GHS / CLP COMPLIANCE
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a method developed by the United Nations for communicating chemical hazards. Under this system, chemical containers must all display a specific label. This label helps facilitate the safe shipping and use of hazardous substances.
It is designed to replace the various classification and labeling standards used in different countries by using consistent criteria for classification and labeling on a global level. Its development began at the United Nations Rio Conference in 1992, when the International Labour Organization(ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), various governments and other stakeholders met at a United Nations conference. It supersedes the relevant European Union (which has implemented the United Nations’ GHS into EU law as the CLP Regulation) and United States standards.
It is expected that the GHS will be a living document and is expected to remain up-to-date and relevant; therefore further changes may be adopted on a two year cycle. Presently most of the recent updates have been clarification of text. However
, OSHA anticipates that future updates of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) may be necessary and can be done through various rulemaking options, including:
- Technical updates for minor terminology changes,
- Direct Final Rules for text clarification, and
- Notice and Comment rulemaking for more substantive or controversial updates such as additional criteria or changes in health or safety hazard classes or categories.The GHS has been implemented in the EU by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (the ‘CLP Regulation’). The CLP Regulation entered into force on 20 January 2009. The deadline for substance according to the new rules was 1 December 2010; for mixtures, the deadline is 1 June 2015. The CLP Regulation replaces previous rules on classification, labelling and packaging of substances (Directive 67/548/EEC) and preparations (Directive 1999/45/EC) after this transitional period.In line with the GHS standard, CLP allows for the identification of hazardous chemicals and the communication of these hazards to users through labelling. It also provides the basis for safety data sheets (SDS) regulated under the REACH Regulation, and sets requirements for the packaging of hazardous chemicals. For the GHS/CLP compliance visit SDS page.
The regulation requires companies to appropriately classify, label and package their substances and mixtures before placing them on the market. It aims to protect workers, consumers and the environment by labelling that shows a particular chemical’s possible hazards. It also addresses the notification of classifications, the establishment of a list of harmonised classifications and the creation of a classification and labelling inventory (C&L inventory), as required by REACH.
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