The requirement to share information about the substances manufactured, imported, placed on the market and used in the EU is a fundamental aspect of REACH. By doing this, registrants of the same substance can reduce registration costs and avoid unnecessary testing, especially on vertebrate animals.
When information is available, studies involving vertebrate animal testing must be shared between registrants to prevent tests being duplicated. New studies on vertebrate animals cannot be repeated.
Studies that don't involve vertebrate animal testing should also be shared to reduce the costs of registration.
Discussions on sharing data must take place before joint registration when a substance is manufactured or imported by more than one company.
There are two mechanisms for data sharing:
- Substance information exchange forums (SIEFs), used for phase-in (existing) substances that have been pre-registered
- Inquiry, used for non-phase-in (new) substances and for phase-in substances that have not been pre-registered
Co-registrants must make every effort to make sure that the cost of sharing the information required for joint registration is determined in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory way. All parties must fulfil their data-sharing and joint submission obligations in a timely manner. If parties cannot reach an agreement, ECHA can help to resolve data-sharing disputes. This should, however, be used as a last resort.