Tag Article | Biosafety Clearing-House

What are the various categories of records in the BCH?

  23 Nov 2021

Article 20 of the Cartagena Protocol sets out specific information that Parties must make available through the BCH. At its first meeting, the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (BS COP MOP 1) adopted a decision that indicates the categories of information that Parties must register in the BCH. 

The information currently available in the BCH is organized into three categories:

  1. National Records which are submitted by Governments as mandated by Article 20 of the Protocol;
  2. Reference Records which are submitted by general registered BCH users; and
  3. SCBD records which are managed by the Secretariat.


National Records are published by Governments and include national information relevant for the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol as well as information Parties are obliged to provide in accordance with the Protocol. Prior to being made publicly available in the BCH, all National Records records are validated and published by the BCH National Focal Points.

National Records are:

  • National Focal Points (NFPs):
    • Cartagena Protocol NFPs (responsible for liaising with the Secretariat); 
    • Biosafety Clearing-House NFPs (responsible for publishing information in the BCH); and 
    • Emergency Measures Contact Points (responsible for receiving notifications under Article 17).
  • Competent National Authorities (CNA): Entities designated by governments to perform the administrative functions required by the Protocol (Article 19).
  • Supplementary Protocol Competent Authorities (SPCA): Entities designated by governments to perform the functions set out in Article 5 of the Nagoya - Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress.
  • Biosafety Laws, Regulations, Guidelines and Agreements (LAW): Legal, administrative and other measures to implement the Cartagena Protocol and any bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements regarding the intentional transboundary movement of living modified organisms.
  • Countries' Decisions or any other Communications (DEC): National decisions, notifications, declarations or communications under the Cartagena Protocol.
  • Risk Assessments generated by a regulatory process (RA): Summaries of risk assessments or environmental reviews of living modified organisms, generated by a regulatory process and carried out in accordance with Article 15.
  • National Biosafety Websites or Databases (NDB): National websites and databases related to biosafety.
  • Fourth National Reports on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (NR4)
  • Third National Reports on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (NR3)
  • Second National Reports on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (NR2)
  • First National Reports on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (NR1)
  • Interim National Reports on the Implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (NRI)
  • Biosafety Experts (EXP): A roster of biosafety experts.
  • Country Profiles for Biosafety Clearing-House (BCP): Additional information that appears as part of the country profile.


Reference Records include a number of BCH relevant resources and information and can be submitted by any registered user of the BCH (Parties, Non-Parties, governments, civil society and relevant stakeholders).  However, it is the responsibility of the Secretariat to verify the accuracy and completeness of these records prior to their publication in the BCH.  Therefore, Reference Records can be published by the Secretariat only.

Reference Records are:

  • Contacts (CON): Contact details of a person or organization. Note: As an exception, this is the only reference record that can be published by any registered BCH user.
  • Biosafety Virtual Library Resources (VLR): An electronic catalogue of biosafety-related publications and information resources, including literature on biosafety, reports and case studies, awareness-raising materials, videos, capacity-building resources, etc.
  • Biosafety Organizations (ORG): Organizations involved in activities relevant to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with summaries of their activities and contact information.
  • Laboratories for detection and identification of LMOs (LAB): Laboratories involved in the detection and identification of LMOs.
  • Living Modified Organisms (LMO): Living modified organisms, including information on the introduced genetic elements, parental and donor organisms, biotechnological traits, transformation event, the unique identification code (if available) and detection methods.
  • Genetic elements (GENE): Information on introduced genetic elements, including donor organism, type of genetic element, biological function and biotechnological trait.
  • Organisms (ORGA): Information on parental, recipient and donor organisms related to the living modified organisms and genetic elements registered in the BCH.
  • Risk assessments generated by an independent or non-regulatory process (IRA): Summaries of a risk assessment or environmental review of living modified organisms other than those generated by a regulatory process.
  • Submissions (SUB): Submissions from Parties, other Governments or relevant organizations in response to notifications issued by the Secretariat.
  • Capacity Development Initiatives (CDI): Information on capacity development initiatives at national, regional and international levels, including activities and outcomes.
  • BCH News (BCHN): News related to the Biosafety Clearing-House.


This is information that is published by the CBD Secretariat and is relevant to the implementation of the Protocol:

  • News: Information on upcoming CBD meetings and other news.
  • Notifications: Notifications issued by the CBD Secretariat.
  • What's New: News updated issued by the CBD Secretariat.
  • Meetings: Meetings organized by the CBD Secretariat.
  • Statements: Statements made by the CBD Secretariat.
  • Press Releases: Press releases issued by the CBD Secretariat.
  • Meeting Documents: Meetings' documents produced by the CBD Secretariat.

Popular tags