ProtectUK publication date
If you or your work premises hold, keep or use stocks of specified disease-causing micro-organisms and toxins, you need to inform the Home Office.

1. Introduction

Managers and occupiers of laboratories and other premises are obliged to notify the appropriate authorities that they intend to hold, keep or use stocks of specified disease-causing micro-organisms and toxins.

They must also make sure that suitable security arrangements are in place. These obligations are covered under Part 7 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. Schedule 5 to the Act lists the dangerous pathogens and toxins covered by the legislation.

2. Criminal offences

Failure to notify holding these materials is a criminal offence and could result in prosecution.

If found guilty of an offence under Part 7 of the Act, there is a maximum penalty:

  • on conviction on indictment, of 5 years’ imprisonment or a fine (or both)
  • on summary conviction, of 6 months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both)

3. Notification process

If you wish to store or use the listed materials:

The Home Office will forward your details to the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office who will, in turn, notify the appropriate counter-terrorism security advisor.

Your local counter-terrorism security advisor will then contact you to make sure that appropriate security measures are in place.

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