Milieu's Analysis of the EU ABS Regulation: "An Obstacle for Further R&D Opportunities"
In May 2020, Milieu Ltd. released a report of the study of practical implications of the EU Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Regulation. The study focuses on the identification and analysis of the positive and negative consequences of compliance with the Regulation (EU) No 511/2014 (the EU ABS Regulation) for both public research institutions and SMEs in the relevant sectors. The study was carried out through interviews and written questionnaires disseminated among researchers and private companies from the relevant industries. CIOPORA participated in the survey as an industry organization.
The study concludes that "The EU ABS Regulation, when combined with the multitude of local laws under the Nagoya Protocol, is considered by interviewees (...) as creating a high administrative burden." (p. 33). The first major issue with the current system is the lack of relevant information on the ABS Clearing House or national institutional websites - a major obstacle for smaller organizations that cannot obtain or afford ad hoc legal support. The second issue is the hidden cost, unpredictability and a high risk to project viability associated with lengthy negotiations with local authorities in the provider countries. Therefore, the very existence of ABS obligations is also perceived by the users as an obstacle for further R&D opportunities. The study concludes that "while it is too early to see any significant impacts to the competitiveness (...), most interviewees agree that EU companies and researchers are disadvantaged when compared to their counterparts in countries..." (ibid.) with less stringent genetic resource regulations. Download the Milieu study report.