>Posted by Leonard Hirsch, SI International Affairs
>Brazil passed a new law on 29 June, Medida Provisoria 2.052
>on Access to Genetic Resources--i.e., research, collecting
>and export of biological materials. It is intended to deal
>with access to and use of molecular information (there is no
>differentiation between pharmaceutical molecular work and
>However, the law is written very broadly. Like with any
>law, the devil will be in the details of the regulations and
>procedures that get developed to implement the law. The
>process of developing the regulations and procedures is just
>starting. The law does set up new institutional
>arrangements for research, collecting and export permits
>which, while only imposing new restrictions on those doing
>molecular work, will have some oversight on all collecting
>The Brazilian law went into effect immediately--i.e., now.
>(At the end of this posting, I am attaching a non-official,
>rough translation of the beginning to give a sense of the
>breadth of this law.)
>So, no one really knows what it legal or not.
>At this point, we are hearing that all export permits are
>being reviewed. Expect delays for any materials coming out
>of Brazil. At this point in time, do not send or bring any
>specimens into Brazil that you want to leave Brazil in the
>All of the appropriate agencies in Brazil are in
>consultations, working out the necessary arrangements to
>ensure that the law can be effectively implemented--but this
>might take some time. While the law is designed to
>specifically address the EXPORTATION of genetic resources,
>there may be a skittishness about internal collecting until
>all issues of rights and obligations are sorted out.
>Internal collecting can of course only be done with
>appropriate permits from CNPq, the research council and
>appropriate land authorities (including indigenous peoples
>For those going out shortly for field work and for the
>Entomology Congress, you need to understand that regardless
>of doing everything as you were asked, there is a strong
>possibility that you will not be able to go into the
>field--or collect--and certainly not export the materials
>We will try to stay on top of the developments as they
>occur and let you know what is happening. Please recognize
>that many of your counterparts in Brazil may not even know
>that there is a new law. And no one, not even the ones who
>wrote the law, have an idea on how it will be implemented.
>Things will change on a frequent basis over the next few
>weeks and then over the next 18 months as this shakes down.
>Remember, you will generally NOT be able to carry out
>specimens--even if they are yours--so do not carry in any
>that you want to take back out.
>Please let me know if you hear anything and we will try to
>check it out.
>UNOFFICIAL ROUGH TRANSLATION OF THE BEGINNING OF:
>Medida Provisoria 2.052 on Access to Genetic Resources
> Article 1. This LM is about the goods, the rights
>and the responsibilities concerning the access to the
>Genetic Patrimony Component (GPC) that exists in the
>national territory, continental shelf and the exclusive
>economic zone, to the Traditional Knowledge Associated (TKA)
>with it and relevant to the conservation of biological
>diversity, integrity of the country's genetic heritage, use
>of its components and the fair and equal share of the
>benefits derived from its exploration and about access to
>the technology and transfer of technology for conservation
>and use of the biological diversity.
> The access to the GPC aiming at scientific research
>and technological development, bioprospecting or
>conservation including its industrial application or of any
>other nature, will have to be done according to this LM
>without financial loss of the rights of material or
>immaterial property that befall upon the GPC accessed.
> Article 2. The exploration of the genetic patrimony
>of the country can only be made through authorization or
>permission of the Federal Government and its use ,
>commercialization or utilization for any purpose will be
>submitted to inspection (control) according to the terms and
>conditions established in this LM.......
>[There are 34 articles to the Medida. It can be found in
>Portugese at www.planalto.gov.br/CCIVIL/MPV/2052.htm]
>Leonard P. Hirsch
>Washington DC 20560-0705
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