Article I: Name. The name of the organization shall be the World Federation for Culture Collections (hereinafter referred to as the Federation or as the WFCC).

Article II: Purpose. The purpose of the Federation is to promote activities that support the interests of culture collections and their users.

Article III: Structure. The Federation is a Multidisciplinary Commission of the International Union of Biological Sciences and a Federation within the structure of the International Union of Microbiological Societies. It seeks the sponsorship, on appropriate activities, of other international non-governmental organizations, including the FAO, UNEP, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, and UNEP/UNESCO/ICRO Panel on Microbiology.
Article IV: Functions and Activities. The functions and management of the Federation are determined by the Statutes and Bylaws. The activities of the Federation are conducted under the authority of the General Assembly, which is composed of all members of the Federation. The Executive Board of the Federation (EBWFCC) administers decisions of the General Assembly between successive General Assemblies.

Article V: Headquarters. The official headquarters of the WFCC is the office of the Secretary of the Federation.

Article VI: Objectives. The general objectives of the Federation are:

  1. to establish effective liaison between persons and organizations concerned with culture collections and between them and the users of cultures;
  2. to encourage the study of procedures for the isolation, culture, characterization, conservation, and distribution of microorganisms and to publicize those procedures;
  3. to promote the training of personnel in the operation of culture collections;
  4. to promote the establishment of a world network of data services concerned with the location of, and information about, microorganisms maintained in culture collections and to publish derivative information in the form of a world directory of collections, lists of species maintained therein, and related documents;
  5. to promote and aid the establishment of culture collections;
  6. to promote the establishment of special reference collections and identification services, and to aid existing identification services;
  7. to establish official means of communication among culture collections, their personnel, their users, and related organizations;
  8. to organize conferences and symposia on topics and problems of common interest;
  9. to attempt solutions of problems of distribution of cultures of microorganisms that may arise through postal regulations, quarantine rules, patent laws, public health problems, and other factors of international importance;
  10. to attempt to provide for the perpetuation of important collections and cultures;
  11. to make recommendations through sponsoring organizations to national and international organizations on any question within these terms of reference when, in the judgement of the Federation, this is desirable or necessary.

Article VII: Membership. The Federation consists of various classes of members. In addition to Ordinary individual members, there may be Honorary/Life, Sustaining, Affiliate Collection, and Affiliate Organisation members. There shall be no any restriction on the numbers of members from any one nation or institution.

  1. Affiliate Collection. Any culture collection including service and research collections which conforms to the current standards of the WFCC may become an Affiliate member (See Bylaw E: Standards for Culture Collections admitted as Affiliate Collections of the World Federation for Culture Collections). An Affiliate Collection is authorized to use the title Affiliate Collection of the World Federation for Culture Collections and to use the designated logo designed for this purpose. Each Affiliate Collection shall designate one of its staff members to represent the Affiliate in the Federation.
  2. Affiliate Organisation. Any national or regional federation of culture collections, national committee, or similar organization with interests in culture collection activities at a national or regional level and approved by the EBWFCC may become an Affiliate Organisation of the WFCC. An Affiliate Organisation is authorized to use the title Affiliate Member of the World Federation for Culture Collections and to use the designated logo designed for this purpose. Each Affiliate shall designate a delegate to represent the Affiliate in the Federation.
  3. Ordinary. Any individual with a declared interest in culture collection activities is eligible for membership.
  4. Sustaining. An individual or organization may be accepted as a Sustaining member usually on the basis of extraordinary support of the objectives and activities of the Federation. Any member of the Federation may recommend any individual or organization for acceptance by the Federation as a Sustaining member. Such recommendations shall be made in writing to the Secretary of the WFCC and shall be considered by the Executive Board of the WFCC which shall determine admission.
  5. Honorary/Life. An individual member or designated delegate may be elected to the life tenure of Honorary/Life membership after long productive service to the Federation in executive and committee work, and/or outstanding professional contributions to culture collections, and on the recommendation of the Executive Board.

Article VIII: Membership Application and Termination. Application for membership in any category recognized by the Federation should be on a form available from the WFCC Home Page, Secretary, and the Treasurer. Application for Ordinary, Sustaining, and Affiliate membership should be made directly to the Treasurer and should be accompanied by an initial subscription for one year. An official register of active members in all categories will be maintained in the Headquarters of the Federation. Membership may be terminated by written notice from a member to the Secretary, by failure to pay subscriptions for two successive years or by a majority vote of the Executive Board for reasons of which the member shall be given notice in writing at least six months prior to the date upon which the vote is taken.

Article IX: Subscriptions and Donations. Some categories of membership are maintained in an active state through payment of appropriate annual subscriptions to the Federation. The several levels of subscriptions are determined by the Federation on the advice of the Executive Board. Subscriptions may be varied according to the economic status of members. The classes of subscription are defined in Bylaw D.

Members may elect to subscribe above the annual minimum rate according to their individual means. The Federation may receive donations to the general Treasury of the Federation or for the specific activities of the WFCC approved by the Executive Board. All subscriptions and donations shall be forwarded to the Treasurer of the Federation.

Article X: Rights and Privileges of Membership. All members:
have full participation in the affairs of the Federation, including the right to vote by proxy, except as otherwise specifically stated in the Statutes and Bylaws;

receive a list of all publications of the Federation and a copy of certain publications of general interest;
receive a copy of all publications of the Federation which are requested by the member, either gratis or at a privileged rate determined by the economic position of the Federation.

Article XI: Obligations of Membership. No member shall use his their connection with the Federation to further his their own interests or those of their own or any other organization, except as is provided for in the Statutes and Bylaws.

No publication of the Federation shall bear an indication of sponsorship by any organization or institution other than as provided for in Article III of the Statutes, except for an acknowledgment of financial assistance or collaboration in joint programs for the furtherance of WFCC objectives. Commercial advertising is permitted in WFCC publications provided that it is accompanied by a statement disclaiming endorsement of the product or claims by the advertiser.

The Federation is not responsible for the utterances or acts of any member unauthorized by the General Assembly or the Executive Board.
Article XII: Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of eight elected members and four appointed members. The Past-President, the Director of the WFCC World Data Center on Microorganisms, and the Editor of the WFCC Newsletter shall be ex officio members of the Board. The President, Vice-President and six members shall be elected by the following procedure:

not less than one year before the announced date of the next General Assembly, the President shall appoint a Nominations Committee to draw up a list of candidates for the elected members of the Executive Board.
not more than two months after appointment, the Nominations Committee shall send the list to the President, with appropriate biographical information and written assurances that the nominees will serve if elected.
not less than nine months before the announced date of the next General Assembly, the Secretary will mail the list to the membership and request that any additional nominations be submitted within two months of the mailing. Any additional nominee shall be proposed by two members and the nomination shall be accompanied by a written assurance of willingness to serve if elected. Only actively subscribing members and official designates of Affiliate Members (Affiliate Collections and Affiliate Organisations) are eligible for election.

Six months before the announced date of the next General Assembly, the Secretary will send out the final list of nominations and ballot papers. On their return the ballots will be counted by the Chair of the Nominations Committee and verified by an independent auditor and the results announced at the next General Assembly. Members will be elected according to a simple majority of votes cast.

An additional four members shall be appointed from the members of the Federation by the eight members of the Executive Board already elected by the General Assembly to reflect the interests of the Federation and to provide a balance of international representation and expertise on the Board.

Elected members of the Executive Board may serve two consecutive terms. An elected member who has served continuously through two terms shall not be eligible for re-election until one term has elapsed, except that such members may be eligible for election as President or Vice-President of the Federation. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be appointed from and by the Board. An elected member of the Executive Board who is ineligible to continue in the office of Secretary or Treasurer may continue in such office as an appointed member of the Board.

Vacancies on the Executive Board that occur between meetings of the General Assembly may be filled by the remaining members of the Board from among the membership of the Federation. Such co-opted Members shall retire at the next meeting of the General Assembly but shall be eligible immediately for nomination as Executive Board members.

The word 'term' refers to the time elapsing between successive meetings of the General Assembly.

Article XIII: Officers of the Executive Board. The officers of the EBWFCC shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Offices may be combined temporarily at the discretion of the Board.

The officers of the Executive Board shall be the officers of the Federation.

The officers of the Executive Board shall retire at the close of the meeting of a General Assembly. They are eligible for re-election for a further term, provided that they meet the criteria given in Article XII.

Article XIV: Duties of the EBWFCC and its Officers. The Executive Board shall supervise the work of the Federation, execute decisions of the General Assembly, and in general promote the objectives of the Federation.

The President shall preside at meetings of the General Assembly of the Federation and at meetings of the Executive Board.
The Vice-President shall perform the duties and shall exercise the powers of the President during any period of absence or incapacitation of the President.

The duties of the Secretary shall include recording of the minutes of meetings of the General Assembly and of the Executive Board, Publication of the Minutes of the General Assembly within 6 calendar months of the close of each conference of the WFCC, Distribution of the Minutes of the EBWFCC to its members within 6 months of the conclusion of the Board meetings, and responsibility in general for the maintenance of effective liaison among the Executive Board, sponsoring organizations, and the several categories of members of the Federation. The Secretary shall prepare the Report of the Executive Board for presentation to the General Assembly at each of its meetings, and be responsible for conducting the ballot for the election of Board members according to Article XII of the Statutes.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for the administration of the finances of the Federation, and is authorized to receive monies on behalf of the Federation and to pay such debts as are incurred in the work of the Federation. The Treasurer shall furnish an audited balance sheet to the Executive Board annually and shall present a financial report and audited balance sheet to the General Assembly at each of its meetings.

Article XV: Signatures and Certification of Documents. Contracts and legal documents, other than cheques, shall be signed by the President and one other member of the Executive Board, after approval of by the Executive Board. The payment of accounts and other disbursement of Federation funds shall be on Federation embossed cheques and shall require the signature of the Treasurer only.

Article XVI: Meetings and Quorums. An ordinary meeting of the members of the Federation is called the General Assembly and General Assemblies shall be held during the International Congress for Culture Collections at intervals of not more than four years and or at times and places determined by the Executive Board. Extraordinary meetings of the General Assembly may be held at any time determined by the Executive

Board, but not sooner than six months after issue of notices to the membership.

The Executive Board shall meet prior to each meeting of the General Assembly and at such other times and places as may be agreed upon by members of the Executive Board.
Sponsoring organizations shall be invited officially to send observers to all meetings of the General Assembly. Official observers may be invited by the Executive Board to attend its meetings in whole or in part.

A quorum for transacting business at any General Assembly shall be two-thirds of the members registered for the assembly. All decisions shall be by a simple majority of votes cast, including those of members present and those transmitted by recognized proxies, except that one-third of the members present can call for a postal ballot vote by all members on any agenda item. In the case of a quorum not being attained, the President may notify the General Assembly members that the meeting is adjourned to a later time, and if again a quorum is not attained, the members present shall constitute the quorum.

A quorum for transacting business in any meeting of the Executive Board is two-thirds of the EBWFCC membership.

Article XVII: Appeals. Appeals against any decision of the General Assembly or of the Executive Board acting for the Federation may be made in writing to the Secretary by a minimum of ten members of the Federation. The Secretary shall submit such appeals to the next General Assembly. Where appeals are against a decision of the General Assembly such appeals may be accompanied by a recommendation from the Executive Board. Recommendations for action on such appeals made by the General Assembly shall be submitted to postal ballot of all members of the Federation.

Article XVIII: Committees. The Executive Board shall establish such committees as may be requested by the General Assembly and, between assemblies, such ad hoc committees as may be necessary for the effective management of Federation affairs. The Executive Board shall determine the terms of reference of each committee unless these are otherwise defined by the General Assembly.

The Executive Board shall have the option of selecting the Chairman of each committee or of delegating the choice to the committee itself. Other officers, if any, within each committee shall be chosen by the committee from among its own membership.

The EBWFCC shall have the power to dissolve any committee when, in the opinion of the Board, the task of the committee has been accomplished or when the committee has ceased to function effectively. In the latter case, the Board may reconstitute the committee and report its action to the next meeting of the General Assembly.

Each committee shall present a report through the Secretary to the Executive Board six months in advance of a General Assembly for presentation at the Assembly.

All committees are dissolved at the time of the Business Meeting of each General Assembly. The new Executive Board formed during the General Assembly assesses the value and function of each committee and, within the guidelines of the Assembly, reconstitutes committees or not, with the same or different memberships.

Article XIX: Amendment of Statutes. Changes and additions in the body of Statutes are accomplished in the manner specified in Bylaw G: Amendment of Statutes and Bylaws.