Publishing Permits and Internationally Recognized Certificate of Compliance (IRCC) | Step-by-step guides | About ABSCH | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House
Step-by-step guide

Publishing Permits and Internationally Recognized Certificate of Compliance (IRCC)

Introduction to the ABS Clearing-House

The Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House (ABS Clearing-House or ABSCH) has been developed as a tool to support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. It serves as a means for sharing of information related to access and benefit-sharing arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. In particular, it provides access to information made available Parties, as well as other stakeholders, relevant to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

Minimum Requirements

1. Please ensure you are using the latest version of a popular internet browser, such as: 

2. To be able to submit reference records, you will need a CBD Account. Opening an account only takes a few minutes and requires a valid email address.

3. To publish national records, in addition to a CBD Account, you will also need the appropriate role (Publishing Authority or Authorized User) to access and publish information on behalf of your government.

Getting help

Help using the ABS Clearing-House is always available. The Secretariat is happy to help if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any questions or feedback on using the ABS Clearing-House. To contact  the Secretariat, please  e-mail us at or use the live chat help desk.  The live chat help desk can be accessed by clicking on the green question mark located in the bottom right corner of the page for immediate interaction with Secretariat staff for technical support and guidance.

About Permits and Internationally Recognized Certificates of Compliance (IRCC)

In accordance with Article 6, paragraph 3(e), of the Nagoya Protocol, Parties that require prior informed consent (PIC) must provide for the issuance of a permit or equivalent at the time of access. The permit or its equivalent issued must also be made available to the ABSCH in order to constitute an internationally recognized certificate of compliance (IRCC) (Article 17, paragraph 2). 
Article 17, paragraph 3, further establishes that the IRCC shall serve as evidence that the genetic resource which it covers has been accessed in accordance with prior informed consent (PIC) and that mutually agreed terms (MAT) have been established, as required by the domestic access and benefit-sharing legislation or regulatory requirements of the Party providing prior informed consent. 
The Protocol also provides that the IRCC shall contain the following minimum information, when it is not confidential: issuing authority, date, provider, unique identifier of the certificate, the person or entity to whom prior informed consent was granted, subject-ma:er or genetic resources covered by the certificate, confirmation that MAT were established, confirmation that PIC was obtained, and commercial and/or non-commercial use. 
The IRCC plays a key role in enhancing transparency and monitoring the utilization of genetic resources along the value chain (research, development, innovation, pre-commercialization or commercialization). The IRCC helps by providing solutions to problems that can arise when utilization takes place outside of the provider’s country.

STEP 1: Sign in to the ABS Clearing-House

To sign in, click the “SIGN IN” link located at the very the top right corner of the page, and enter your email and password.  If you have forgotten your password please click the following link to reset it: If you don’t have a CBD account, you can create one at:

STEP 2: Edit an existing record or open a new submission form

Once you have signed in, click on “Submit” in the main navigation bar and you will be taken to your Record Management Centre Dashboard. 



The Dashboard provides an overview of the shared national records for your country. Click on the name of the type of record you would like to edit or add to the ABS Clearing-House. 


Open a submission form

Next, click the "Add New" button or click on the "Edit" icon associated to the record you would like to update to open the submission form.

Submission form controls

Please fill in the submission form and complete all fields. Mandatory fields are indicated with an asterisk(*). The highlighted button shows you what step of the submission process you are currently on.  Clicking on the "Introduction" tab will give you important information on how to complete the form. Clicking on the "Review" tab will allow you to preview the record and highlight the mandatory fields that need to be filled before it is possible to publish the record. The record can be saved as a draft at any time. Frequently saving of records is recommended.


Submission language(s)

It is possible to introduce information one or more of the six official UN languages. The first question on each submission form asks you to select the languages you wish to submit the record in (at least one language needs to be selected). 

Website language

If you wish to view to the submission form in another language, you may change the language of the website by selecting one of the UN languages from the drop down menu located at the very top right hand corner of the screen

STEP 3: Complete the IRCC form

The key sections of the Internationally Recognized Certificates of Compliance form are the  Issuing authority, Details of the permit or its equivalent, Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Information, Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) Information, Subject-matter or genetic resource, Information on the utilization of the genetic resource(s),  and Documentation.


IRCC and confidential information 

Article 17, paragraph 4, of the Nagoya Protocol provides that the IRCC shall contain certain minimum information, when it is not confidential. Following this provision, the common format for the IRCC requires mandatory minimum information along with the possibility to identify some of these fields as confidential. The mandatory information that may be confidential is: 

  • the provider;
  • the person or entity to whom prior informed consent (PIC) was granted;
  • the subject-ma:er or genetic resources covered by the permit or its equivalent; and
  • whether the permit or its equivalent covers commercial and/or non-commercial use.

The mandatory information that cannot be confidential is: the issuing authority, the date of issuance, the unique identifier, and confirmation that PIC was granted and that MAT was established. 

Responsibilities of the Publishing Authority (PA) 

The ABSCH does not host any confidential information and all information published in the ABSCH is publicly available and can be accessed by the general public. Therefore, the PA plays an important role in ensuring that no confidential information is published in the ABSCH. 

The PA is responsible for: 

  • Authorizing the publication of all national records registered in the ABSCH;
  • Ensuring that the information made available on the ABSCH is complete, relevant and kept up-to-date;
  • Ensuring that no confidential information is published in the ABSCH; and
  • Managing the designation of the national authorized users (NAUs).


Issuing authority

When selecting an issuing authority, only published records can be linked. If the CNA is not yet published, you can save this draft, publish a record for the appropriate CNA and come back to link the CNA here.

Details of the permit of its equivalent

The reference number of the permit or its equivalent will also appear as the title of the record. Providing the reference number of the original permit or its equivalent can help to locate the permit equivalent, if ever needed.


Entering an expiry date is optional, however, when applicable, the publishing authority will receive a notification two months before the permit expires inviting them to verify the record and take any appropriate action.

Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Information

Click the checkbox to indicate when mandatory information is confidential. 

Only published records will be available to be added or linked.

Click ‘Yes’ if PIC was obtained or granted. Confirmation that PIC was granted is necessary before it is possible to publish the record and generate the IRCC.


When information such as ‘the provider’ or ‘the person or entity to whom PIC was granted’ is marked as confidential they will not automatically receive a copy of the IRCC generated by the ABSCH when the information is published.


Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) Information

It is important to include in the form conditions included in the MAT that you consider relevant to assist in the monitoring of the utilization of the genetic resource. For example sometimes access to genetic resources could be granted only for specified uses (e.g., for medical use), or on the contrary access could be granted for multiple uses but with specific restrictions applying (e.g., restriction to obtain intellectual property rights).

Click ‘Yes’ if MAT was established. This confirmation is necessary before it is possible to publish the record and generate the IRCC. 

Additional information can help verify or monitor if the utilization along the value chain taking place is in accordance with the terms agreed. Therefore it is important to provide a clear and concise summary of information in this section.


Subject-matter or genetic resource

Information on the subject matter can be confidential. However, information is submitted in a free text box allowing the user the flexibility to provide some information without giving away any confidential information. Any information entered here should be clear and concise.

Additional information is optional, however this information can be helpful to provide greater legal certainty.

These keywords will help tag the record with the correct information for improved results when searching


Information on the utilization of the genetic resource(s)

Where a permit or its equivalent establish conditions or restrictions regarding the transfer of the permit or rights over the genetic resources to a third party, it will help to make this information available on the IRCC to be able to help monitor the utilization of the genetic resources.

Click the checkbox to indicate when mandatory information is confidential.

It is important to provide concise summary of information in the Additional information section, as they can help with the verification and monitoring. Please remember that information submitted to the ABSCH will be made public, and therefore, confidential information should not be submitted.


In the remaining section on documentation you may attach a copy of the permit or its equivalent and any additional useful information.

STEP 4: Review

Once you have completed all the fields, click on the “Review” tab to check that all the mandatory fields have been properly filled. On this tab a message will highlight any missing fields that need to be filled before it is possible to publish the record. You may click on the missing field to go to that field in the submission form.


When all the mandatory fields have been filled correctly, the message “the document is valid” will appear.  You are almost done! The next and final step is to publish the record.

STEP 5: Publish

To publish a record, click on the "Publish" tab. If you record contains any errors you will be redirected back to the Review tab until the errors are correct.  Please note that you can save the record as a draft at any time. 


If you are the Publishing Authority, you see the green “Publish”  button and will be able to publish the record directly on the ABS Clearing-House.


If you are a National Authorized User, you will see the red “Request Publication” button.  Clicking this button will automatically send a request to the Publishing Authority to verify and approve your submission before it will become publicly available on the ABS Clearing-House.