Country information


At present we do not have the resources to develop and maintain a list of country requirements.  However, as sources are identified we will add them, and would be grateful for any additions. These are intended only as guidance, and we can make no claim of their accuracy. You should refer to the information given on the page 'Permits' on this site to help manage your permit acquisition.

Australia has information about permit requirements here.

Brazil. The relevant law in Brazil has recently changed and there is some confusion both within the country and outside it of what conditions apply. (At the time of writing (July 2017) the ABS Clearing House is still displaying the 2001 legislation not the most recent legislation.) As we obtain information we will post it here. Brazil now operates a different system for specimens and samples that will be sequenced or otherwise utilized and those which will not. A key point is that you will need a Brazilian partner to manage the various applications that need to be made. This has an added advantage in that they may be better placed to understand the original Portuguese of the legal documents.

Collecting and sampling biological resources for scientific or teaching purposes, whether or not access (research and development – Brazil uses the term ‘access’ only in the context of ‘utilization’, e.g. sequencing) is involved, may be subject to authorisation by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBIO; see IN 03   for further information).  The Instituto Chico Mendez home page is here

For sequencing activities the Brazilian ABS legislation is underpinned by Law 13.123  of May 20th 2015, which came into force on November 17th 2015. It repeals the former Brazilian Biodiversity Law (Provisional Measure 2.186, 2001) and its implementation is regulated by Decree 8.772  of 11 May 2016. Both are currently being translated into English. The system is explained in outline on the web pages of Fiocruz.   There is also some information in the final report of an EU-Brazil project in which the NHM was involved here

Brazilian colleagues may obtain some relevant information about sending / shipping material out of the country on a document we have been sent here ('sending' and 'shipping' have different meanings under Brazilian law). One point to note is that students and others carrying material out of Brazil to sequence elsewhere should carry a document demonstrating their agreement with the institute to which they are going; they may have trouble taking the material out otherwise.

Currently the system for registering access to material (for sequencing etc) is not in place.  Furthermore, there seems to be some confusion over the status of the MTAs we have with some Brazilian institutions covering sending material, including loans. Our information from CGEN is that these MTAs are still legal and can be used; it is less clear whether new MTAs can or should be issued.  Any questions regarding Brazilian systems would be welcome, to help develop guidance.

The Union for Ethical Biotrade has a country information sheet on Brazil here.

Colombia Colombia has recently (2016) published Guidelines to Request Access to Genetic Resources (CGRAGR). They are currently only in Spanish.  These give detailed guidance to be followed and state that Colombia follows the Decisión Andina 391 de la Junta del Acuerdo de Cartagena, which stipulates the requirements and procedures for genetic access.  They reference these documents:

- Decisión Andina 486 de 2000 de la Comisión de la Comunidad Andina: regarding patents and industrial applications of TK.
- Decreto 3570 de 2011: it designates the Oficina de Negocios Verdes y Sostenibles to propose and support the adoption of ABS.

Those wishing to access traditional knowledge need to start a Proceso de Consulta Previa (prior-consultation process). This is actually a mandatory step in Colombia when working with indigenous communities. The process is regulated by the Ministerio del Interior, and involves two steps: 1. request of certification of presence of indigenous communities; and 2. formal meeting with the representatives of the community at the Ministerio, with the publication of the minutes in the webpage of the Ministerio.   

However, before the process with the Ministerio, it is crucial to meet with the indigenous leaders to discuss the project, goals, etc. Usually this has to be done in the field, in their village and according to local customs.

India. India now has an electronic system to seek ABS permits. Information and the starting point can be found at the National Biodiversity Authority website here.

Indonesia Permit applications are made on the LIPI website, here.

Madagascar Some very useful information and advice has been posted by CentreValBio and Stony Brook University here

Malaysia.  Information on gaining a permit in Sabah, including relevant forms, can be found here.

Namibia  A Namibian government factsheet on the current situation on ABS in the country can be found here.

Peru The Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) has prodecued a guide to ABS in Peru here

South Africa There is information on the SANBI site here, although I note that at the time of writing it was updated last in July 2015, so matters might have changed.

South Korea  The UEBT has produced a guide to ABS in South Korea here.

Tanzania.  Some general information made available by a research group, the "Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project" is here.

Turkey  The Union for Ethical BioTrade has prodiced a guide to ABS in Turkey here.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith