Chemical safety and biosafety

OECD Test Guidelines Programme


The OECD Guidelines for the testing of chemicals are a collection of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by governments, industry and independent laboratories to assess the safety of chemicals. They are primarily used in regulatory safety testing and subsequent chemical notification and registration. The set of Test Guidelines is updated on a regular basis to keep pace with progress in science and countries’ regulatory needs. OECD-wide networks of national coordinators and national experts provide input from scientists in government, academia, and industry. Learn more on OECD Test Guidelines Terminology.


What is the Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD)?

The MAD system helps to avoid conflicting or duplicative national requirements, provides a common basis for co-operation among national authorities and avoids creating non-tariff barriers to trade. OECD countries and full adherents have agreed that a safety test carried out in accordance with the OECD Test Guidelines and Principles of Good Laboratory Practice in one OECD country must be accepted by other OECD countries for assessment purposes. This is the concept of “tested once, accepted for assessment everywhere*”. This saves the chemicals industry the expense of duplicate testing for products which are marketed in more than one country. 

* While the receiving government must accept the study, how it interprets study results is its own prerogative. 


Did you know?

By reducing duplication, and creating a framework for the sharing of work, the MAD system saves governments and industry around EUR 309 million each yearas well as reduces the number of animals used in such testing.

Source: Saving Costs in Chemicals Management, OECD (2019)


   Test Guidelines and Series on Testing and Assessment

  Overview of the Test Guidelines Programme

 Highlight on specific activities


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