GHS Implementation Throughout the World
By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email
GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System and as I’ve repeatedly advised, it is anything but harmonized. Over the past year or so I’ve been writing blogs to explain that one SDS cannot be used throughout the world. Each country has their own unique requirements, each country has adopted different endpoints and each country has decided which version they want to adopt, if at all.
Not all countries have decided to adopt the GHS as it is not a mandatory worldwide requirement for the selling of chemicals. If you are looking to sell to a particular country, you are REQUIRED to determine the requirements for that country and in doing so, know which version they are using. If they are not using the GHS at all, you are required to know what they are using in its place.
I have come across a great website that can help you determine if a country is using the GHS and if so, what version they are on: The UNECE.
The UN has provided information on the status of the GHS for each of the countries that is in process of adopting it, or has fully adopted it and which version they are currently on. I urge you to look at this resource for information. There is much more than information on the GHS only. They have compiled the data country by country which is really helpful.
For example, if we look at my home country, CANADA, you will see the main relevant legislation is the Hazardous Products Regulations. They provide information on when it was adopted and what version of the GHS we are currently using.
If you need help with the authoring of a SDS that is compliant for Canada or the US, please contact us. We can ensure that your SDS will meet compliance for both of these countries. Although there are differences in the requirements between the countries, we can provide you with an SDS that will not only meet compliance with format, but we can provide an SDS in English/Canadian French and Spanish for your users.
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