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The German Biosafety Clearing-House

National Contact Points

As a contracting Party to the Cartagena Protocol Germany has set up the following national contact points.

National Focal Point

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is the superior national focal point (NFP) in Germany under the Cartagena Protocol. In particular, the BMEL carries out political tasks, represents Germany at the conferences of the Parties and maintains regular contact with the BCH Secretariat.

 

Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL)
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Department Nutrition, Product Safety and Innovation (Unit 222)
Rochusstraße 1
53123 BONN
GERMANY
Website: www.bmel.de
E-mail: 222@bmel.bund.de or poststelle@bmel.bund.de
Telephone: +49 (0)2 28/9 95 29-0


National Competent Authority

The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) is a superior federal authority under the umbrella of the BMEL. It promotes the implementing of the Cartagena Protocol. The BVL is the competent national authority for the Biosafety Clearing-House; thus it submits information concerning Germany to the Central Portal of the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH).

In accordance with Article 17 of the Protocol, BVL is the contact point for emergency measures. In the event of an unintended import or export of GMOs this contact point acts immediately to prevent any adverse effects on the environment or human health. One responsibility of the BVL contact point is to inform the countries affected about the incident.

 

Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL)
Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety
Department Genetic Engineering (Unit 405)
Mauerstraße 39-42
10117 BERLIN
GERMANY
Website: www.bvl.bund.de
E-mail: gentechnik@bvl.bund.de
Telephone.: +49 (0) 30/1 84 45-60 01

 

Additional detailed information concerning the transport of GMOs is available here on the BVL web pages.

 

Other competent authorities in relation to the biosafety of GMOs in Germany

The federal government, Federal States and the European Union (EU) work in close cooperation to guarantee the safety of GMOs in Germany. Basic information on how this cooperation is implemented can be found on this website of the BVL. Information on points of contact within the federal government and the Federal States is available here:

 

Deliberate release and placing on the market of GMOs

The approval procedure for deliberate release (for field trials) is carried out by the BVL, which also delivers opinions regarding the placing on the market of GMOs (marketing authorisation).

 

Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL)
Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety
Department Genetic Engineering (Unit 403)
Mauerstraße 39-42
10117 BERLIN
GERMANY
Website: www.bvl.bund.de
E-mail: gentechnik@bvl.bund.de
Telephone: +49 (0) 30/1 84 45-60 01

 

Further information on the approval procedure can be found here on the BVL web pages.

 

Involved authorities

Decisions on deliberate release (field trials) of GMOs which are plants, are made by the BVL within an approval procedure. This involves the participation of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), the Central Advisory Committee for Biological Safety (ZKBS) and the competent authority of the respective Federal State are advisory authorities and contribute their opinion on any application for deliberate release as well.

If the subject of the deliberate release application is not a GMO plant, but a GMO vertebrate or a GMO microorganism to be used in vertebrates, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) is involved in the regulatory process, too.

For the placing on the market of GMOs (marketing authorisation) in the European Union (EU) the BVL also enlists the above mentioned authorities, seeking an additional opinion from the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). The contact details for these institutions are given here.

 

Competent authorities and institutions for the Federal States

The Federal States are responsible for monitoring and control of GMOs. This applies to GMOs which have been released for experimental purposes (field trials), GMOs which have been placed on the market (with marketing authorisation), GMO seed stocks, genetic engineering operations and contained use facilities. Likewise, the Federal States are also responsible for the authorisation, notification and registration of genetic engineering operations or if contained use facilities are to be constructed or put into operation.

Tasks are distributed to one or more authorities in each Federal State either according to region or subject area. A list of contact details for the competent authorities at state level is available for control of food or feed.

A permanent cooperation group of the Federal Länder and the national government (LAG – Bund/Länder Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gentechnik) promotes cooperation within the Federal States and with the federal government, thus contributing to the consistent application of the GMO legislation. Information on this cooperation can be found on the LAG website (German only) along with additional information concerning the internet presence of the individual Federal States.

In the field of food GMO control inspection and control activities and interpretation of legal requirements are harmonised between the 16 Federal States with the help of a permanent working group called ALS-GVO. The group comprises experts of the Federal States official analysis laboratories and of the armed forces; their office is at the BVL.

Central Committee on Biological Safety (ZKBS)

The Central Committee on Biological Safety (ZKBS) is an independent voluntary expert panel which evaluates GMOs for possible risks to humans, animals and the environment and publishes its opinion.

The office of the ZKBS is located in the BVL.

Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit
Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety
Office of the Central Committee on Biological Safety (ZKBS)
Department Genetic Engineering (Unit 402)
Mauerstraße 39-42
10117 BERLIN
GERMANY
Website: www.bvl.bund.de
E-mail: gentechnik@bvl.bund.de
Telephone: +49 (0) 30/1 84 45-60 01

 

Refer to this site for further information on the ZKBS-activities.

National contact point for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In Germany, the tasks related to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are carried out by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). The aim of the CBD is to preserve biological diversity and to enable the sustainable use and equitable sharing of its resources.

Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BMUB)
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety
Department Nature Conservation and Sustainable Use of natural Resources (Unit NI4)
Robert-Schuman-Platz 3
53175 BONN
GERMANY
Website: www.bmub.bund.de
E-mail: poststelle@bmub.bund.de
Telephone: +49 (0)2 28/9 93 05-0

 

National contact point for the Clearing-House Mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN)
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Department Convention on Biological Diversity
Konstantinstraße 110
53179 BONN
GERMANY

Website: www.bfn.de and http://www.bfn.de/0304_cbd+M52087573ab0.html

E-mail: info@bfn.bund.de
Telephone: +49 (0)2 28/84 91-18 60

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