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VERTIC: Sample Act for National Implementation of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Related Requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

[Sample Act for Implementation of BWC and UNSCR 1540]

This sample act for national implementation of the BWC and UNSCR 1540 allows countries to easily adapt this act to their own legislative context. It guides countries through choosing the correct legal mechanism, who should be the responsible authority, and other clauses which are relevant for national implementation. It's intended for policy-makers.


This “Sample Act” was developed to assist countries in drafting legislation to implement the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the biological weapons-related provisions of UN Security Council 1540. The tool is freely available to legislative drafts, but drafters should take into consideration their country’s legal framework, level of biotechnological development, and any other relevant national circumstances. Part A of the act contains a brief introduction and definitions of relevant terms. Part B stipulates that non-State actors who misuse biological agents and toxins with the intent to harm or kill are committing an offense punishable by the law. Part C outlines a comprehensive system and biosecurity measures for preventing the proliferation of biological and toxin weapons. Part D outlines two proposed agencies for the enforcement and oversight of these measures.    This document is just one example of the Verification Research, Training and Information Center’s (VERTIC’s) many legislative drafting tools for implementing the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The VERTIC is an independent, non-profit based in central London that supports the development, implementation, and verification of international agreements and initiatives. The VERTIC also provides regulatory guidelines, a model law, a legislative guide, and legislative instruments. This document is available in Arabic, Azeri, Bahasa Indonesian, English, French, Georgian, Mongolian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The VERTIC also provides a Civil Law version in French and Spanish. Several of the other tools are published in languages other than English as well.