If there is an environmental safety officer (ESO environmental safety officer (environmental safety officer)) employed at your institute or organisation, he or she may provide you with useful advice from the moment you start your permit application. In case the permit is issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Watermanagement (IenW Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management)), the organisation will appoint an ESO to supervise the work.

Many institutes already have an in-house environmental safety officer (ESO). Often the ESO is also the biological safety officer (BSO biological safety officer (biological safety officer)) within the same organisation. The BSO deals with the GMO Genetically Modified Organism (Genetically Modified Organism) work in restricted laboratories (restricted use (RU)) that are subject to an RU permit, whereas ESOs are focused on clinical research in which GMOs are intentionally released into the environment (environmental release (ER)), which is subject to an ER permit.

In the process preceding the submission of the permit application, the ESO may offer advice on filling out the application form. Thus, the permit applied for will suit your organisation and be as extensive and clear as possible. The ESO is required to co-sign your application form. Furthermore, the ESO may be present during the preparatory meeting(s) and help you process the resulting advice and questions on the biological safety. After submission of the application, more questions may emerge, and these can be addressed in cooperation with the ESO. The ESO could also give you an indication of the duration of the permit application procedure.

ESO requirements and admission

The GMO Regulation states that an environmental safety officer (ESO) must supervise all the work done under a permit on environmental release. This officer must be approved by the State Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment.

The legal basis, the ESO requirements, the tasks and the approval procedure are described on the website of the GMO Office (Bureau GGO). The ESO application can be sent directly to the GMO Office, and there you can also direct any questions you may have about the procedure.

In order to submit a permit application (Part A of the application form), an ESO must have been appointed by your organisation. Should an ESO not be employed in the preparatory phase of your application, you may begin by training a staff member and have him or her apply to be appointed.