Seed Deposit Guidelines

All genebanks in the world are welcome to make use of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, as long as they agree with the principles of operation and meet the requirements which can be consulted in the Deposit agreement.

If you represent a genebank interested in using the Seed Vault for safety duplication, please contact us at

Minimum requirements for the quality, quantity, packing, inventory and shipment of seed samples are outlined in the Annex to the Deposit agreement.

Deposit agreement

Data accompanying the deposits

Please read this part carefully!

An electronic inventory of the samples to be deposited at the Seed Vault must be submitted at least six weeks in advance of the planned date of shipping. Please use this excel sheet template for this purpose and note that the inventory shall comprise the following data:

Mandatory Fields

Institute code

WIEWS Institute Code for the institute holding the genebank accession. (You may access the WIEWS institute database at FAO secretariat will assign new codes to genebanks that do not have a code already.


Deposit box number

Give each box in your shipment a unique number and record here those numbers. Do not use decimal numbers or letters, only integer numbers: (1, 2, 3, 4, ...). Use successive numbers for successive shipments (e.g. if your first shipment consisted of 35 boxes the boxes in the following shipment shall list boxes from 36 and upwards). If you have sent boxes with test samples in addition to your deposit boxes these shall also be counted.


Collection name

If your genebank uses parallel numbering systems for different collections, give here the name of the collection, e.g. Bean Collection


Accession number

As registered in your genebank. Please make sure that the combination of Institute Code, Collection name and Accession number together will uniquely identify the accession at the global level.


Full scientific name

Genus species subspecies, including Authority.


Country of collection

Where the accession is originally from. Please use ISO-3166-1 (alpha 3) country codes if possible. In case of unknown country, please use the official ISO code XXX (ISO/IEC 7501-1). Valid codes can be found at


Number of seeds

This number can be based on a full count or on an estimate from the weight of the sample.


Regeneration year

The harvest year is mandatory to be able to identify the regeneration cycle of the seed sample.

Recommended Fields

Other accession designations

You may report other accession designations here (i.e. accession number for the same accession in another genebank). A semi-colon should separate each designation.


Accession name

If relevant, report accession name. This will help in identifying possible duplicates in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.


Accession url

If possible, consider reporting an URL to any online database providing further information and reference.


Accession DOI

If available, insert digital object identifier


Is test accession

Is this accession part of a test box


Deposit to existing box

Deposit this accession to a box that is already stored

Data submission template

The depositor shall submit the inventory using the data submission template (MS Excel spreadsheet) found below. Please contact us if you would like to provide the data in another file or data format. The template can be sent by email to the staff at Seed Vault The list of accessions should be reported before shipment of the seeds. A print-out of the inventory list should also be included inside each seed box.

The order of the columns is very important. Please do not alter these! You may use underscore in the place of spaces in the descriptor names if this is useful for you. Please make sure not to report tabs or system characters inside the data values. Please do not include line breaks inside the data values.

The Seed Portal is linked to the global data portal Genesys

The Seed Portal of Svalbard Global Seed Vault links to further detailed germplasm information from the global accession level data portal Genesys. The Seed Portal of the Seed Vault (and the data submission template) will thus only include the minimum descriptors needed for the Seed Vault logistics, and for linking to the Genesys portal []. Each seed depositor will be responsible for loading further details on the seed samples to Genesys.