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Participating in the CBMs


The Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)

The Second Review Conference (1986) agreed to the exchange of Confidence-building Measures (CBMs) "in order to prevent or reduce the occurrence of ambiguities, doubts and suspicions and in order to improve international cooperation in the field of peaceful biological activities". The CBMs were expanded during a meeting of scientific and technical experts in 1987, and were modified and considerably expanded by the Third Review Conference in 1991. These forms were used for twenty years between 1991 and 2011. For reference purposes, copies of the old forms and guidance are still available. The Sixth Review Conference in 2006 agreed on several improvements to the mechanisms for submission and distribution, notably on the development of a mechanism for the electronic submission and distribution of CBMs. Paper publication of CBM submissions was subsequently discontinued. The Seventh Review Conference in 2011 revised the CBMs as well as the relevant modalities and forms.

As a result of this process, the CBMs now consist of six measures, A to G (without D):

CBM APart 1: Exchange of data on research centres and laboratories;
Part 2: Exchange of information on national biological defence research and development programmes.
CBM BExchange of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar occurrences caused by toxins.
CBM CEncouragement of publication of results and promotion of use of knowledge.
CBM EDeclaration of legislation, regulations and other measures.
CBM FDeclaration of past activities in offensive and/or defensive biological research and development programmes.
CBM GDeclaration of vaccine production facilities.

CBMs are to be submitted the BWC Implementation Support Unit in the Geneva Branch of United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs no later than 15 April each year. The information provided covers the previous calendar year (for example, you should submit your CBM covering calendar year 2010 no later than 15 April 2011).




The CBM Form

The following is the new Blank CBM Form, extracted from BWC/CONF.VII/7, in Word document format:


The CBM Guide

Please click here to access the English version of the CBM revised guide 2013.

Please click here to access the Chinese version of the CBM revised guide 2013.

Please click here to access the French version of the CBM revised guide 2013.

Please click here to access the Russian version of the CBM revised guide 2013.

Please click here to access the Spanish version of the CBM revised guide 2013.

Please click here to access the Arabic version of the CBM revised guide 2013.


For reference purposes copies of the old forms are still available.

Advice on completing the CBM Form

Completing the CBM forms takes time, especially for the first year of participation. As each country's system of government is different, here are some general suggestions:
  • Start early: the CBM deadline is April 15. Collecting the necessary information typically requires contacting several different government ministries and agencies, a process which could take a long time.
  • Use information that has already been compiled: some of the information required for the CBMs may also be required for other purposes, such as reports to the WHO or those mandated by Security Council Resolution 1540.
  • Be clear: if there is nothing to declare for a particular measure, say so, rather than leaving the form for that measure blank. Similarly, if there is incomplete information, or information that will be provided later, say so on the form. Remember that the purpose of the CBMs is to increase transparency, therefore incomplete information is better than none.

Below are some informal suggestions for completing each of the measures:

Hide details for CBM Cover SheetCBM Cover Sheet
The CBM Cover Sheet is a summary sheet which shows which forms (A to G) you have filled in this year.

If you have provided information on a form, leave both of the tick boxes for that form empty.

Else, if information that you have previously provided in a CBM has not changed in subsequent years, tick the "nothing new to declare" box for that form instead. Then write the year of the last declaration you made for this form in the appropriate box. Please also write "nothing new to declare" on the form itself too- do not just leave it blank.

If neither of the above, tick the "nothing to declare" box: this signifies you had nothing to declare on a form this year and that there are no information submitted in past years of relevance. Please also write "nothing to declare" on the form itself too- do not just leave it blank.



Show details for CBM A: Part 1: Exchange of data on research centres and laboratoriesCBM A: Part 1: Exchange of data on research centres and laboratories

Show details for CBM A: Part 2: Exchange of information on national biological defence research and development programmesCBM A: Part 2: Exchange of information on national biological defence research and development programmes

Show details for CBM B: Exchange of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar occurrences caused by toxinsCBM B: Exchange of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar occurrences caused by toxins

Show details for CBM C : Encouragement of publication of results and promotion of use of knowledgeCBM C : Encouragement of publication of results and promotion of use of knowledge

Show details for CBM E: Declaration of legislation, regulations and other measuresCBM E: Declaration of legislation, regulations and other measures

Show details for CBM F : Declaration of past activities in offensive and/or defensive biological research and development progrCBM F : Declaration of past activities in offensive and/or defensive biological research and development programmes

Show details for CBM G: Declaration of vaccine production facilitiesCBM G: Declaration of vaccine production facilities

Submitting the CBM Form

The preferred submission option is an electronic CBM return (as a Microsoft Word, RTF, or PDF document). These can be sent to bwc@unog.ch. All e-mail submissions will be acknowledged.

A hard copy with a note verbale as the cover can be sent from your permanent mission in Geneva, either by post or by fax, to:

BWC Implementation Support Unit
Office for Disarmament Affairs (Geneva Branch)
Room C.115-117, Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10

Fax: +41 (0)22 917 04 83

Options for publication

Since 2007, CBM submissions are published in the restricted area of this website (accessible only to States Parties) unless the submitting State Party requests otherwise. Please inform the ISU if you do not want your CBM published on the secure website. Any CBMs that are not published on the website will be circulated to States Parties on CD-ROM. Some States Parties have opted to make their CBM returns available on the public section of this website. These can be found on the CBM Returns page.

Missed the deadline?

CBM returns are due by 15 April each year. If you miss this deadline, please do still submit the return as soon as you can: it is better if you submit a CBM after the deadline than not at all. If your CBM is received too late for inclusion in the paper version of the annual ISU report, it will be issued as an addendum.

Questions or comments on the CBM Form?

If you have problems or questions during the CBM process, please contact the ISU and we will do our best to help: see the contact page for details.

The ISU is also interested in receiving perspectives on any obstacles to participating in the CBMs, as well as suggestions for improvements to the current system. Such ideas can be fed into ongoing efforts to facilitate participation in the CBMs and improve their utility to States Parties.