Search Legislation

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

What Version

 Help about what version

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters:

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Changes and effects

This section lists the changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act, associated Parts and Chapters where applicable. This includes any insertions of whole new Parts, Chapters or provisions yet to be inserted into this Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing.

Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

Commencement Orders yet to be applied to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

 Help about changes and effects
Close

Commencement Orders

This section lists the commencement orders yet to be applied to the whole Act. These effects are included in this view as they may be (but won’t necessarily be) relevant to the specific provision that you are viewing. Where applicable the commencement orders are listed under two headings, firstly those that bring some part of the Act you are viewing into force and secondly, those that bring into force legislation that affects some part of the legislation you are viewing. If you are viewing a prospective version or there is a prospective version available there may be commencement orders listed here that are relevant to the provision you are viewing.

Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

Principal terms usedE+W+S+N.I.

1 Meaning of “embryo”, “gamete” and associated expressions.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)In this Act, except where otherwise stated—

(a)embryo means a live human embryo where fertilisation is complete, and

(b)references to an embryo include an egg in the process of fertilisation,

and, for this purpose, fertilisation is not complete until the appearance of a two cell zygote.

(2)This Act, so far as it governs bringing about the creation of an embryo, applies only to bringing about the creation of an embryo outside the human body; and in this Act—

(a)references to embryos the creation of which was brought about in vitro (in their application to those where fertilisation is complete) are to those where fertilisation began outside the human body whether or not it was completed there, and

(b)references to embryos taken from a woman do not include embryos whose creation was brought about in vitro.

(3)This Act, so far as it governs the keeping or use of an embryo, applies only to keeping or using an embryo outside the human body.

(4)References in this Act to gametes, eggs or sperm, except where otherwise stated, are to live human gametes, eggs or sperm but references below in this Act to gametes or eggs do not include eggs in the process of fertilisation.

[F1(5)For the purposes of this Act, sperm is to be treated as partner-donated sperm if the donor of the sperm and the recipient of the sperm declare that they have an intimate physical relationship.F1]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 1(1) applied (1.4.2005 for certain purposes, 20.10.2005 for certain further purposes, 7.4.2006 for certain further purposes, 31.7.2006 for certain further purposes and 1.9.2006 otherwise) by Human Tissue Act 2004 (c. 30), s. 54(6) (with transitional provisions in s. 58); S.I 2005/919, {art. 3}, Sch. (with transitional provisions in art. 2); S.I. 2005/2792, art. 2(d); S.I. 2006/404, art. 3(3), Sch. (subject to art. 4); S.I. 2006/1997, art. 2(1)(2), 3(1)(2), Sch. (subject to arts. 4, 7, 8) (as that S.I. is amended by S.I. 2006/2169, art. 2)

C2S. 1(4) applied (1.4.2005 for certain purposes, 20.10.2005 for certain further purposes, 7.4.2006 for certain further purposes, 31.7.2006 for certain further purposes and 1.9.2006 otherwise) by Human Tissue Act 2004 (c. 30), s. 54(6) (with transitional provisions in s. 58); S.I 2005/919, {art. 3}, Sch. (with transitional provisions in art. 2); S.I. 2005/2792, art. 2(d); S.I. 2006/404, art. 3(3), Sch. (subject to art. 4); S.I. 2006/1997, art. 2(1)(2), 3(1)(2), Sch. (subject to arts. 4, 7, 8) (as that S.I. is amended by S.I. 2006/2169, art. 2)

Commencement Information

I1S. 1 wholly in force at 1.8.1991 see s. 49(2) and S.I. 1991/1400, art. 2(2)

[F21A

Reference to Directives

In this Act—

  • the first Directive” means Directive 2004/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on setting standards of quality and safety for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells,

  • the second Directive” means Commission Directive 2006/17/EC of 8 February 2006 implementing Directive 2004/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards certain technical requirements for the donation, procurement and testing of human tissues and cells, and

  • the third Directive” means Commission Directive 2006/86/EC of 24 October 2006 implementing Directive 2004/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards traceability requirements, notification of serious adverse reactions and events and certain technical requirements for the coding, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

2 Other terms.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)In this Act—

  • the Authority” means the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority established under section 5 of this Act,

  • [F3basic partner treatment services” means treatment services that are provided for a woman and a man together without using—

    (a)

    the gametes of any other person, or

    (b)

    embryos created outside the woman's body,]

  • [F4F3competent authority”, in relation to an EEA state other than the United Kingdom or in relation to Gibraltar, means an authority designated in accordance with the law of that state or territory as responsible for implementing the requirements of the first, second and third Directives,]

  • F4directions” means directions under section 23 of this Act,

  • [F5distribution”, in relation to gametes or embryos intended for human application, means transportation or delivery, and related terms are to be interpreted accordingly,]

  • [F6F5human application” means use in a human recipient,]

  • F6licence” means a licence under Schedule 2 to this Act and, in relation to a licence, “the person responsible” has the meaning given by section 17 of this Act, and

  • [F7non-medical fertility services” means any services that are provided, in the course of a business, for the purpose of assisting women to carry children, but are not medical, surgical or obstetric services,]

  • [F8F7processing”, in relation to gametes or embryos intended for human application, means any operation involved in their preparation, manipulation or packaging, and related terms are to be interpreted accordingly,]

  • [F9F8procurement”, in relation to gametes or embryos intended for human application, means any process by which they are made available, and related terms are to be interpreted accordingly,]

  • [F10F9serious adverse event” means—

    (a)

    any untoward occurrence which may be associated with the procurement, testing, processing, storage or distribution of gametes or embryos intended for human application and which, in relation to a donor of gametes or a person who receives treatment services or non-medical fertility services—

    (a)
    (i)

    might lead to the transmission of a communicable disease, to death, or life-threatening, disabling or incapacitating conditions, or

    (ii)

    might result in, or prolong, hospitalisation or illness, or

    (b)

    any type of gametes or embryo misidentification or mix-up,]

  • [F11F10serious adverse reaction” means an unintended response, including a communicable disease, in a donor of gametes intended for human application or a person who receives treatment services or non-medical fertility services, which may be associated with the procurement or human application of gametes or embryos and which is fatal, life-threatening, disabling, incapacitating or which results in, or prolongs, hospitalisation or illness,]

  • [F12F11store”, in relation to gametes or embryos, means preserve, whether by cryopreservation or in any other way, and “storage” and “stored” are to be interpreted accordingly,]

  • [F13F12traceability” means the ability—

    (a)

    to identify and locate gametes and embryos during any step from procurement to use for human application or disposal,

    (b)

    to identify the donor and recipient of particular gametes or embryos,

    (c)

    to identify any person who has carried out any activity in relation to particular gametes or embryos, and

    (d)

    to identify and locate all relevant data relating to products and materials coming into contact with particular gametes or embryos and which can affect their quality or safety,]

  • F13treatment services” means medical, surgical or obstetric services provided to the public or a section of the public for the purpose of assisting women to carry children.

(2)References in this Act to keeping, in relation to embryos or gametes, include keeping while preserved [F14in storage]F14 .

[F15(2A)For the purposes of this Act, a person who, from any premises, controls the provision of services for transporting gametes or embryos is to be taken to distribute gametes or embryos on those premises.

(2B)In this Act, any reference to a requirement of a provision of the first, second or third Directive is a reference to a requirement which that provision requires to be imposed.]

F15(3)For the purposes of this Act, a woman is not to be treated as carrying a child until the embryo has become implanted.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F3Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F4Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F5Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F6Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F7Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F8Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F9Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F10Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F11Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F12Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F13Words in s. 2(1) inserted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(2)

F14Words in s. 2(2) substituted (25.5.2007 for certain purposes, otherwise 5.7.2007) by The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Quality and Safety) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/1522), regs. 1, 6(3)

Commencement Information

I2S. 2 wholly in force at 1.8.1991 see s. 49(2), S.I. 1990/2165 and S.I. 1991/1440, art. 2(2)

[F162A

Third party agreements

(1)For the purposes of this Act, a “third party agreement” is an agreement in writing between a person who holds a licence and another person which is made in accordance with any licence conditions imposed by the Authority for the purpose of securing compliance with the requirements of Article 24 of the first Directive (relations between tissue establishments and third parties) and under which the other person—

(a)procures, tests or processes gametes or embryos (or both), on behalf of the holder of the licence, or

(b)supplies to the holder of the licence any goods or services (including distribution services) which may affect the quality or safety of gametes or embryos.

(2)In this Act—

  • relevant third party premises”, in relation to a licence, means any premises (other than premises to which the licence relates)—

    (a)

    on which a third party procures, tests, processes or distributes gametes or embryos on behalf of any person in connection with activities carried out by that person under a licence, or

    (b)

    from which a third party provides any goods or services which may affect the quality or safety of gametes or embryos to any person in connection with activities carried out by that person under a licence;

  • third party” means a person with whom a person who holds a licence has a third party agreement.

(3)References in this Act to the persons to whom a third party agreement applies are to—

(a)the third party,

(b)any person designated in the third party agreement as a person to whom the agreement applies, and

(c)any person acting under the direction of a third party or of any person so designated.]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources