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:
- send an email to the Home Office at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a ‘notification form’.
- submit the completed notification form back to the Home Office at email@example.com
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.