For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Nagoya News Now - Entry into force in October 2014

This feline, sometimes assisted by our dear blogmeister, has been writing several times over the last year or so concerning the Nagoya Protocol (see last post here from March, which links back to earlier ones, and this guest post from March with the Indian perspective; see also more recent piece published in Chemistry World in May).  He senses however a lack of interest in the topic in general, partly (he suspects) because people do not see how it affects them, but also because it is difficult to create engagement without a clear timescale.

August has the reputation of being the month in which people care very little about anything, so it seems appropriate as the time to post that - we have a date!

An EU citizen feels the impact of Uruguayan ratification
It was announced last month that on 14 July 2014 Uruguay became the 50th country to ratify the Nagoya Protocol, which means that the treaty itself comes into force 90 days later, ie on 12 October 2014.  This Kat did not rush to report this date, auspicious though it may have been, since it did not automatically follow that this would be the date from which the relevant legislation (in particular the "Regulation No 511/2014 on compliance measures for users from the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the Union"; the Council Decision adopting the Protocol is 2014/283/EU ) would take effect for the EU, which is what most concerns readers of this blog.  That Regulation specifies:

As soon as possible following the deposit of the Union’s instrument of acceptance of the Nagoya Protocol, the Commission shall publish a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union specifying the date on which the Nagoya Protocol will enter into force for the Union. This Regulation shall apply from that date.

The most onerous provisions on due diligence and user compliance - Articles 4, 7, and 9 of the Regulation - come into effect one year after that date.

While that publication in the Official Journal has apparently not yet taken place (at least this moggy cannot find it), he has now seen on the Commission website an announcement that presupposes that 12 October 2014 will indeed be the date on which the Nagoya Protocol will enter into force for the EU.  The provisions on due diligence, and sanctions for non-compliance, will therefore come into effect on 12 October 2015.

EU companies, universities and research institutes have just over a year to implement procedures to comply with the provisions; since sanctions are largely left to member states according to Article 11 of the Regulation, this presumably also implies that members states must have their national legislation in place well before then. (See IPKat post on DEFRA's consultation here; that consultation closed on 28 April).

In other news, the first meeting of the governing body of the Nagoya Protocol (the COP-MOP) will be held during the 12th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity this October.  This will take place in Pyeongchang in South Korea.  This is somewhat ironic, since South Korea has not yet ratified the Protocol.  This Kat hopes that there will be more concrete developments to report then.


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