Importing genetic resources

When foreign genetic resources are used for research and/or development activities, Prior Informed Consent (PIC) must be acquired for their use, and, if the country of origin so requires, Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) must be established between the provider and the user if. Prior Informed Consent must always be acquired if traditional knowledge of indigenous people (or local communities) is included in the use of the genetic resources.

Applying for Prior Informed Consent

Consent is applied for in accordance with the instructions provided by the national competent authority (CA) or the ABS contact (NFP: National Focal Point). The contact information for the authorities is available on the international information exchange platform (Access and Benefit Sharing Clearing-House, ABSCH), which also features the acts and regulations of the contract parties concerning access to genetic resources as well as links to the websites of the competent authorities. If the state has no contact information, information can be requested from the national focal point of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Any procedures and requirements should always be confirmed to ensure legal protection.

Mutually Agreed Terms

Mutually Agreed Terms refers to the private law contracts made between the user and the country of origin or representatives of the indigenous people of genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge concerning genetic resources. The contracts set out the special terms and conditions for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of the genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge. The terms may also include additional conditions and requirements concerning the current use or later applications and commercialisation.

The Finnish Environment Institute is Finland’s National Focal Point.