User roles and responsibilities | About ABSCH | Access and Benefit-Sharing Clearing-House

User roles and responsibilities

A CBD account is needed to be able to submit information on the ABS Clearing-House. If you don't have an CBD account please sign-up here:

After filling the simple form, you will automatically be emailed a link to confirm your account. A CBD account enables you to register reference records in all CBD clearing-houses, including the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH), the ABS Clearing-House, and the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM). To submit national information on behalf of your country you will also need the appropriate user roles to be associated with your account. These roles can be assigned by the ABS national focal point or publishing authority.

The three categories of users of the ABS Clearing-House are:

1. National users

National roles for the publishing authority and nationally authorized users can be easily change and managed online using the ABS Clearing-House user management functionality. 

ABS National Focal Point (NFP)

The NFP is responsible to liaise with the Secretariat and make available information on procedures for accessing genetic resources and establishing mutually agreed terms, including information on competent national authorities, relevant indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders (Article 13, paragraph 1). The NFP must be designated or modified by completing an official designation form offline and sending it (by fax, email or post) to the CBD Secretariat.

In order to make information available in the ABS Clearing-House the NFP is responsible for designating a single person responsible for approving the publication of all national records. This role is referred to as the publishing authority. The NFP can designate themselves as the publishing authority if desired.

The Publishing Authority (PA)

The single person responsible for publishing all national records in the ABS Clearing-House. The publishing authority can publish records directly in the ABS Clearing-House. They can also designate one or more national authorized users (NAUs) to assist them in preparing draft records for their publication in the ABS Clearing-House on behalf of their country. The publishing authority will have to approve all records submitted by NAUs.

Non-Parties are encouraged to share all relevant ABS information through the ABS Clearing-House in the same conditions as Parties. Therefore, Non-Parties must also designate a PA in order to publish national information.

The PA is responsible for:

  • Authorizing the publication of all national records registered in the ABS Clearing-House;
  • Ensuring that the information made available on the ABS Clearing-House is complete, relevant and kept up-to-date; and
  • Ensuring that no confidential information is published in the ABS Clearing-House. The ABS Clearing-House does not host any confidential information and all information published in the ABS Clearing-House is publicly available and can be accessed by the general public.
  • Managing the designation of the national authorized users (NAUs)

National authorized users (NAUs)

Countries may also designate one or more national authorized users (NAUs). The function of NAUs is to assist the publishing authorities in the preparation of draft national records. National authorized users can create and manage draft records for their country and send them as requests to the publishing authority for publication.

For example, if may be useful to designate a checkpoint as a NAU and enable them to submit checkpoint communiqués to the publishing authority for approval and publication on the ABS Clearing-House.

2. Registered users

Anyone can sign-up for a CBD account and submit reference records to the ABS Clearing-House. This gives all stakeholders, such as, indigenous people and local communities, academia, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and the private sector, the opportunity to contribute relevant ABS information and to create a community where knowledge and best practices are shared to support the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. The Secretariat, acts as the publishing authority for reference records and is responsible for validating all reference records before final publication in the ABS Clearing-House. Although, registered users do not publish reference records directly, they should ensure the information they submit is correct, non-confidential, complete and up-to-date.

3. Non-registered users

A CBD account is not required to access the information published on the ABS Clearing-House. All published information is made publicly available through the search and country profiles.