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The German Biosafety Clearing-House

Biosafety Clearing-House Tasks

The German Biosafety Clearing-House (German BCH) links basic information regarding the biological safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Germany, and makes this information available to both the general and expert public, such as applicants, operators, importers and exporters. The German BCH is also aimed at the representatives of the competent authorities of the other Contracting Parties to the Cartagena Protocol.

The purpose of the Cartagena Protocol is to regulate the transboundary handling of GMOs worldwide in compliance to international law, and to prevent adverse effects on biological diversity and human health in case of transport of GMOs betweeen Contracting Parties or third countries.

The BCH Central Portal is an internet platform providing information on the Cartagena Protocol in a number of languages, along with an integrated database. Parties to the Cartagena Protocol worldwide contribute information relating to, for example, regulations, contact persons, risk assessments and decisions on GMOs. This information is thus made available to all other Parties, ensuring that the objective of the Cartagena Protocol can be attained.

Tasks and objectives of the German BCH:

  • promote information sharing on the biological safety of GMOs
  • enable public participation on the biological safety of GMOs in Germany

Apropos: The term “Clearing-House” is derived from the settlement organisations which had formerly been established for international payment transactions.


Note: GMOs are referred to as “living modified organisms” (LMO) in the terminology used in the Cartagena Protocol.

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