Rejected/insufficient exempt information application example

The following is a hypothetical example of an application where we need further information.

When you are providing a reason for why your information should be exempt from publication, it is important to make statements with robust justification and where possible provide supporting data.

Information and examples used here do not mean applicants with similar information will succeed.

Application scenario

Standard assessment certificate with a request for exempt information

We receive an assessment certificate application in the Standard category. An exempt from publication application accompanies it. The applicant requests the following details of the chemical’s identity be exempt from publication:

  • chemical name
  • CAS number
  • structural formula
  • molecular weight.

We conduct a Google search on the chemical's published name. The search results do not show a link to the chemical identity of the notified chemical.

Findings of fact

We make the following findings of fact based on:

  • information provided by the the applicant
  • what we determine during our assessment.
  1. The chemical is for use in household and industrial cleaners.
  2. The chemical classification is hazardous for acute toxicity, corrosivity and ecotoxicity.
  3. The applicant asserts

    "We have spent a lot on R&D and revealing the chemical identity would give our competitors knowledge of the chemical’.
  4. The notifier has described existing agreements in place with its customers to protect confidentiality.

Further information required

The following explains where some information has been established and when we need to contact the applicant for further information.

Relevant commercial interest—established


The applicant has established that they have:

  • developed the chemical and intends to introduce it under an assessment certificate (if granted)

  • described measures taken to protect the confidentiality of  the chemical's identity.

Request to exempt some or all the chemical identity from publication—not demonstrated

The applicant has not supported the following assertion:

"We have spent a lot on R&D and revealing the chemical identity would give our competitors knowledge of the chemical”.

Further information from the applicant is required to back this assertion such as:

  • quantitative information or
  • reasoned argument.

The applicant will be asked to provide further justification during the screening stage of the assessment. Further information will help us to determine if publishing the chemical's identity will give rise to substantial prejudice.

Commercial prejudice outweighs public interest in disclosure of the chemical’s details—not established

We can make no decision for this arm of the statutory test unless the applicant provides more details.

We do know there is public interest in the publication of details of the chemical's identity as it is:

  • for use 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

Further information needed

Last update 29 July 2018