Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is the first international legally binding tool regarding biosafety in biotechnology.

1. Objective

The objective of the Cartagena Protocol (CP) is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements.

The Protocol entered into force on 11 September 2003. The first meeting of the Parties (MOP-1) took place in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), February 23-27, 2004.

2. Situation in Switzerland

Switzerland signed the Protocol of Cartagena on May 24, 2000 and ratified it on March 26, 2002. The ordinance on the transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms (Cartagena Ordinance, CartO) which regulates the transboundary movements of GMOs entered into force on January 1, 2005. The CartO aims at fill in the gaps in the current legislation while facilitating the work of the operators involved in the transboundary movements of GMOs in offering them a unique tool.

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has been nominated National Focal Point (NFP), being in charge of implementing the national provisions concerning the export of living modified organisms (LMO) and of coordinating the exchange of information at the international level through the Swiss Biosafety Clearing House (CH-BCH).

3. Documentation and publications

Further information

Last modification 30.06.2021

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