Working out ABS: An ICC Conference on Access and Benefit Sharing

Working out ABS image 2015
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Date: 28/09/2015 - 29/09/2015
  • Event Type: Conference and workshops
  • Language: English

A two day conference providing the latest information on how to comply with the new EU Rules on Access and Benefit Sharing, just weeks before they become fully applicable on 12 October 2015. Sessions and workshops will be run by experts from the European Commission, national governments, the CBD Secretariat, ICC, and business.

Places are limited to 120 to maintain a high-level of interactivity.


The Nagoya Protocol establishes rules on access and benefit sharing (ABS) in relation to genetic resources.

Participants will learn how get to grips with the new EU Rules on Access and Benefit Sharing implementing the Protocol just weeks before they become fully applicable on 12 October 2015. Plenary sessions will focus on interpreting and implementing the new rules at each stage of a company's operations. Practical workshops and other activities will reinforce the understanding of key issues developed during the plenaries.

The workshops will be divided into two parts. The first part will concentrate on knowledge-building; the second part on hypothetical scenarios at the sourcing, r&d and commercialization stage which participants will work out in their groups. Question and answer sessions during the plenaries will also enable them to discuss issues that they currently face in their companies and obtain recommendations and advice from speakers and other participants.

Why ICC?

ICC actively contributes to discussions on the links between intellectual property, genetic resources and traditional knowledge in several forums, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.

It has also played active role coordinating business participation in the Nagoya Protocol negotiations and continues to coordinate business input in the process of national implementation.

What people said about the conference in 2014

"ICC's ABS conference showed how seriously the industry is taking the matter of ABS regarding GRs and how desperately companies needed further guidance to help them comply with the new EU Regulation".
Alexandra Bönsch , German Plant Breeders Association

"Attracted a capacity crowd who were not disappointed" .
Timothy Roberts , Roberts & Co

MONDAY 28 SEPTEMBER (09.30-18.30)

Welcome and opening remarks

Plenary 1: Overview of ABS and the EU regulation
Participants will meet the European Commission Experts who will present (a) the new EU ABS Regulation, (b) its international context, and (c) the Implementing Act. An update will also be given on the guidance documents. Discussion.

Plenary 2: Scope of the new EU ABS Regulation
All stakeholders have underlined how important it is to have legal certainty in the EU ABS regulation in order to prepare for full implementation in October. Clarifying scope is key.

This session will offer the participants a better understanding of how to interpret the Regulation provisions on scope, and, with feedback from the EC and different industry sectors, will identify terms and concepts which have already been clarified as well as examine the outstanding aspects which still need better definition. Participants will also be invited to give practical examples of where they need further clarity. Discussion.

Lunch (all speakers and participants)

Plenary 3: Access to genetic resources: due diligence requirements
This session will describe the due diligence requirements which companies must comply with when acquiring genetic resources (GRs). Discussion topics will include (a) how do due diligence requirements apply in different access scenarios e.g. from a commercial provider, a collection or in situ? (b) what happens when GRs, accessed for non-commercial use, are subsequently used for commercial purposes? (c) can specific types of acquisition e.g. through a registered collection, or ITPGRFA sMTAs, lighten due diligence requirements? (d) how can companies determine which country's access laws should apply? and (e) what should a company do if the required documents are not available? Discussion.

Parallel sessions (participants choose to attend one of the following three sessions)

Session 1: How to use the CBD Clearing House Mechanism
The CBD Clearing House is a platform for exchanging information on access and benefit-sharing. It is a key tool for facilitating the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, by enhancing legal certainty and transparency on procedures for access, and for monitoring the utilization of genetic resources along the value chain, including through the internationally recognized certificate of compliance.
This session will look at how the Clearing House mechanism works in practice. What types of information do users and providers need to provide? How will it help those seeking access? What else would users like to see it provide?And what safeguards are in place to ensure that information remains accurate and confidential? Discussion

Session 2: Access regimes and EU Regulation implementation by member states (NEW SESSION)
This session will first provide participants with (a) an overview of implementation of the Nagoya Protocol worldwide before (b) goin on to discuss in greater depth the latest developments and timeframe of the EU ABS regulation and access regimes (new and upcoming) in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Companies will have the opportunity to ask questions and exchange views on the new and pending rules.

Session 3: Collections and due diligence
This session will look at specific criteria and procedures for recognizing collections. Discussion topics will include (a) what are the pros and cons of having a collection registered and/or of using genetic resources from a registered collection? (b) how are collections complying with due diligence requirements? and (c) how are collections collaborating with/supporting business?

Plenary: Summary of parallel sessions

One speaker from each session will share their group's insights and recommendations with the whole plenary.

TUESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER (09.00-17.50)

Observations from day 1: lessons learnt
In this warm-up session, members of the audience will be invited to join panelists in sharing their take-homes from the previous day's activities and what they want either business or the EC to retain from the discussions.

Plenary 4: Use of GRs in research and development: clarifying concepts and requirements
This panel will look at the extent to which the EU ABS Regulation applies to research and development activities. Discussion topics will inlude (a) how can "utilisation" and "research and development" be defined as applied to different sectors? (b) which due diligence requirements apply to the R&D phase? and (c) what constitutes "research funding" requiring a due diligence declaration? Discussion

Plenary 5: Overview of ABS requirements at the point of commercialization
Panelists will look at what falls under the due diligence requirements during the comercialization phase of a product or a technology. Discussion topics will include (a) when is a product considered to have been "developed via the utilization of genetic resources or traditional knowledge"? (b) what constitutes the "final development of a product" requiring a due diligence declaration? (c) what is the relevance of a due diligence declaration for products that require market approval? and (d) when and to whom does a declaration have to be made? Discussion

Lunch (for all speakers and participants)

Working Groups: applying due diligence requirements at each stage of a company's operations
During this working session, participants will draw from information gathered during the plenary sessions to work on a series of hypothetical scenarios devised to help them learn how to apply ABS obligations when GRs and TK are utilized for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Participants will first work on knowledge-building exercises, (what is the definition of due diligence?; what types of documents and information need to be obtained by the source and transferred to subsequent users?, what should you do if you do not have the necessary information or there are uncertainties about the legality of access and utilisation, etc.) before going on to examine hypothetical case studies which deal with due diligence requirements at the "sourcing", "r&d" and "commercialization" stage of a company's operations.

Plenary: feedback from the working sessions
One discussant from each workshop will relay their group's recommendations to the plenary.

Plenary 7: Roundtable discussion on the ABS Regulation: what still needs to be done?
In this interactive session, speakers from the EC, member states, companies, associations and collections will each look at the amount of work remaining to make the ABS regulation fully operational and describe not only what they plan to do but also what they think needs to be done by the other actors around the table. Discussion topics will include (a) sectorial challenges for which guidance is still needed; (b) codes of conduct and best practices that are being developed at sectorial level; (c) pending measures by the EC to give guidance for implementation; (d) current and future implementation measures by member states; and (e) how can business and government work together to ensure that companies understand how best to implement the new Regulation. Discussion

Conclusions and closing remarks

Brendan Barnes , Director, IP and Global Health, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Assocations (EFPIA), Brussels

Lisanne Boon, Company Lawyer, Rijk Zwaan, The Netherlands

Axel Braun , European and Swiss Patent Attorney, F. Hoffmann - La Roche AG, Switzerland

Thomas Ebben , Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany

Ricardo Gent , Director, German Association of Biotechnology Industries (DIB), Germany

Anke van den Hurk , Chair, ICC Task Force on Access and Benefit Sharing, Paris; Deputy Director of Plantum NL, the Dutch Association for the Plant Reproduction Material Sector, The Netherlands

Alicja Kozlowska , Policy Officer, Global Sustainability, Trade and Multilateral Agreements, European Commission, Brussels

Soren Flensted Lassen , Senior Department Manager, Novozymes, Denmark

Christopher Lyal
, Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, United Kingdom

Mathias-Leonhard Maier, Policy Officer, Global Sustainability, Trade and Multilateral Agreements, DG Environment, European Commission, Brussels

Tania Lopez-Piñeiro Perez , Head of Conservation Strategies and Plans, Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Spain

Dunja Martin , Compliance Management, Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH, Germany

Dominic Muyldermans , Senior Legal Consultant, IGO Affairs, Croplife, Brussels

Jasmina Muminovic Susic , Genebank Curator, Monsanto, Spain

Valérie Normand , Senior Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Malu Nunes* , Executive Director, Boticário, Brazil

Julia Maria Oliva, Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Support , Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), The Netherlands

Frank Petersen , Novartis International AG, Switzerland

David Rosenberg , Vice President, IP Policy, GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom

Bert Visser , Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands

Annelaure Wittman , Policy Officer, Economic Instruments and Biodiversity, Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France

Michael Worrell , EUTR & ABS Project Manager, National Measurement and Regulation Office,United Kingdom

Markus Wyss , Strain Director, Global Regulatory Affairs, DSM Nutritional Products, Switzerland

Daphne Yong d'Herve , Chief Intellectual Property Officer, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris

* invited


Monday 28 September (09.30 - 18.30) - Tuesday 29 September (09.00 - 17.45)

* Registration will begin at 08.45 on Day 1. There will also be a networking cocktail at the end of Day 1 from 18.30 to 20.00.


Centre d'Affaires Paris Trocadero, 112 avenue Kleber, 75016 Paris, France

Registration fee

The registration fee* includes participation in the conference and the implementation simulation workshops, all documentation, a cocktail reception on Monday 28 September, two formal lunches and coffee breaks. Travel and hotel expenses are not included.

*VAT is not applicable for this event pursuant of article 206-1 of the CGI / TVA non applicable, article 206-1 du CGI.

Kindly note that invoices for this event are being processed by our partner Xing Events

Special rates

Group rate : Register 5 persons from the same company and pay for 4.
Please contact if you wish to benefit from this discount.

How to register

Easier and faster: register online (secured payment by credit card) at

Registration will be confirmed upon receipt of payment.

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Travel and visa

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. A list of hotels in Paris, with which ICC has negotiated preferential room rates will be sent to you once your registration has been confirmed.

We are able to dispatch visa invitation letters to support your visa application only after full payment and receipt of your registration fees.

Cancellation policy

50% of the registration fee will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received before 27 August 2015. Cancellations after this date are not refundable. Subject to agreement from ICC prior to the event, the registration may be transferred to another person from the same company or organization at no extra charge. Updated registration information will be required.

Please note that ICC reserves the right to cancel this event or to make minor alterations to the content and timing of the programme or to the identity of the speakers. In the unlikely event of cancellation, delegates will be offered a full refund. ICC will not, however, be held responsible for any related expense incurred by the participant.


The photos and audiovisual recordings taken at this event may be used and published by ICC, its subsidiaries or affiliates, for informational or promotional purposes in printed materials or online, including on ICC websites and in social media. Participation in the event implies agreement to such use of photos or audiovisual recordings in which the participant may appear unless ICC receives written notification to the contrary.

Why attend?

• It will give you a comprehensive overview of how to interpret and implement the new rules at each stage of a company's operations: from access to research to development to commercialization.

• It will give you a broad understanding of the fundamentals, such as when you should practice due diligence, when responsibility for compliance passes to new users and how the benefits and user obligations are passed along the supply chain.

• It will tell you which GRs and activities the new EU ABS regulation does and doesn't cover in order to avoid potentially litigious consequences.

• It will describe the main issues to be considered by users of GRs as well as identify the relevant compliance documents and requirements.

• It will give you an opportunity to listen to different sector perspectives on how to deal with the challenges of complying with the new Regulation, focusing in particular on legal clarity and scope.

• It will offer a practical learning approach with activities that reinforce your understanding of key issues developed during the plenary sessions.

• It will give you all the latest information and provide you with resources to share with your colleagues back in the office.

• It will give you many opportunities to network with peers and speakers.

Anyone affected by the new EU ABS rules particularly executives and researchers working in R&D, compliance, legal practice, supply chains and sourcing for sectors utilizing genetic resources (GRs) and traditional knowledge (TK) in their activities.

Sectors concerned by the new regulation include agricultural, biotech, cosmetics, food & beverage, fragrance, industrial enzymes, nutritional supplements and collections.

Programme and logistics : Jennie Irving, Event Manager, Department of Policy and Business Practices, Email: Jennie Irving , Tel: +33 1 49 53 30 78

Registration and payment issues : Xing Events, Sales Administrator, Email:

Sponsorship : Luz Rodriguez, Global Partnerships Manager, Email Luz Rodriguez , Tel: + 33 1 49 53 28 42

This conference offers you an unrivalled opportunity to build worldwide partnerships. Partnering this event will get you maximum visibility during the promotional phase, onsite and also following the conference.

For further information, please see our sponsorship opportunities flyer or contact Ms Luz Rodriguez , ICC Global Partnerships Manager

Download Document(s)

Event registration fees

Delegate Rate (Early Bird until 15 June) €690

VAT not applicable pursuant of article 206-1 of the CGI

Delegate Rate (Normal) €790

VAT not applicable pursuant of article 206-1 of the CGI

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