5.6 Uganda: Compliance Mechanisms
The Uganda ABS regulations approach compliance measures from three perspectives, the first of which is bestowing duties to ensure compliance upon the competent authority and the lead agencies. The second approach is the creation of offences and criminal penalties upon conviction; and, the third by imposing duties upon the holders of permits.
Regarding the duties of the competent authority and lead agencies, under Rule 6 amongst the functions of the competent authority (NCST) are, ensuring that representative samples and specimens of genetic resources collected are deposited in Uganda; ensuring that technology transfer and information exchange relating to genetic resources is effected; ensuring that the people of Uganda benefit from the genetic resources accessed; and, submission to NEMA of reports relating to implementation of the regulations. Lead agencies also have duties under Rule 7 to monitor the application and use of genetic resources exported form Uganda; ensuring that the rights of the local communities which use, collect and research into genetic resources are protected and finally, ensuring that accessory agreements have been concluded between the applicant and all affected parties.
In terms of offence creation and criminalization of certain activities, accessing or exporting of genetic resources without prior informed consent is an offence under rule 12. Further, transferring genetic resources to a third party without the written consent of the competent authority is an offence under Rule 17. Provision of false information (Rule 26) is also an offence. Conviction of an offence may lead to imprisonment, a fine or both. Besides conviction, the NCST, NEMA and the lead agencies also have power to confiscate any collected genetic resources or equipment on suspicion that a violation of the law has occurred or is likely to occur.
Finally, on the duties expressly imposed upon the holder of a permit, these include submission to the competent authority and the lead agency of regular status reports on the research and development relating to the genetic resources concerned(Rule 15(2)(i)).
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