Further information needed for exempt information application example

This is a hypothetical example of an application where additional information was sought from the applicant to support their application.

The information provided in this example should not be taken to mean that all applications which disclose similar information or provide similar examples will have the same outcome.

Application scenario

An application for an assessment certificate under the Standard category was accompanied by an application for exempt information.

Data items requested to be treated as exempt information were:

  • the chemical identity details including the chemical name, CAS number, structural formula and molecular weight.

In addition to information included in the application, a web search on the published name of the chemical did not reveal a connection to the chemical identity of the notified chemical.

Findings of fact

We made the following findings of fact based on the information submitted by the applicant, and the information established during our assessment process:

  1. The chemical is used in household and industrial cleaners.
  2. The chemical is classified as hazardous for acute toxicity, corrosivity and ecotoxicity.
  3. The applicant asserts that the company has ‘spent a lot on R&D and revealing the chemical identity would give our competitors knowledge of the chemical’.
  4. The applicant described the agreements in place with its customers to protect confidentiality.

Reasons we will ask the applicant for additional information

The following matters were considered when making the decision:

  1. The applicant established a relevant commercial interest for all details requested:
    1. The applicant has developed the chemical and intends to introduce the chemical under the assessment certificate, if granted.
    2. The notifier has described the measures taken to protect the confidentiality of the chemical identity.
  2. The applicant did not demonstrate that the publication of some or all of the chemical’s particulars details could reasonably be expected to substantially prejudice the commercial interests of the applicant:
    1. The applicant only provided an unsupported assertion that the company ‘has spent a lot on R&D and revealing the chemical identity would give our competitors knowledge of the chemical’.
    2. Without further evidence (such as quantitative information or reasoned argument) to support their claim, the Director of NICNAS (or the Director’s delegate) cannot determine whether the prejudice arising from publishing the chemical identity information will be substantial.

    The applicant was asked at the time of screening the assessment to provide further justification before a decision to grant exemption from publication could be made.

  3. The applicant has not demonstrated that the prejudice to their commercial interest outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the chemical’s particulars at this time:
    1. A decision on this arm of the statutory test cannot be made until further details are provided by the notifier on the commercial interest aspects of the test.
    2. There is a public interest in the publication of the chemical identity details that would need to be considered, given that the chemical will be used in household cleaners and has hazardous properties to both human health and the environment

Other examples

Successful exempt information application

Partially successful exempt information application

Rejected/insufficient exempt information application

Last update 29 July 2018