Genebanks are valuable resources worldwide for preserving genetic resources however they are not museums and part of their mandate is to facilitate access and use of the collections.  An important goal of any genebank is to characterize all material and make it available for users in a similar manner as library catalogs books and makes them available for use.  A search tool has been designed to help users narrow down the number of accessions in our repository and only order plant material that suits their needs based on taxonomy and morphological characterization.  Most of what the CIP genebank distributes is in vitro plantlets (cultivated collections) or small packets of seeds of the wild species. CIP distributes the material to institutes and entities involved in research, breeding or training and due to resource limitations can only ship 35 accessions to anyone organization or individual per year.

In making plant material available worldwide for research, education, and breeding purposes the CIP genebank can only distribute material internationally that has been tested and found to be free of viruses.  Requestors are asked to provide an import permit stating conditions for importation of germplasm from Peru.  Please check with your local health quarantine agency to obtain the required import permit to receive plant material.

When the germplasm is distributed the following official documents are required:

  • The CIP Phytosanitary Statement
  • The SENASA Phytosanitary Certificate
  • List of the material
  • The Import Permit sent by the requestor
  • Approved SMTA
  • Bill number of DHL

The day after the shipment is picked up by DHL the CIP distribution office communicates with the requester to notify them that the material is on the way and to provide a tracking number for their package.

All plant material is distributed with a the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) from the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). CIP uses the “Easy SMTA” set up by the ITPGRFA providing the requestor  any one of three ways to accept the SMTA:

  1. The preferred method is the “click wrap method” where the user goes online and clicks to accept the terms of the SMTA online;
  2. An alternative method is to accept the SMTA via “shrink wrap” where the requestor agrees to the conditions in the SMTA when they receive and open the box containing the SMTA along with their requested material;
  3. The final method and the one that usually takes the most time is to physically sign and mail/send a signed copy of the SMTA to the CIP genebank

Getting a PID (unique personal identifier) number

The International Potato Center to make our documentation easily accessible and as part of our requirement for reporting germplasm distribution to the ITPGRFA, we ask requestors to register online with the ITPGRFA via the Easy SMTA on the link below to register your name and institution.


After registration, please login and click on view profile to view the PID code generated for you by the system, kindly forward the PID code to us and ensure that you record the PID code for further use.

Transfer in vitro plantlets to substrate

The potato in vitro plantlets that you receive were propagated and maintained in a sterile environment and grow in a synthetic nutrient gel… read more

The sweetpotato in vitro plantlets that you receive were propagated and maintained in a sterile environment and grow in a synthetic nutrient gel… read more

Seed packet label

In vitro packet label


Rosario Falcon
Acquisition and Distribution Specialist


  • Standard operational procedure (SOP) and policy for plant germplasm distribution

Please contact the supervisor/Genebank Leader to get more information.


Related Links

Number of samples distributed since 2000