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Activities with pathogens permit

In Germany, there is a basic licensing requirement for activities with pathogens. Anyone who wants to bring pathogens to Germany as the responsible person, export them, store them, hand them over or work with them, needs a permit.

The term pathogens refers to reproducible pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites) or other biological transmissible pathogens that can cause an infection or a communicable disease in humans.

Activities with pathogens are in particular:

  • experiments with reproducible pathogens,
  • microbiological and serological tests for the detection of notifiable pathogens,
  • targeted accumulation or multiplication of pathogens.

Exceptions to the permit requirement exist for the following groups of persons or activities:

  • doctors, dentists and veterinarians who carry out microbiological examinations for the diagnosis of their own patients,
  • persons who carry out microbiological quality assurance work and possess the necessary expertise and who are exempted from the authorisation requirement by the competent authority upon request,
  • Employees who work under the supervision of a person who has a permit or is exempt from the permit requirement
  • certain procedures (e.B. sterility tests).

Further information on the topic of "Activities with pathogens" can be found in the following services:

  • Pathogens: indication - of the change in activities with pathogens
  • Pathogens: indication - of the start of activities with pathogens

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the district and the district-free city in whose district the activity is to be carried out.

This procedure can also be handled through a "point of single contact". The "Point of Single Contact" is a special service offered by the municipalities and the state for service providers.

Find your Point of Single Contact here


  • natural person
    • has the necessary expertise, and
    • has so far proved to be reliable in relation to the activity with pathogens for the exercise of which it is applying for permission.
  • The required expertise is demonstrated by
    • the completion of a degree in human, dental or veterinary medicine, pharmacy or the completion of a scientific university of applied sciences or university degree with microbiological content and
    • at least two years of full-time work with pathogens under the supervision of a person who is in possession of permission to work with pathogens.

Another full-time activity of at least two years in the field of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology or virology is also recognised as proof of expertise if equivalent expertise has been acquired.

If the conditions are not fully met, a restricted permit may be granted.

Which documents are required?

  • Certified copies of training and study certificates
  • Certificate of at least two years of full-time work with pathogens under supervision
  • Certificate of good conduct

What are the fees?

Fees are payable in accordance with Annex 1 to § 1 paragraph 1 of the General Schedule of Fees of the State of Lower Saxony (AllGO) in accordance with No.

Annex 1 to § 1 paragraph 1 General Fee Schedule (AllGO)

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Permission from the competent body is required as early as possible so that the start of work with pathogens can be reported at least 30 days before the planned date.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 3 Months
§ 53a paragraph 2 sentence 1 Infection Protection Act (IfSG)

Applications / forms

The application must be submitted informally.


If the competent authority refuses to grant the permit, an action may be brought against this decision before the Administrative Court.

What else should I know?

Regardless of whether the activity requires permission or not, there is an obligation to notify. The activity may only be started when the notification is complete and after examination of the documents and the rooms the activity is not prohibited. Any significant change in the premises, activity, disposal or pathogen spectrum must be reported to the competent body.

Anyone who carries out an activity in accordance with §§ 44 et seq. of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) is subject to official supervision in accordance with § 51 IfSG. Additional fees may apply for any necessary site visits and examinations.

§ 44 ff. Infection Protection Act (IfSG)

§ 51 Infection Protection Act (IfSG)

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Gender Equality

competent Bodies

Landkreis Emsland - Fachbereich Gesundheit

Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen

Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62

Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62

Address: Ordeniederung 1, 49716 Meppen

Transport Connection:
Building Access:
elevator available : yes
wheelchair-accessible : yes
Address: Friedrichswall 1 , 30159 Hannover

Telephone: 0800 818-8100
Fax: 0511 120-5774
Building Access:
elevator available : unknown
wheelchair-accessible : unknown

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen

Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover

Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99
Building Access:
elevator available : unknown
wheelchair-accessible : unknown

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.