Professional guidance on travelling for illicit organ transplantation

On 1 July 2022, an amendment was made to Section 32 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and Section 20 of the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006.

This amendment extends the offences set out in Section 32 and Section 20 so that they have extraterritorial jurisdiction. These offences relate to financial or commercial dealings in human material for transplant, such as buying or selling human organs.

In practice, this means that any person who is resident in England, Wales or Scotland will be committing an offence if they are involved in seeking, offering, or receiving payment or reward for donating organs for transplantation or initiating, negotiating, advertising or being involved in buying or selling human organs for transplantation, anywhere in the world.

All suspected cases of patients travelling overseas for illicit transplantation must be reported to NHSBT using the clinical governance online reporting portal. Where applicable, NHSBT will alert HTA and we will review and consider referral to the police.

For further guidance and information on your responsibilities please visit NHSBT.

For further information, please contact transplants@hta.gov.uk