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The monitor contains data on the global trade in biological culture media from the years 1990 to 2012 and will be annually updated as data becomes publicly available.
In order to navigate through the monitor, it is important to remember that one can filter the results in order to get the most appropriate and important information:
The different shades of yellow give a first glance on the portion in which countries participate in global trade in a given selected trade flow and year.
Grey color indicates that no information was submitted to UN COMTRADE for the selected trade flow and year. Many countries import culture media only. Hence, these countries will appear grey for most or all of the years in the export selection. The HS was a new system in 1990. Hence, some states have only later started reporting activities.
By clicking on the magnifying glass, one can select the year, the trade flow direction (import or export), the country, and whether weight or value shall be displayed.
The symbols + and - allow to zoom the map in and out, for example to select states with small territories.
Detailed country information
For more information regarding a certain country, click on the country in the map. If the end of one of the lines that represent trade relations with another country is touched with the mouse, detailed information for trade with this country in the selected year is displayed.
A click on the data symbol on the pop-up would thus bring one to another pop-up with more information with regards to the
trade details per country
trade details per year
additional information, which can include country information within the VERTIC National Implementation Database, Confidence Building Measures (CBM) Returns and the most recent BioWeapons Monitor Report.
Work on further features is ongoing.
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Research Group for Biological Arms Control
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Welcome to the HRG’s Trade Monitor!
This website can be used to visualize the global trade of biological culture media. It uses data from the declarations for imports and exports by national customs authorities. In order to identify the quantity of trade of biological culture media, it refers to the portion of the national customs declaration where the description of items is enumerated based on the classification system within the World Customs Organization’s Harmonized System (HS). This website uses data gathered under code 382100: “Prepared culture media for the development of micro-organisms”, which encompasses simple bulk media for mass production that are traded in large amounts for low prices to media for the development of specific strains that are traded in small amounts for high prices (not covered is Agar, HS 130231). The aforementioned data that is being used for this website is publicly available from the COMTRADE database of the UN Statistics Division.
International Trade and Biological Culture Media
Information on the global trade of certain items can be a valuable contribution to the assessment of compliance with international norms (here: Biological Weapons Convention - BWC - and neighbouring regimes, e.g. 1540). Likewise, the consumption and production of biological culture media are valid indicators for the presence and the development of the biotechnology industry in a given country (article X BWC: obligation to exchange technology for peaceful purposes), while the UNMOVIC case shows the relevance of trade in culture media for norms on non-possession and non-proliferation of biological weapons.
In this website, the scope of the trade monitoring is limited to biological culture media, because this, apart from certain products such as vaccines, is the only biotechnology item with an individual HS-code. All other items in the sector are not individually identified and are categorized together with items from other technology fields. This renders these categories too blurry for the purpose of this monitor.
The quality of the information in this monitor is dependent upon the declaration of imports and exports of companies, national customs authorities, and the data available from the COMTRADE database of the UN Statistics Division. Furthermore, it is important to note that the webpage serves as a source for trade information of biological culture media and does not deliver any proof of compliance or non-compliance to international norms.
Work on this site was financed by the German Foreign Office. Special thanks go to United Nations COMTRADE, who has been providing the HRG with assistance.
This website is part of a broader project on trade monitoring. Click here for more detailed information.