The biosafety requirements are aimed to protect, conserve and safeguard the biodiversity of Bhutan and also to promote the nation’s food and nutrition security by safeguarding plants, animals and human health from unintended effects of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). GMOs are regulated in pursuant to Biosafety Act of Bhutan 2015 ( and Biosafety Rules and Regulations 2018 (

Prohibitions on Import, Research and use of GMOs

The following activities are prohibited in the Kingdom:

  1. Import of any genetically modified organism capable of reproducing
  2. Transit of genetically modified organisms capable of reproducing;
  3. Intentional introduction into environment of genetically modified organisms capable of reproducing;
  4. Any use, including contained use, of genetically modified organisms capable of reproducing; and
  5. Research and development that involves genetically modified organisms capable of reproducing.

Exemptions under Biosafety Act

This Act does not regulate the:

  1. Traditional and domestic methods of animal and plant breeding;
  2. Traditional and domestic exchange and sale of local seeds, plants, and livestock;
  3. Gene sequencing, tissue culture, and other similar methods, which do not involve the use of modern biotechnology; and
  4. Products derived from GMOs for pharmaceuticals for human and veterinary use.

Import of GMO products

The products derived from GMOs in non-viable form (not capable of reproducing in the environment) is allowed for import for direct use as food, feed and for processing, subject to safety assessment and approval process. All applicants intending to import GMOs and products derived from GMOs for direct use as food feed or for processing shall obtain a permit from BAFRA which shall be issued upon risk assessment by Biosafety Technical Working Group based on the guidelines on food and feed safety assessment and  environmental safety assessment and the decision to approve GMO is made by the National Biosafety Board, the highest decision-making body for all Biosafety related activities.

As of now, BAFRA has not received any application for import of food products derived from GMOs therefore, we do not have any risk assessment record and no approved GMOs in Bhutan.



Labeling requirement 

The labeling requirements of all approved commercial products derived from GMOs placed in the market shall be subjected to labelling to facilitate informed choices to consumers, if it contains GMOs in proportion more than 5% of the GM ingredient considered individually and additionally be in accordance with the mandatory standards/requirements on labeling for foods derived from GMOs.

Highly refined food or food ingredients, where processing has removed all novel DNA/Protein and foods from animals which were fed with GM feed are exempted from labelling requirements.



Plant and animal quarantine Services

The primary mandates of Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) is to implement effective biosecurity measures to protect the agriculture farming system including animal health, and public health from risks of entry, establishment and spread of exotic and or notifiable pests and diseases. Thus, a major role is placed…more

Import permit and clearance

Import of animals/plants and their products are allowed into the country with prior approval and obtaining Import Permit from BAFRA. At arrival at the point of entry, the consignment intended for import must be accompanied with a Phytosanitary Certificate for plant consignment and Zoo-sanitary Certificate for animal consignment…more

In-country movement permits

Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority implements measures to reduce the transmission of animal or plant, pest and diseases from one dzongkhag to another. Hence In-Country Movement Permits are issued


Export certification

BAFRA facilitates the export of plant and plant products by issuing the certificates as per the requirements of the importing country following the procedure below…more

Food Handlers’ Licensing

BAFRA issues food handlers license after a health interview, training on food safety, and signing an undertaking that the food handler and all those under their supervision avoid themselves from handling food under certain conditions of illness as listed below…more

Registration & Licensing Services

A person who intends to operate a food business requires a food safety license from BAFRA. BAFRA issues food safety licence to a food business that complies with BAFRA GHP/GMP Criteria  for Licensing of food business. To obtain a food safety licence…more

Food Testing Services

To provide food testing services to the regulators, food businesses and the general public, National Food Testing Laboratory was established, and it has following testing facilities..more

Certification Services

BAFRA provides product certification services to support the farmers, industries and commerce in Bhutan for market access and trade facilitation. BAFRA implements product certification in conformity with ISO IEC 17065:2012 to provide a third party mark of certification. Our certification services will enable you…more

Biosafety (GMO) Services

The Biosafety requirements are implemented as per the Biosafety Act of Bhutan 2015, and Biosafety Rules and Regulations 2018. The objectives of this Act is to protect, conserve and safeguard the biodiversity of Bhutan and also to promote the nation’s food and nutrition security and safeguard the animals and human health from unintended effect of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).  Read More…




Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Post Box: 1071, 

Thimphu, Bhutan, Tel: +975-02-327031/325790 Fax: +975-02-327032/335540