GHS in Canada. What are the future plans?
By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email
In 2019 at the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) conference in Washington DC, Kim Godard and Véronique Lalonde gave an update of where the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) stands in Canada. Some of the most exciting news from the conference is that Canada will be aligning with GHS Version 7 in the near future. The “Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021” discusses the amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations to align with the 7th revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
Under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan, both Canada and the US are committed to working together to coordinate the adoption of future updates of the GHS. In order to ensure the proper alignment between the countries, Canada plans on making the necessary updates to the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). The objective is to incorporate changes from version 6 and 7 of the GHS into our regulations.
What does this mean for you? It means an updated SDS and label will be required. The industry will need to re-evaluate and make changes to product classifications, labels, and safety data sheets to ensure that they are compliant with the new requirements. Note that the requirement to update SDSs is not dependent only on this change to an updated version of the GHS. Although the 3-year expiry date was abolished with the adoption of the Hazardous Product Regulations, one should still be updating their SDSs as new information becomes available on raw materials. For example, if a chemical is now deemed a carcinogen by IARC and was not in the past, the SDS and labels are required to be updated to include this new classification and subsequent statement changes throughout.
We will keep you all updated as news becomes available but for now it is business as usual. We have not been advised of any implementation dates at this point in time. Canadian SDSs will continue to be created using the version 5 GHS statement criteria. If you are not currently writing your SDSs to comply with our current regulations and need our help, do not hesitate to contact us. It is important to note that simply translating a US SDS into Canadian French does not mean that the SDS is compliant for Canada. We have some very unique requirements that must be met to sell your product here.
For more information on our SDS authoring services and how we can help you meet compliance for Canada, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss the unique Canadian requirements with you to ensure that your SDSs and labels are compliant.
Kirsten Alcock, B.Sc. (Hons)
Manager, Product Safety Group