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The concepts of biosafety, biosecurity and effective regulatory management of global disease threats to humans and animals are a priority for many national and international organizations seeking to strengthen public health controls.

Global disease threats do not recognize international borders. Therefore, international networking and co-operation is an imperative element in the continued development of knowledge and expertise, and in promoting more global or mutually complementary responses to emerging threats.

Introduction to the IEGBBR

The International Experts Groups of Biosafety and Biosecurity Regulators (IEGBBR) was formed in 2007 under the leadership of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The IEGBBR is made up of biosafety and/or biosecurity regulatory authorities from 11 member countries that have strong regulatory oversight systems in place for biosafety and biosecurity.

Member countries (in order of flags): Australia (AU), Canada (CA), Switzerland (CH), Germany (DE), Denmark (DK), France (FR), Japan (JP), the Netherlands (NL), Singapore (SG), United Kingdom (UK), and United States (US).

The IEGBBR is governed by a Steering Committee, with one country from each of the three regions (Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific) serving as chair, co-chair, and member. The IEGBBR has face-to-face meetings every 18 months to 2 years, and the location rotates between the members’ regions. The 7th biennial meeting was held in Ottawa, Canada in September 2018.

Purpose of IEGBBR

International co-operation and alignment among regulatory authorities through the IEGBBR contributes to the continued development of knowledge and expertise that strengthens and advances global biosafety and biosecurity regulatory oversight systems. The expert group shares knowledge and experience and provides lessons learned from the perspectives of their established regulatory systems. These can be used towards the strengthening of the biosafety and biosecurity capacity of the IEGBBR members, as well as promotion of international co-operation and regulatory convergence. Moreover, when shared with the global community, they can be used towards strengthening or building international biosafety and biosecurity capacities, and delivering more global or mutually complementary responses to emerging issues and threats posed by pathogens.