Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000)

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety aims to protect biodiversity from potential risks posed by living genetically modified organisms. It is one of eight conventions on the protection of the environment which are covered under the GSP+ regulation.

The Cartagena Protocol was formally adopted in 2000, entered into force in 2003 and is a supplement to the Biodiversity Convention. The Protocol is the first legally binding international treaty which regulates the cross-border transport, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Three provisions stand at the centre of the Protocol. Firstly, cross-border transports of living, genetically modified organisms are subject to a special procedure to ensure information transparency and safety of this transport. Second, GMO’s like soy and maize which are directly processed to food products and animal feed are exempt from these provisions. Third, GMO’s which will be released to the environment require the approval of the importing country. The Conference of the Parties serves as the governing body of the Protocol and receives the periodic reports by the State parties on measures and policies taken to implement the provisions under the Protocol. The Cartagena Protocol belongs to the eight environmental protection conventions which are covered by the GSP+ regulation.

Conference of the Parties (COP) / UN