Nagoya Protocol

CryoArks collections will be managed in accordance with the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD) and under UK law implementing the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS).

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) provides a legal framework for implementing the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It aims to encourage the sharing of benefits derived by users of genetic resources with those who provide them. The ultimate objective is the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Compliance requires all users of genetic resources (those conducting research and development) to demonstrate due diligence, ensuring the resources and associated traditional knowledge are accessed and used in accordance with applicable legislation of the providing country.

The Nagoya protocol came into force on 12th October 2014. It was adopted by European legislation through Regulation (EU) No. 511/2014 and was implemented into UK law through the Statutory Instrument No. 821 ‘The Nagoya Protocol (Compliance) Regulations 2015’. The legislation is implemented and enforced by the Office for Product Safety and Standard (OPS&S), which serves as the UK Competent National Authority (and Checkpoint).

The BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industry Strategy) is the UK’s Competent National Authority, providing guidance for those conducting research and development on genetic resources.

For more information, please see the following guidance:


Access and Benefit Sharing refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and how the benefits that result from their use are shared between the people or countries using the resources (users) and the people or countries that provide them (providers) (adapted from


Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House holds details of the National Focal Point and Competent National Authority (CAN) of ratified and signed countries. See


Competent National Authority is responsible for granting access or issuing written evidence that access requirements have been met and be responsible for advising on applicable procedures and requirements for obtaining prior informed consent and entering into mutually agreed terms (adapted from


Identified in the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) to mean any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity (taken from


Identified in the CBD to means all genetic material of actual or potential value. Essentially, the term encompasses all living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) that carry genetic material potentially useful to humans. Genetic resources can be taken from the wild, domesticated or cultivated. They are sourced from: natural environments (in situ) or human-made collections (ex situ) e.g. botanical gardens, gene banks, seed banks and microbial culture collections (taken from


Internationally Recognised Certificate of Compliance is an access permit. The Nagoya Protocol establishes that domestic access permits that are made available to the Protocol’s Clearing-House shall constitute “internationally recognised certificates of compliance” (taken from


Mutually Agreed Terms is an agreement reached between the Providing Country of genetic resources and users on the conditions of access, and use and the benefits to be shared between both parties (taken from


Material Transfer Agreements are used when specimens and samples are transferred between institutions or individuals. Their purpose is to provide legal certainty on the transfer of ownership or custodianship (taken from


National Focal Point is the person or institution designated by a government to represent the Party between meetings of the Conference of the Parties in its routine dealings with the Secretariat in matters involving the Convention (adapted from


Prior Informed Consent is the permission given by the competent national authority of a providing country to a user prior to accessing genetic resources, in line with an appropriate national legal and institutional framework, i.e. what a user can and cannot do with the material (taken from 

Users of genetic resources: a diverse group, including botanical gardens, industry researchers such as pharmaceutical, agriculture and cosmetic industries, collectors and research institutes. They seek access for a wide range of purposes, from basic research to the development of new products. The EU ABS regulation contains a definition of this term which is decisive for the application of the regulation.

Full Glossary List available from the European Commission Website.

Requesting samples?

Information for visitors and those wishing to access the collection