Did you know Canada has a specific format to their SDS?

 In SDS: Safety Data Sheets

By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email

Many of my clients would like one safety data sheet (SDS) created for the world. The thought is that the GHS (Globally Harmonized System) would make this achievable.  Unfortunately at this point in time, this is not actually permitted. One SDS cannot be used worldwide. As I’ve discussed in multiple blogs, you need to ensure that you are providing an SDS that meets the laws of the countries you are selling your products in.

The European SDS for example has very different requirements than those in Canada.  The format is very different than that which Health Canada will accept.

Canada has some unique requirements for the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) which are outlined in the Hazardous Products Regulations –  Schedule 1 to be specific. This includes the mandatory heading names and specific information elements.

One thing that can tip you off that it is a European SDS rather than one intended for use within Canada is simply the heading names. In Canada, section 1 of the SDS must have the word Identification.

European SDSs on the other hand use a different header name for section 1: Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking.

If you have been provided an SDS with this as the header name, this is an automatic non-compliance for Canada.  I see this more often than not these days as there is an assumption that GHS is global when it is not.

If you are not sure if you can use your SDS here, please send us a copy of your SDS and we can provide a quick check for you and your team.


  • Create a Canadian compliant SDS and GHS Workplace Label in Canadian English/French.
  • Help classify your product for transportation within our Canadian borders and include this within your SDS.
  • Advise on chemical inventory requirements which includes indicating which chemicals are/are not listed on the DSL/NDSL before you import your product. If they are not listed, we can help with your New Substance Notification Requirements.

Dell Tech
Kirsten Alcock, B.Sc. (Hons) 
Manager, Product Safety Group

Dell Tech has provided professional, confidential consulting services to the chemical specialty

industry in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia for the last 40 years.

Contact us today for more information.



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