A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is a written agreement between two research institutes, one of which is the supplier (supplier) of human biology material and the other the recipient (consignee) who wishes to use it for research purposes. An MTA regulates the transfer of research material such as reagents, cell lines, plasmids, vectors and any descendants, derivatives or modifications between the parties. The transfer of related data may be governed by an MTA or a separate data transfer agreement (DBA). ATMs range from short and simple agreements to complex agreements involving lengthy and costly negotiations . POPIA governs the processing of personal data. `processing` means the collection, storage, use, dissemination, dissemination and destruction of information ( Section 1); `Personal data` is defined as information relating to physical or mental health and biometric information, including DNA analysis ( section 1). As a result, data associated with human biological materials in health research would in all likelihood fall within the scope of POPIA. Even to the extent that human biological material is used for genetic and genomic research, human biological material can be perceived as a reservoir of biometric information and would therefore also fall within the scope of POPIA . In its current form, the SA MTA provides that the HREC must sign the MTA last ( paragraph 6.2); and that the MTA takes effect (only) with the signature by the HREC ( paragraph 8). The MTA SA also provides that the material subject to the MTA is automatically transferred by the supplier and accepted by the consignee as soon as the MTA takes effect ( paragraph 3.1). These provisions create a legal conundrum: if the supplier does not transfer the material to the recipient, how would the recipient assert his rights within the meaning of the MTA? Note that the recipient signs that they have “agreed” to the transfer of the material. It is obvious that this situation is an untenable situation in which the parties find themselves. .