Brazil: Federal Law Nº 13.123/2015 New Legal Framework For Accessing The Brazilian Biodiversity Is Now In Force

Federal Law No. 13,123/2015 ("New Law") came into force on November 17, 2015 introducing innovations for scientific research and technological development with respect to access to genetic heritage and associated traditional knowledge. It also stipulates sharing of benefits deriving from commercialization of a final product or reproductive material developed from such components. 

In general terms, the New Law reduces bureaucracy and simplifies the procedure for accessing genetic heritage and traditional knowledge. Companies are required to observe specific rules contained in the New Law. More detailed regulations are expected to provide further clarification of the New Law.

Companies from different sectors, such as, the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics, biotechnology and agricultural sectors, that exploit genetic heritage or traditional knowledge are subject to the New Law. 

Among the innovations in the New Law, we highlight the following: 

I) Rights of holders of associated traditional knowledge, such as indigenous people and local communities:

  • Right to be part of the Brazilian Heritage Genetic Council (article 6 of the New Law); 
  • Right to participate in nationwide discussions and decisions on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of their traditional knowledge that relates to Brazil's genetic heritage (article 8, paragraph 1 and article 10 of section IV of the New Law);
  • Traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources that is held by indigenous and local communities may only be accessed with the prior and informed consent and involvement of these indigenous and local communities (article 9 of the New Law);
  • Formal recognition of community protocols in relation to access to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources; their use and dissemination are encouraged by the New Law (article 9, §1, section IV of the New Law);
  • Right to have their contributions with respect to the development and conservation of genetic heritage and associated traditional knowledge acknowledged by any form of publication, utilization, exploitation or other disclosure (article 10, sections I and II of the New Law);
  • Guaranteed right to receive benefits for the direct and indirect commercial exploitation of their associated traditional knowledge by others (article 10, section III of the New Law);
  • The right to use and freely sell products containing genetic heritage or associated traditional knowledge, pursuant to Laws 9,456/1997 and 10,711/2003, as well as the right to preserve, maintain, exchange, develop and improve reproductive material containing genetic heritage or associated traditional knowledge (article 10, sections V and VI of the New Law);
  • Power to decide as to how the resources of the National Sharing Benefits Fund will be used (article 31, of the New Law);
  • The creation of a National Sharing Benefits Program to support efforts, demands and policies for indigenous people and local communities with respect to sustainable management and preservation of their genetic heritage (article 33, section VIII of the New Law).

II) Obligation to share benefits: 

  • The benefits from commercial exploitation of a finished product or a reproductive material, even if produced abroad, that derives from access to genetic heritage or traditional knowledge must be shared with indigenous people, local communities and the National Sharing Benefits Fund (article 17 of the New Law); 
  • The genetic heritage or the associated traditional knowledge component in a final product must be one of its key elements and essential in its production and functional benefits or in its commercial exploitation (article 2 section XVIII and article 17 of the New Law); 
  • The obligation to share benefits of a final product derived from genetic heritage or traditional knowledge is imposed exclusively on manufacturers of a finished product and primary producers of reproductive materials, regardless of whether others have previously utilized these products (article 17, paragraph 1 of the New Law);

Manufacturers of intermediary products or participants in the process to develop products which are derived from genetic heritage or traditional knowledge, that are part of a chain to develop a product, are exempt from the obligation to share benefits (article 17, § 2 of the New Law); 

  • Companies exploiting genetic heritage and associated traditional knowledge from unknown sources are required to make a one-off payment to the National Sharing Benefits Fund of 1% (one per cent.) of the net sales revenue that results from the sale of a final product or materials derived from genetic resources. The amount payable to the National Sharing Benefits Fund may be reduced if companies in the same sector collectively sign an agreement with the government to reduce such payment, in which case the law authorizes a reduction of up to 0.1% (zero point one per cent.) of the companies' annual sales revenue (articles 20, 21, 23 and 25 of the New Law); 
  • Companies exploiting associated traditional knowledge from known sources that retain such knowledge may engage in free negotiations as to the sharing of benefits deriving from the exploitation of such knowledge. In addition, 0.5% (zero point five per cent.) of companies' net sales revenue derived from such products must be paid to the National Sharing Benefits Fund for so long as the product is being commercialized (article 24, paragraph 3 and article 25, paragraph 1).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Sign Up
Gain free access to lawyers expertise from more than 250 countries.
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Newsalert
Select Topics
Select Regions
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions