Highlights

The Ministry of Agriculture's decree of December 24, 2000 prohibits all imports, production, distribution, and commercialization as well as utilization of genetically engineered (GE) plant materials except for research purposes.

Section I. Executive Summary:

The Ministry of Agriculture's decree of December 24, 2000 (published in the Official Journal on January 7, 2001), prohibits all imports, production, distribution, and commercialization as well as utilization of genetically engineered plant materials (live plants or pieces of live plants, including their dormant buds, tendrils, grafts, tubers, rhizomes, cuttings, shoots, seeds intended for propagation and reproduction) except for research purposes. The Phyto-sanitary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture is authorized to grant import authorizations under certain conditions such as to conduct scientific and research activities in biotechnology.

A National Center for Biotechnology Research was created in 2001 in Constantine (Eastern of Algeria) to promote and carry out applied research in biotechnology to address the needs of Algeria in the fields of health, food and agriculture, environment and bio-industry as well as ensure continuous training, provide services and expertise in the field of biotechnology.

The Algerian National Institute for Agricultural research develops biotech solutions to domestic agricultural concerns and promotes food security. The Institute focus on a wide range of disciplines in agricultural biotechnology such as the management of genetic resources, varietal improvements biotic and abiotic stresses, disease diagnostics using molecular biology, selection and performance improvement, and identification of resistant genes. Both of these multidisciplinary biotechnology research entities need capacity building for their centers and researchers.

As a result of its geographic proximity to Europe and the lack of direct shipping lines between the United States and North Africa, U.S. exporters face stiff competition from EU suppliers. Transshipment of United States exports through Europe significantly increases shipping costs. As a result, U.S. bulk products exports are less competitive. United States food and agricultural exports to Algeria consist mainly of bulk commodities, of wheat, corn, vegetable oils, and dairy products as well as planting seeds and tree nuts.

Section II. Author Defined:

CHAPTER I: PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY

PART A: PRODUCTION AND TRADE

a. PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT: There is no agricultural GE product development for commercialization purposes in Algeria.

b. COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION: There is no commercialization of genetically engineered plant material in Algeria

c. EXPORTS: N/A

d. IMPORTS: There are no imports of genetically engineered (GE) plant material.

e. FOOD AID RECIPIENT COUNTRIES: Algeria does not benefit from any food aid programs because of its higher per capita income and adequate fiscal resources.

f. TRADE BARRIERS: Presently, there are currently no known barriers that would affect exports.

PART B: POLICY

a. a) REGULATORY FRAMEWORK:

The Ministry of Agriculture has legislative responsibility for domestic production of crops. It is also responsible for the health and safety aspects of imported agricultural and food products along with Ministry of Commerce who regulates the quality aspects of imports. There is no regulatory framework to approve plant biotechnology products for cultivation or import.

The Ministry of Agriculture issued a decree in 2000 that prohibits importation, production, distribution, and commercialization as well as utilization of GE plant materials (live plants or pieces of live plants, including their dormant buds, tendrils, grafts, tubers, rhizomes, cuttings, shoots, seeds intended for propagation and reproduction) except for research purposes, (Decree of December 24, 2000 (published in the Official Journal on January 7, 2001).

Algeria created the first national committee of biotechnology in 1983 to identify economic development needs related to biotechnology applications, to implement a national research and development program, develop proposals on policy to regulate biosecurity and bio-ethics and coordinate between education, research and production.

The first biotechnology research program was adopted in 1997 for agribusiness, health and environment with a focus on biodiversity, bioethics and food bio security.

b. APPROVALS: The Phyto-sanitary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture is the only authority that can grant import authorizations under certain conditions to conduct scientific and research activities in biotechnology. No biotechnology authorizations have been provided.

c. STACKED EVENT APPROVALS: N/A

d. FIELD TESTING: N/A

e. INNOVATIVE BIOTECHNOLOGIES: N/A

f. COEXISTENCE: N/A

g. LABELING: The Ministry of Commerce, which has authority for quality control and fraud prevention, regulates labeling and laboratory inspection.

h. MONITORING AND TESTING: N/A.

i. LOW LEVEL PRESENCE (LLP) POLICY: N/A

j. ADDITIONAL REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS: N/A

k. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR): N/A

l. CARTAGENA PROTOCOL RATIFICATION: Algeria signed the Cartagena Protocol in May 2000 and ratified it in June 2004. Algeria was represented at the Intergovernmental Committee for the Cartagena Protocol (ICCP) and the Conference of the Parties meetings of the Protocol (COP-MOP 1, Kuala Lumpur, February 2003; COP-MOP 2, Montreal, May 2005).

m. INTERNATIONAL TREATIES/FORA: Algeria has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, and the UN Convention on Combating Desertification, the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the Basel Convention on the Transportation of Hazardous Waste, the Vienna convention for the protection of the Ozone layer and the RAMSAR convention on Wetlands. Algeria is member of IPPC, OIE, FAO and Codex.

n. RELATED ISSUES: N/A

PART C: MARKETING:

a. PUBLIC/PRIVATE OPINIONS: The majority of consumers are made aware of biotechnology through media report, which are usually unfavorable, especially in the food and agricultural sectors. Retailers and traders are unlikely to buy biotech products. Most would be unwilling to take responsibility to introduce biotech products.

b. MARKET ACCEPTANCE / STUDIES: Most Algerian agricultural scientists and officials are relatively open to biotechnology, and interested in being able to utilize the technology to develop crops suited to the local environment and consumer, but common public or media report negatively on all GE products.

CHAPTER 2: ANIMAL BIOTECHNOLOGY

PART D: PRODUCTION AND TRADE

Animal cloning is not used in Algeria. FAS Algiers is not aware of any discussions related to regulatory or research policies regarding animal cloning in Algeria.

a. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: N/A

b. COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION: N/A

c. EXPORTS: N/A

d. IMPORTS: N/A

e. TRADE BARRIERS: N/A

PART E: POLICY

a. REGULATION FRAMEWORK: N/A

b. INNOVATIVE BIOTECHNOLOGIES: N/A

c. LABELING AND TRACEABILITY: N/A

d. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR): N/A

e. INTERNATIONAL TREATIES/FORA : N/A

PART F: MARKETING

a. PUBLIC/PRIVATE OPINIONS: N/A

b) MARTKET ACCEPTANCE/ STUDIES: N/A