By: Darren Dunn – Chemical Regulatory Consultant
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system created by the United Nations that is internationally agreed-upon. The purpose of GHS is to replace and standardize the numerous and differing classification and labelling regulations used in countries for industrial chemicals. The idea here is that jurisdictions adopting GHS will use consistent criteria for classification and labelling.
So why are GHS Consulting services important? Well, as the name implies, countries that adopt GHS will have harmonized and similar regulatory laws. However, this is not always the case! When implementing GHS, a country is allowed to pick and choose which regulations to adopt. For example, EU has Aquatic Acute and Aquatic Chronic classifications, while US’ OSHA does not consider any Environmental Hazards. Furthermore, countries are allowed to retain old regulations which are not considered by GHS. For example, OSHA has kept the old Combustible Dust classification. The Combustible Dust hazard is not taken into consideration under GHS. This means that a GHS document in one country may not necessarily be compliant in another. GHS consulting services will be needed to adapt to these changes, and produce documents that consider all the regulations of a particular country.
Chemical regulations are dynamic. It is very common for a country to release updated versions of their regulations. For example, EU CLP recently published an update for their Adaptation to Technical and Scientific Progress (4th ATP) which included changes to aerosol classifications and labelling exemptions for small-quantity packaging. GHS consulting services can be important for ensuring that your SDS is following the most up-to-date regulations.
More and more, countries are in the process of implementing GHS. This means there will be new regulations to interpret and put into practice. For example, Canada is aiming to have updated regulations by 2015 or later. GHS consulting services will be necessary to implement and educate people on these new regulations.
Nexreg offers GHS Consulting services for countries that have already adopted the new regulations. Nexreg can author Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels that are compliant with a particular country`s implementation of GHS in addition to its other applicable law If you have any questions regarding GHS compliance, or just need advice, please contact Nexreg Compliance today and a regulatory professional would be happy to speak with you.