Biosafety is defined in Belgium as "The safety for human health and the environment, including the protection of biodiversity, during the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or micro-organisms (GMMs), and during the contained use of pathogenic organisms for humans".




Notification procedures


In Belgium activities involving GMOs and/or pathogens can be performed only if they have been notified and authorised by the relevant Competent Authority(ies). Different procedures apply depending on the type of activity and/or organism involved.

Quick access: Notification procedures for "Contained Use" activities in Brussels, Wallonia, Flanders

Notifying a bio-incident or a laboratory-acquired infection

Guildeline on the use of GMOs in clinical trials




Practical tools for risk assessment and risk management of "contained use" activities


Guidelines developed to provide support to carefully assess potential biological risks associated with activities involving GMOs and/or pathogens and for applying appropriate risk management measures.

Quick access: Belgian risk classes of micro-organisms

Criteria for containment levels




Databases for field and clinical trials with GMOs in Belgium


Information about "deliberate release" or "contained use" notifications in Belgium for:

DB Genetically modified plants

DB GMO-medicinal products



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Our tasks and activities


This website is managed by the Service Biosafety and Biotechnology (SBB) of Sciensano, a permanent center of expertise providing scientific advice in the field of biosafety.




Belgian biosafety regulatory framework


In a complex institutional context, Belgium set up a biosafety regulatory framework harmonised between the Federal State and the Regions based on a single science-based biosafety advisory system composed of two bodies: the Biosafety Advisory Council and the SBB.




EU biosafety regulatory framework


The assessment of biological risks associated with the use of GMOs and/or pathogens is supported by a comprehensive regulatory framework, in particular at European Union (EU) level. The EU legislation forms the basis of the implementation of biosafety in Belgium.




Specific biosafety topics


This website also provides scientific information on various biosafety topics for all people having interest in specific fields.




Historical overview of the emergence of the concept of biosafety and its implementation


The assessment of biological risks associated with the use of pathogens and/or recombinant DNA techniques has taken shape through different periods in recent history and through different fields.