Article 8. Notification

281. Article 8 addresses the first step in the AIA procedure: the notification of the proposed transboundary movement to the Party into which the LMO is to be imported. Article 8 establishes:


282. As noted above, Articles 8, 9, 10 and 12 set out the procedure to be followed under AIA. The first step in the AIA procedure is the notification to the Party of import of a proposed transboundary movement to it of a LMO that falls under the scope of application of the AIA procedure.

283. Of course, the notification must take place before the first transboundary movement of the LMO into the Party of import is initiated.

Who notifies?

284. During the negotiation of the Protocol, there were extensive discussions as to who should provide notification of a proposed transboundary movement to the Party of import. Three options were considered:

285. As adopted, Article 8 places the primary obligation regarding notification on the Party of export – i.e. the State Party from which the transboundary movement of the LMO in question originates. The Party of export may in turn, through its national law, require the exporter (most often a private entity) to provide the notification. In practice, depending upon the circumstances of the transboundary movement, other entities may also be in contact with the competent national authority of the Party of import during the AIA procedure, for example, the importer of the LMO or some other entity. However, it is clear that under the Protocol it is the Party of export that has a legal obligation to ensure that the Party of import receives proper notification of a proposed transboundary movement of a LMO.

286. In later provisions of the Protocol, the term “the notifier” is used, for example in Articles 10, 12 15 and 21. This term is not defined in the Protocol. However, on the basis of Article 8, the “notifier” will be either the Party of export itself or the exporter.

Box 27. Possible notification ‘routes’ under Article 8

Who receives the notification?

Content of notification

287. Article 8 does not specify in what language the notification should be made – whether it is the language of the Party of export, the Party of import, or some other language. In practice, this issue is likely to be dealt with in national legislation of the Party of import on import procedures for LMOs.

288. The requirement that the notification must contain “at a minimum” the information specified in Annex I of the Protocol could imply that:

289. A Party of import may also request additional information at a later stage, prior to making a decision on import, under Article 10(3)(c).

290. As part of the information to be made available under Annex I, the notifier must describe the intended use of the LMO or products of that LMO (Annex I(i)). It should be noted that the AIA procedure relates to approval of imports (or transboundary movements) of LMOs (in accordance with Article 7). It does not expressly relate to approval for specific final uses of the LMO once it is in the Party of import: for example, for field trials, commercial growing or placing on the market. (Nonetheless, the final intended use of the LMO would need to be known in order to initiate the appropriate procedure under the Protocol). Depending upon the national legislation of the Party of import, and the request made by the notifier, approval of specific final uses of the LMO in the Party of import may be dealt with as part of the import approval procedure, or it may be subject to a subsequent and separate approval. This is a matter which will need to be clarified in the domestic legislation of Parties of import.

291. Information provided under Article 8 may be subject to confidentiality requirements in accordance with Article 21.

National implementation

292. As with other provisions of the Protocol, in order to be effective, Article 8 will need to be implemented in the domestic law of Parties – in relation to both exports and imports of LMOs. In relation to exports, Parties will need to ensure that there is an obligation to provide notification to a Party of import of proposed first exports of LMOs that are within the scope of the AIA procedure. The type of information to be provided by the notifier should also be specified. In relation to proposed imports, Parties may wish, in their domestic regulations, to require prior notification to be made to the competent national authority (or authorities); to specify the information to be provided in the notification; and to specify the form and language in which that information should be submitted.

293. The Party of export is under a general obligation under Article 2(1) to take the necessary measures at the national level to implement its obligations under the Protocol. Article 8(2) places a specific obligation on the Party of export with regard to notifications. It obliges the Party of export to require the exporter to provide accurate information about the LMO under national law. The information referred to here is that required for the notification, i.e. as indicated in Annex I. The requirement applies whether or not, under the domestic law of the Party of export, it is the Party of export itself or the exporter who is required to notify the Party of import of the proposed transboundary movement of LMOs.

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