Notifications and licence applications

Procedure for the submission of notifications and applications for authorization according to the containment ordinance (ContainO).

Anyone wishing to carry out an activity as defined by the ContainO must, before commencing the activity:

  • carry out a risk assessment;
  • apply the necessary safety measures to protect humans, animals and the environment (Art. 12 ContainO; Appendix 4 ContainO);
  • record all relevant information about the activity, and store the records;
  • determine whether the planned activity must be registered with the authorities, or if it is subject to authorisation.

Notifications, authorisation applications, or modifications of notifications and applications can be submitted online through the ECOGEN client portal.

Confidential information can be submitted on paper to supplement the electronic ECOGEN notifications.

For reasons of authenticity, each new notification or each new authorisation application requires a signed document. When submitting via ECOGEN the signature form (cover sheet) can be printed out, signed and sent to the Federal Coordination Center for Biotechnology.

The contact address is:

Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
Federal Coordination Centre for Biotechnology
3003 Bern
Tel. 058 463 55 99
Fax: 058 464 79 78


Word forms can be procured from the Federal Coordination Center for Biotechnology:

The processing of the paper forms in the notification system will entail additional charges.

After receipt of a notification or authorisation application, the procedure continues as follows:

  • The documentation is checked for completeness by the Coordination Centre for Biotechnology; queries or requests for additional information are sent if the dossier is not complete.
  • The complete documentation is transmitted to the competent federal authority and the other agencies involved.
  • Specialist assessment by all agencies.
  • Synthesis of the opinions received by the competent authority.
  • The competent authority writes and sends the decree to the person responsible. The decree specifies the classification and all safety measures that must be observed for carrying out the activity.

Last modification 01.02.2019

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