Singapore fulfilled all the conditions to adhere to the OECD system for the Mutual Acceptance of Data in the Assessment of Chemicals on 12 January 2010, making it the fourth non-member country to join this multi-lateral agreement related to non-clinical safety studies required for regulatory purposes.
South Africa, Slovenia, Israel, and now Singapore, are full adherents to the Council Acts related to the Mutual Acceptance of Data in the assessment of chemicals. Non-clinical safety data developed in these countries must be accepted by OECD and adhering countries for the purposes of assessment and other uses related to the protection of human health and the environment.
The OECD Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) system is a multilateral agreement which saves governments and chemical producers over EUR 60 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 the latter standard by using the OECD agreed procedures. OECD countries - and now South Africa, Slovenia, Israel, 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. Provisional adherents to the MAD system are currently India, Brazil, Argentina and Malaysia.
Full adherence to the OECD system means that non-members 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.
Several other non-members are at various stages in the preparing their adherence to the MAD system.