No
185. Has your country established a strategy for detecting illegal transboundary movements of LMOs?
  • Yes, to some extent
Here you may provide further details
Policy on Performance Generators and Measures for Violators is defined in Part IX of Biotechnology Safety Law from Article 69-76. Persons, juristic persons or organizations who conscientiously contribute to the tasks of research and development and usage of biotechnologies in socioeconomic development and environmental preservation will be praised or rewarded through other policies according to the regulations.

Persons, juristic persons or organizations that violate the law or regulations related to biotechnological safety will be reprimanded, warned, punished, fined, or shall compensate for the damage or crime, with a light or heavy penalty accordingly. Measures of punishments (civil and criminal) and fines are also identified in the law.
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
  • Never
191. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 25 in your country
Biotechnology Safety Law was just adopted and entered into force in the country since 2014. Next step is establishing sub-regulations and guidelines to support the implementation of the law and building capacity in the field is also necessary. Some further details is also provided in the question 185 above.
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?
  • Yes
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
  • One 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
In general speaking, the government often includes social and economic consideration into account in development programes. This is also identified in the objective of Biotechnology Safety Law concerning the impact of living modified organisms which may result in having negative impacts on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, with a focus on the limitation and reduction of risks to the life and health of human beings, animals, plants and the environment that can be linked at the regional and international levels, and which contribute to national socio-economic development.

In addition, using the existing operating measures is considered for further work on biosafety activities such as import certificate for plants and plant products, import permit and plant quarantine declaration under its domestic measures implementing the environment introduction. This procedures can take into account consistent with the national obligations, socio-economic considerations arising from the impact of living modified organisms on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, especially with regard to the value of biological diversity to indigenous and local communities.
196. Has your country cooperated with other Parties on research and information exchange on any socio-economic impacts of LMOs?
  • Yes, to some extent
197. Here you may provide further details on the implementation of Article 26 in your country
As a member of ASEAN, WTO, WHO, FAO, CBD, CPB, ITPGRFA and other international treaties and convention, Lao PDR has cooperated with other parties on research, development and information exchange on socio-economic consequences related benefits and risk by using modern biotechnology.   
Article 27 – Liability and Redress
198. Has your country ratified or acceded to the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress?
  • No
199. If you answered No to question 198, is there any national process in place towards becoming a Party?
  • 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
  • No
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
Laos is not yet ratify the Nagoya Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress. However, Liability and Redress Regulation is consulted and drafted as a result of the INBF project for supporting the Biotechnology Safety Law. This issue needs to have further development and consultation among relevant stakeholders before introducing to the government for consideration. 
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
  • 1,000,000 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.
Laos has not been gone through applications and decisions for the purpose of food, feed, processing, environment release and contained use for both import and export into the country, so we have no experiences in the national implementation of the protocol. A challenge for the government is that Biotechnology and Biosafety being new issues, awareness among policy makers and public are limited. The public still has not sufficient information and understanding for active involvement to the procedures of making decisions. 

The official adoption of the Biosafety Law No. 017 from National Assembly was on 18 December 2013 and Promulgation of the president No. 058/PD was on 28 January 2014. The law was drafted by the international consultant with inputs by the project team and stakeholders, but the process of government consideration and public consultation took very long to develop and approve the bill. Monitoring and Enforcement remains challenges due to the human resources, funds and facilities dealing with the issue. NBC and NCC has not yet established to facilitate the biosafety activities in the country. Carry on activities especially risk assessment, risk management and enforcement should be designed and follow up for continuous works. In addition, resource mobilization mechanism should be created in order to meet the sustainability means.
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
No difficulties have been encountered in answering this report questions because they are based on the articles in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. This is also the second report for submitting to CBD, so it is more understand than the previous. Moreover, some activities and information are available at the time filling this report especially the country has just adopted the Biotechnology Safety Law which is an outstanding output from the INBF project.

However, there is a limitation of information technology in filling answers in the report due to a fixed format provided. For example, spelling check and adjust the format are also providing difficulty to fill the report in the word file.