Publishing ABS Measures (MSR) | Step-by-step guides | About ABSCH | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House
Step-by-step guide

Publishing ABS Measures (MSR)

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 Legislative, Administrative and Policy Measures on ABS (ABS measures, MSR)

Article 14 paragraph 2 (a) of the Nagoya Protocol provides that Parties shall make available to the ABS Clearing-House information on legislative, administrative and policy measures on access and benefit-sharing (ABS measures) to the 
ABS Clearing-House..

ABS measures may include national or regional strategies, policies, legislation, regulations and administrative measures. They may also include measures undertaken at the subnational or community level. ABS measures and related information published through the ABS Clearing-House will help users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to understand the national systems for accessing those resources and knowledge and sharing the benefits derived from their use. Each ABS measure available within your jurisdiction should be published as separate record. 

Information provided on your ABS measure should be as clear, concise and complete as possible. Please bear in mind the goal is to provide as much certainty and clarity possible to potential users and guide them to comply with your countries legislation. 

Including a courtesy translation of the information, as well as, explanatory information, such as, flow charts, or step-by-step guides on how to apply for prior informed consent are very useful for helping user of genetic resources and the associated traditional knowledge understand and be aware of the domestic requirements for access and benefit-sharing.

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 MSR form

The key sections of the Legislative, Administrative or Policy Measure form are the question on if it is an amendment, General information, Document details, Regulatory contact information and the Elements of the measure.

Is this an amendment to previous legislative, administrative or policy measure?

The first question addresses the issue of how amendments are reflected to previous published ABS measures. There are three possible cases to consider when answering this question: 

  1. In some legal systems, when a measure is amended, a revised version of the same measure is issued reflecting the changes made. If this is the case, you do not need to add a new record, open the existing record and select “no” to this question and continue to update the record as necessary.
  2. In other legal systems amendments are adopted, as a new measures, distinct from the one being amended. If this is case, select “yes” and complete the section on amendments by linking the measure and providing a short summary of the amendments. This is in order to help users understand how the measures relate to each other.
  3. If this is a completely new measure, select “no” to skip the section on amendments.

General information

In the next part of the form please provide the following mandatory information: title, and current legal status. 

For current legal status, if you select ‘not legally binding’, ‘legally binding’, or ‘retired’, you will be asked to indicate the dates during which the measure is, or was, in force.

Next, select the option that best describes the type of measure you are submitting.

Next, you can identify the area of jurisdiction applicable to the measure. Note: In order to avoid duplication when publishing a regional or multilateral measure it is recommended that one country agrees to publish the measure on behalf of the regional organization or the group of countries that are to share the measure. Please contact the Secretariat ( to obtain the authorization required prior to publish a regional or multilateral measure.


The next part of the form you will be asked to provide a brief description of the measure, including its objective and scope. 

Some measures have model contractual clauses as annexes or included in the measure. Answer the next question by indicating whether this measure contains a model contractual clause.


Document details

The next section relates to the document details. Under “document text”, you can provide the text of the measure by attaching either a link or by uploading a file (doc or pdf). It is preferable to upload the file to avoid problems with broken links when the linked web pages change or are re-designed. 
Here, it is also possible to provide translations of the document text in the official UN languages. Providing information in several languages can be helpful to reach out to many different users and help them understand and comply with your ABS requirements.

The ABSCH includes the possibility of linking two measures when they have a specific relationship. For example, if the measure being submitted is implementing an existing law you can link the measures and provide a description of their relationship.


Regulatory contact information

You will be asked to provide contact information for the institution that may be approached in case a user of the ABSCH may have questions about the ABS measure. In the case, a desired contact is not in the list, you will first have to publish the national contact. To do this please save your draft and come back to it after publishing the national contact. For assistance with publishing national contacts, you may wish to refer to another guide in this series on Publishing National Contacts.

Elements of the measure

The next part relates to elements of the measure. When the ABS measure is published, this information will help others to understand your measure by displaying a summary of the key elements and the references to where each element is found in the text or provisions of the measure.

In addition, all the information gathered from all the measures published by your country is displayed together in an ABS measures matrix. This matrix will be available in the country profile on the ABS Clearing House and aims to provide an overview of the ABS national legal framework.

If elements are not applicable for the measure you are currently publishing, you can select the relevant check box and you will not have to fill the table of elements. If the elements are applicable, you can check the boxes that apply, and identify the relevant sections of the measure.

Information entered in this section will contribute to the overview of your national legal framework on ABS (ABS measures matrix) and it is important that each measure’s elements are entered accurately and completely. In this section you will see specific questions pertaining to: 

Scope. Measures may include articles or sections that generally identify or describe the extent of the application and coverage of the measure. For instance, this could include whether the measure covers genetic resources, or whether it applies to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources or ex-situ collections. 
In the first question you can whether the measure covers any genetic resources and from which areas, by selecting from the drop-down lists, and enter references to relevant articles and sections.



In the subsequent questions, you can provide information that can help users understand how your measure addresses traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, temporal scope, and any other relevant elements. You can also use the question on ‘relevant elements’ in case there are exclusion from the scope, viz., elements to which the scope does not apply. 

Access. ABS measures may have provisions establishing rules and procedures on how to access genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. Different rules or conditions could apply when the resource is accessed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. The measure may also include rules and procedures for establishing mutually agreed terms. 

There may be other important provisions related to access not covered by the list of elements in the common format. You can add additional elements that will help others to understand the main components of your ABS measure, including issues related to the scope of the access provisions of the measure or special considerations for access. For instance, if the measure does not apply to certain species or areas, you can enter them under ‘other’, and add reference to the articles or sections.

Benefit-sharing. ABS measures may include provisions relating to benefit-sharing. Benefit-sharing provisions may be different if the genetic resources or associated traditional knowledge was accessed for commercial use, or for non-commercial use. Provisions could also distinguish between monetary and non-monetary benefits. 

There may be other important provisions related to benefit-sharing not covered by the list of elements in the common format. You can add, for instance, additional information on the scope of the benefit-sharing provisions of the measure, establishment of benefit-sharing funds or other benefit-sharing arrangements. 

Compliance. ABS measures may include provisions relating to compliance, including compliance with domestic legislation or regulatory requirements of the other Party (Article 15 and 16 of the Protocol); monitoring the utilization of genetic resources (Article 17 of the Protocol), including information on checkpoints or reporting requirements; and compliance with mutually agreed terms (Article 18). 

There may be other important provisions related to compliance not covered by the list of elements in the common format. You can add, for instance, additional information on the scope of the compliance provisions of the measure, or other relevant compliance provisions. 

Relationship with other international instruments. Here you can specify the provisions on how the ABS measures relates to other international instruments, such as the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, or the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework.

Other. In this section you can identify provisions related to: competent national authority/ies, awareness-raising, transboundary cooperation, capacity-building, and others. You can also include any additional elements that will help others to understand the important components of your ABS measure that have not been covered elsewhere.

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.