PURPOSE: In France, collections of human biological resources are regulated by the “Bioethics Law”, currently in revision. Hence, we analyse the regulatory and ethical issues of these practices in the context of scientific research. The ultimate aim of such collections is to improve biological and medical knowledge. CURRENT KNOWLEDGE AND KEY POINTS: We think that the French regulatory system is quite complicated and non-explicit for “collection holders”. The multiplicity of legal texts concerning this activity has made their application difficult, especially in the absence of application decrees. The project amending the actual law has clarified the legal status of collections but it did not shed light on the status of human body detached parts. Furthermore, the text is still very far from the international bioethical recommendations, and does not reflect the actual collection’s implementation. FUTURE PROSPECTS AND PROJECTS: The establishment of a guideline of Good Collection Practices, based on clear principles, should help to simplify the situation, especially when it is imbedded in the regulation and linked to control procedures. It would allow a balance between collective interests and the protection of individuals, taking into account of the international highly competitive scientific and economical constraints. The major issue is to preserve and to perpetuate the existing and future collections because of their precious value as an important tool for biomedical knowledge. The efficiency of a regulation depends on its legibility and accessibility, two requirements that seem to determine the acceptance of the regulatory tool and its application allowing subsequently to reach fairness in proceedings.