Providing access to marine genetic resources is one of EMBRC’s primary services. The EMBRC is committed to facilitating access to and supply of marine biological and genetic material to users in compliance with international, European and national legal frameworks regarding Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). The European Blue Biobank (EBB) project, under the umbrella of EMBRC, supports this aspiration by promoting compliance with ABS regulations derived from the Nagoya Protocol and implemented in Europe through the EU ABS Regulation that came into force in 2014 as well as Member State’s access legislations, where applicable. This regulatory framework, although effective in protecting the rights of the provider country, puts burden on the user to demonstrate lawful utilization. In this context, research infrastructures, facilities, biobanks and collections may play a role by facilitating legal compliance and lawful use of the genetic resources they provide.
EBB project has produced the “Deliverable 5.1. Handbook on implementation of EBB Best Practices and Sample Identification System”. This handbook of best practices was endorsed by EMBRC and has become “The EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions”.
On 14 December 2020, the European Commission adopted Guidance document C(2020)8759 on the scope of application and core obligations of Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 (EU ABS Regulation) which incorporates and complements the previously adopted guidance document of 2016.
The EBB guide to ABS compliance was delivered and endorsed by EMBRC before said Guidance document was published. Although still valid, its recommendations may not encompass up-to-date inclusive information on the EU ABS Regulation.
The guide will shortly be completed by EMBRC to take the new EU ABS Regulation Guidance document into consideration. It will include a new section on obligations for services provided on marine genetic resources (obligations of service requester and of service provider).
The EMBRC guide to ABS compliance. Recommendations to marine biological resources collections’ and users’ institutions