Global Soil Partnership

Launch of SIMPLE - the first global custom control procedure database

The Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) established in the framework of FAO and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) is launching today the first ever-global customs control procedure database SIMPLE - Soil IMPort Legislation.  



The SIMPLE database - a new FAO online tool – will promote and facilitate the execution of international inter-laboratory comparisons while simplifying the shipment of soil samples between countries for research purposes. In addition, SIMPLE will help countries whose soil analysis capacities is still insufficient to cover their national demand to send soil samples fo analysis abroad.

The database is the result of a global effort led by GLOSOLAN. FAO’s experience in the international exchange of soil samples has been integrated with that of GLOSOLAN member laboratories. All laboratories have provided information on their national customs control procedures, validated their country profiles and committed themselves to keeping the database up to date. Ultimately, the information contained in SIMPLE was crosschecked with the soil import guidelines available on the website of each national customs office.

The database provides the list of documents needed by customs, reports about country specific remarks on the import of soil samples (e.g. in terms of packaging and labeling), and provides the link to national websites where additional information can be retrieved. International agreements facilitating the international exchange of soil samples, such as those between Latin America and Caribbean countries and between European Union countires are also reported.

The SIMPLE database is a product of a larger programme - GLOSOLAN - a result of a unique, international collaboration led by FAO’s Global Soil Partnership. For the first time, more than 400 laboratories in 127 countries are working together to harmonise data and methods for soil analysis so that soil data and information are comparable and interpretable by all laboratories, countries and regions. The collaboration also intends to enhance the capacities of laboratories to improve data quality. GLOSOLAN brings countries together and unites them to achieve one goal: the protection of soils across our planet.


SIMPLE will be continuously updated and countries/laboratories registered under GLOSOLAN are invited to contribute to the development and constant improvement of the database by sending updates, comments or suggestions to the [email protected] and to [email protected].