Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons Prohibition

Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons Prohibition

State office for Nuclear Safety (SONS) is the national authority responsible for the fulfilment of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The Convention is implemented into the Czech legal system by several measures. The main principles of the convention are covered by Act No. 281/2002 Coll. (Biological Act).

This Biological Act regulates rights and obligations of natural persons and legal entities as associated with the ban on development, production, stockpiling and use of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons; their disposal and with the handling of highly hazardous and hazardous agents and toxins that could be abused to violate the ban on bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons; and regulates the execution of governmental administration in this area. In accordance with the Biological Act the SONS:

  • supervises handling of highly hazardous and hazardous biological agents and toxins (lists of these two groups of biological agents and toxins are stated in applicable Regulation Decree No. 474/2002 Coll.)
  • issues, modifies and cancels licences for handling of highly hazardous biological agents and toxins; 
  • maintains a database which contain information about licence holders, (SONS has issued about 130 licences for the handling of highly hazardous biological agents and toxins) information about persons handling hazardous biological agents or toxins, information about species of highly hazardous and hazardous biological agents and toxins within the territory of Czech Republic, information about facilities handling these agents and toxins;
  • executes national inspections (Inspectors regularly supervise observance of the Biological Act on the part of individual natural person or legal entity. The inspectors are authorised to enter operating units, request explanations from the employees of the inspected entity or person, examine appropriate documentation, collect and analyse samples and perform other operations necessary for the purposes of supervision. Inspectors particularly perform material control and control of inventory books containing records of inventory changes and stock of biological agents and toxins.

There are also other legislative measures and regulations that are closely connected to objective of the Convention (the protection of health of humans, animals, plants and the environment, etc.). The summary of the overall implementation of BWC has been presented as part of the working paper  on Meeting of State Parties of the Convention in 2012.  All SÚJB activities in the area of prohibition of biological and toxin weapons are coordinated with activities of other governmental departments and in respect of the European Union Strategy against the CBRN threat. SONS experts also take part in the international control activities such as The Australia Group

BWC National Contact Points of the Czech Republic

At the Sixth Review Conference in December 2006, States Parties decided to designate a national point of contact for:

  • coordinating national implementation of the Convention and communication with other States Parties and relevant international organizations;
  • preparing the submission of CBMs (The Czech Republic has decided to make CBMs returns public available on the web site of the UN Office at Geneva);
  • facilitating information exchange of universalization efforts.

Contact Point

Michal Merxbauer, Ph.D.
director
Department of Non-Proliferation
State Office for Nuclear Safety
Senovazne nam. 9
Praha 1
110 00
TEL.: +420226514768
FAX: +420224223133
E-MAIL: biologie@sujb.cz
URL: www.sujb.cz