The Protocol must be consistent with international trade rules. If the scope of the Protocol is unnecessarily broad and the AIA procedure is excessively burdensome, the Protocol could have serious negative impacts on the trade. As such, the Protocol's scope and AIA provisions must be limited to those LMOs and intended uses that may realistically have a significant adverse effect on biodiversity. The decision to approve or deny shipment of an LMO covered by the Protocol must be based on sound science regarding real or reasonably anticipated effects on biodiversity. Speculative, non-significant adverse effects on biodiversity must not be used to reject products. Discrimination of products based on their production techniques must also be avoided.
The Protocol must provide for the protection of confidential business information and other intellectual property. The Protocol must contain clear and appropriate procedures for designating and protecting confidential information and intellectual property shared in conjunction with the notification provisions of the Protocol. Procedures for resolving disputes over confidentiality claims regarding protected and privileged information must also be defined in the Protocol. In the absence of protection afforded by such procedures, companies and institutions will be reluctant to engage in commercial trade, international product development or exchange of research materials involving LMOs covered by the Protocol.
The Protocol should not create an international system of liability. Existing national and regional legal systems should be relied upon to determine what triggers legal liability for harm to biodiversity, the nature and extent of harm that can be compensated, and the procedural system to obtain relief from liable parties.
For more information, consult the Convention on Biological Diversity website.