Tag Article | Biosafety Clearing-House

Procedure for nominating National Focal Points

 23 Nov 2021 02:43

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety requires each Party to designate:

  • One national focal point to be responsible for liaison with the Secretariat (Article 19); and
  • A contact point for receiving notifications on unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures (Article 17).
  • Furthermore, as part of the modalities of operation of the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), each Party is to nominate a national focal point for the BCH to liaise with the Secretariat and to validate national records for publication in the BCH (decision BS-I/3, annex).

Nomination of National Focal Points

Information on focal points can only be registered in the BCH by the Secretariat upon receipt of an official written communication addressed to the Executive Secretary and endorsed by the relevant authorities. 

The rules and procedures for nominating a focal point are as follows: 

  • The designation of a National Focal Point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB-NFP) must be endorsed by the National Focal Point for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-NFP) or by a direct expression of the Government (i.e. a Minister of State).
  • The designation of a National Focal Point for the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH-NFP) must be endorsed by the National Focal Point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB-NFP).
  • The designation of a Contact Point for unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures (Article 17) must be endorsed by the National Focal Point for the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH-NFP) or by the National Focal Point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB-NFP).

To nominate a NFP, governments can use the offline common formats available in MS Word in the 6 UN languages. An offline common format needs to be completed, duly signed by the respective authority and sent to the Secretariat as a scanned attachment by e-mail to bch@cbd.int, or it can be sent by post or fax.

Offline common formats are available on the Dashboard of the Submit page and can also be downloaded using the links below:


Can Governments nominate a "secondary" CPB-NFP? 

Under Article 19 of the Cartagena Protocol, Governments are requested to designate one CPB-NFP to liaise with the Secretariat. The Secretariat can therefore register only one Focal Point per country. However, the Focal Point may indicate any other persons they wish to be copied in all communications from the Secretariat.


Can Governments nominate a "secondary" BCH-NFP? 

In accordance with Paragraph 7 of decision BS-I/3 of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol (COP-MOP), Parties may only nominate one BCH-NFP. The Secretariat can therefore register only one Focal Point per country. However, the Focal Point may indicate any other persons they wish to be copied in all communications from the Secretariat.