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Guidelines for the Transport, Storage and Disposal of GMOs

Part 2 - Requirements for the storage of GMOs

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2.1 Storage requirements for PC1 and PC2 GMOs stored outside of authorised physical containment facilities.

Part 2 applies to the following dealings with GMOs:
  • NLRDs that are permitted to be stored outside of authorised PC1 or PC2 facilities by regulation 13(3)(b) of the Regulations; or
  • any other dealings that are permitted, in writing, by the Regulator to be stored under Part 2 of these guidelines.

NOTE: If any of the above are held in an authorised PC3 or PC4 physical containment facility then Part 2.2 applies.

Restrictions on storage

2.1.1. Whole, viable GM animals must not be stored outside of an authorised physical containment facility without permission, in writing, from the Regulator. This restriction does not apply to the sperm, fertilised eggs or embryos of GM animals.

2.1.2 Whole, viable GM plants must not be stored outside of an authorised physical containment facility without permission, in writing, from the Regulator. This restriction does not apply to the pollen, seeds, tubers, bulbs, corms or dormant stems of GM plants.

2.1.3 GMOs must not be stored in a site that is prone to flooding, storm surges or other natural disasters.

Containment

2.1.4 GMOs, including organisms containing GMOs, being stored must be wholly contained inside a sealed, unbreakable primary container.
    NOTE: The type of containment necessary to prevent the GMO from being released will vary depending on the type of organism being stored. For example, in the case of plant seeds or tubers the primary container may be a bag that is closed or taped to enable it to maintain its integrity under all reasonably expected requirements of storage. A sealed plastic tube or bottle may be used as the primary container for a culture of micro-organisms.

2.1.5 GMOs for which the minimum permitted physical containment level is PC2, must be packed inside a sealed, unbreakable secondary container. In the case of a small storage unit, such as a refrigerator, freezer, or cryogenic storage container, the storage unit is permitted to be the secondary container.

Loss, spill or escape of GMOs during storage

2.1.6 In the event of the escape, unintentional release, spill, leak or loss of GMOs from storage:
  • efforts must be implemented as soon as reasonably practicable to locate and/or retrieve the GMOs and return the GMOs to containment or render them non-viable; and
  • the incident must be reported to the Regulator as soon as reasonably practicable.
    NOTE: Consideration should also be given to the type of surfaces in the storage unit or room. Ideally they would be smooth, impermeable to water, cleanable, and resistant to damage by the decontamination agents that would be used to decontaminate any spill.

2.1.7 GMOs must not be stored unless a supply of decontamination agents effective against the GMOs being stored is readily available for decontamination purposes. All containers of decontamination agents, including any solutions for decontaminating hands, must be labelled with the contents and, where necessary, the expiry date. Decontamination agents must not be used after their expiry date.
    NOTE: Consideration should also be given to whether the stored material should be accompanied by:
  • instructions on how to decontaminate any material in the event of a spill or leak;
  • appropriate protective clothing for persons undertaking the decontamination; and
  • any other equipment necessary to undertake decontamination.

Labelling

2.1.8 A person or accredited organisation supplying the GMO for storage must label the material to be stored in a manner capable of notifying any other handler of the material that the item to be stored is, or contains a GMO.

2.1.9 The primary container must be labelled to clearly show the name or other identifier of the GMO being stored.

2.1.10 The storage unit, or any other secondary container, must be labelled to clearly show the name and contact details of the person responsible for the dealings, so that the person can be contacted should any GMOs be spilled or lost.

2.1.11 A biohazard label must be attached to the storage unit when storing any GM micro-organisms that satisfy the criteria for classification as a Risk Group 2 organism under Section 3.2 of AS/NZS 2243.3:2010.

Accounting requirements

2.1.12 Procedures must be in place to ensure that all GMOs stored can be accounted for.

2.1.1.3 A record(s) of GMOs being stored must be maintained and made available to the Regulator upon request.

2.1.14 The record(s) of GMOs being stored must allow the person storing the GMOs to find the exact location of where the GMO is being stored.

Security

2.1.15 During the storage of GMOs outside of an authorised physical containment facility, access to the GMOs must be restricted, by any means that is effective, to only a person or class of persons mentioned in an IBC’s record of assessment as having the appropriate training and experience to deal with the GMOs.

2.2 Storage requirements for PC3 and PC4 GMOs stored outside of authorised physical containment facilities.

Part 2.2 applies to GMOs that require containment in a PC3 or PC4 facility certified by the Regulator.

2.2.1 Organisms to which Part 2.2 applies must not be stored outside of the relevant certified facility unless permitted, in writing, by the Regulator, for example by way of a licence condition.

2.2.2 If storage of any of the GMOs under 2.2.1 is permitted, in writing, by the Regulator, the storage must comply with any conditions specified in the written approval.

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