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Biosafety Clearing-House NewsRelease of new versions of the BCH Management Centre, Common Formats and FAQs
A revamped version of the BCH Management Centre (at http://bch.cbd.int/managementcentre/ ) and 6 new common formats (at http://bch.cbd.int/resources/commonformats.shtml ) for registering information have been released. In addition, a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been made available in the Help section (at http://bch.cbd.int/help/faq.shtml ).

In accordance with COP-MOP decision BS-IV/2 and the recommendations of the Fourth Meeting of the BCH-IAC (November 2008), some changes have been introduced in the new common formats:

-  the structure has been improved by adding new fields for the entry of metadata;
- in order to minimize incomplete and/or inaccurate records, a number of mandatory fields have now been established; and
- a procedure for the validation of information has been implemented which establishes a timeframe for the confirmation or updating of certain categories of information.

Kindly note that all BCH records have been migrated to the new common formats. In order to complete the new mandatory fields and correct any errors resulting from this migration of information, it is strongly recommended that Parties revise their national records in accordance with the new common formats as soon as possible.



THE MANAGEMENT CENTRE page (http://bch.cbd.int/managementcentre )

Similar to the old version, the new page of the BCH Management Centre contains a list of those Records pending validation prior to publication (previously named ‘Items requiring your attention’). However, access to the earlier sections ‘My Drafts’ and ‘Create and Manage Your Information’ have been moved to the left-hand menu and renamed Register a new record, Edit a published record and Edit a draft record.


To begin drafting a new record, registered users should click on the Register a new record link in the left-hand menu, select the category of the record from the list provided and complete the registration form. Records may be saved as drafts at any time and accessed at a later date.

All drafts of national records are shared among the BCH-NFP and all National Authorized Users (NAUs) and can be modified by any those persons independently from the person initiating the draft (the right to publish records however remains limited to BCH-NFPs only).

Mandatory fields are marked with a red asterisk. Records lacking mandatory information cannot be published and the missing mandatory information will be highlighted once the draft record is saved.

Three categories of records are available from the Register a new record page:

1) National Focal Points: The submission of records in this category is restricted to National Focal Points (NFPs) or Ministers of State and can only be registered by the Secretariat upon receipt of official written communications addressed to the Executive Secretary and endorsed by the relevant authorities. Accordingly, this particular common format is only made available in MS Word format and cannot be submitted electronically.

Records available under this category are:  National Focal Point for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB-NFP), National Focal Point for the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH-NFP) and Point of contact for receiving notifications under Article 17 (Emergency Measures) – nominated by the BCH-NFP.

2) National Records The submission of records in this category is restricted to Biosafety Clearing-House National Focal Points (BCH-NFP) and National Authorized Users (NAUs). All records submitted by NAUs will be forwarded to the BCH-NFP for review and validation prior to publication. [/i]

National records include: National Biosafety Website or Database, Competent National Authority, Biosafety Law, Regulation, Guidelines & Regional and International Agreements (please note that this will soon replace the current forms for ‘National Law, Regulation or Guideline’ and ‘Bilateral, Regional or International Agreement or Arrangement’), Country's Decision or any other Communication (please note that this has replaced the earlier forms for decisions on ‘LMO under Advance Informed Agreement’, ‘LMO FFP under Article 11’ and ‘Other Decision, Declaration or Notification’), Risk Assessment Generated by a Regulatory Process, Biosafety Expert for the Roster of Experts and Report on Biosafety Expert Assignment.

3) Reference Records Records in this category may be submitted by all registered users. These records will be subject to review and validation by the Secretariat prior to publication.

Reference records include: Contact Details, Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities (please note that this will soon replace the current forms for ‘Capacity-Building Opportunities’, ‘Capacity-Building Projects’ and ‘Academically-Accredited Biosafety Courses’),  Biosafety Organization, Biosafety Information Resource Centre (BIRC), Risk Assessments Generated by an Independent or Non-regulatory Process, Living Modified Organisms (LMOs), Gene and DNA Sequences and Organisms.


From this page, registered users may edit or delete any records they published in the BCH. From the list provided on the page, select the category of the document you wish to edit/delete and then select the specific record. Records that are being edited may be saved as drafts for future access.


Draft records in any category are saved on this page for access at a later date.


Under this section of the Management Centre, the User Administration page allows BCH-NFPs to register National Authorized Users (NAUs) in order to manage and create BCH records (subject to validation by the BCH-NFP). For help on registering NAUs please refer to the new FAQ section.

The National node administration page allows National Node Administrators to access the Management Centre of their National BCH Nodes.


New common formats in MS Word are being made available at http://bch.cbd.int/resources/commonformats.shtml at the same time as the online registration pages. They mirror the online registration pages described above and are designed to assist registered BCH users to gather and organize information prior to creating online records.

Users with limited Internet access may complete the MS Word common formats offline and submit them, duly signed, via email, to the Secretariat for creation of online records on their behalf.


A new version of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is now available in the help section at http://bch.cbd.int/help/faq.shtml