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National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2007-08-20 04:37 UTC (mariakara@moew.government.bg)
Date of last update
2008-03-03 15:53 UTC (juliana.costa@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2008-03-03 15:53 UTC (juliana.costa@cbd.int)

This document is also available in the following languages:
General information
Title of the initiative
GMOs: Enforcement of legislation, control measures and distribution of knowledge
Contact person
Mr. Alexander Mittev
Head of GMO Department
Food Safety and Food Control Directorate
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Supply (MAFS)
55 Hristo Botev blvd.
Bulgaria, 1000
Phone:+359 2 985 11 306
Fax:+359 2 981 6732
Url:Ministry of Agriculture and Food Supply
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Bulgaria
  • CBD Regional Groups - Central and Eastern Europe
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: The main beneficiary institutions for the project measures will be the competent authorities for placing on the market of GMO according to Bulgarian GMO Act.
Start Date
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Government(s) sponsoring the initiative
  • Bulgaria
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Organization: Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Supply (MAFS) and EVD, Agency for International Business and Co-operation, Netherlands
  • Type of Organization: National government
Budget information
PSO Pre-accession Programme (PPA)
$ 403 230
Activity details
Description of the initiative
The largest exporters of agricultural (grain) commodities such as the USA, Argentina and Canada, do not implement measures for segregation of GM and non-GM products nor requirements for mandatory labelling of GMOs. Also several (non-EU) countries in the Black Sea region have implemented more liberal GMO import-export regimes compared to the regimes of the EU and Bulgaria.

The regulatory system of these countries is not transparant and monitoring systems are not in place. As a consequence, Bulgaria must have strict and workable measures for control and enforcement regarding marketing and trade of GM products in place by the time of EU accession. 

According to the Bulgarian GMO Act, all responsible authorities should be able to implement the provisions required by the Act. Until now, no requests for commercial planting of GMOs have been approved yet. The GMO Department of the Food Safety and Food Control Directorate of the MAF has no experience with handling requests for placing GM products on the market, nor with procedures for post-market monitoring or raising public awareness. Therefore, the staff of the GMO Department needs to be trained in order to be able to perform their task.

Living organisms, including living genetically modified organisms (LMOs, also called GMOs), whether released into the environment in large or small amounts for experimental purposes or as commercial products, may reproduce in the environment and cross national frontiers thereby affecting other Member States. The effects of such releases on the environment may be irreversible. The protection of human health and the environment requires that due attention be given to controlling risks from the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The project focuses on strengthening the legal and institutional infrastructure regarding placing on the market of GMOs.

National level activities
Institutional strengthening;
HR Development.
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
The project aims to assist Bulgaria in the implementation and enforcement of Directive EC 2001/18 on deliberate release and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms (GMO's).

The project aims to strengthen the Bulgarian control system of GMO. The project concentrates on capacity building at the Food Safety and Food Control Directorate of the MAF, the inspectors and laboratory experts level. The staff of the GMO Department needs to be trained to enable the Department to carry out their responsibilities of control on placing of GMO's on the market. For this, guidelines and internal manuals for handling requests for placing on the market of GMOs and post-market monitoring of GMOs should be developed.

Secondly, an efficient and effective inspection system will be developed for GMO's in the market. For this, attention will have to be paid to improve the quality of the inspections by training, developing guidelines for inspections and drafting inspection manuals.

Additionally, after laboratories have been designated by the MoEW to perform GMO testing, the capacity of these laboratories in performing GMO tests according to the EU requirements needs to be enhanced. Whether assistance for preparation for lab accreditation under ISO 17025 standard can also be part of the project focus needs to be investigated during the project.

Finally, the MAF will be assisted in developing a public awareness campaign on GMOs.

Main outcomes
The following project results are anticipated to be achieved:

1. The MAF is able to handle the requests for market access for GMO's and genetically modified products in line with EU-requirements;
2. an efficient and effective inspection system developed for GMO's in the market;
3. the MAF is able to increase public awareness regarding GMO's.
General thematic area(s)
  • Handling of confidential information
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Identification of LMOs, including their detection
Additional Information
Additional Information
Other collaborating organizations
Food Safety and Food Control Directorate of the MAFS;
Inspection services of the MAFS;
Laboratory(ies) for GMO-analyses.