The OECD Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) system is a multilateral agreement which saves governments and chemical producers over EUR 150 million every year by allowing the results of a variety of safety tests done on chemicals and chemical products such as industrial chemicals and pesticides to be shared across OECD. The MAD requires that testing be carried out using OECD standards for test methods (OECD Test Guidelines) and for data quality (OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice - GLP).
Governments need to verify compliance of laboratories with GLP by using the OECD agreed procedures. OECD countries and full adherent countries - and Argentina*, Brazil, India, Malaysia, South Africa and Singapore - have implemented this system via the appropriate legislative and administrative procedures.
Participation in the MAD system begins by provisional adherence, during which time non-members work with OECD countries to make their GLP compliance monitoring programme acceptable to all members. Provisional adherence to the OECD system means that the non-member must accept data from OECD countries generated under MAD conditions. After a team of experts from three OECD governments have evaluated the non-member GLP compliance monitoring programme on site, and based on the outcome of this evaluation, the OECD Council can invite the provisional adherent to become a full adherent to the Council Acts, with the same rights and obligations as OECD countries. Thailand is currently a provisional adherent to the MAD system.
Full adherents will accept data from OECD countries generated under MAD conditions. Equally, since they can ensure that their test facilities produce safety data work of comparable rigor and quality as test facilities throughout OECD, member countries will accept their data. This removes a potential non-tariff trade barrier between non-members and OECD countries for marketing chemicals that would have been caused by different standards and verification procedures. It also opens up the possibility for producers in OECD countries to have safety tests for their chemicals undertaken in adhering non-member economies.
* Note: Full adherence for Argentina only applies to industrial chemicals, pesticides and biocides