Global Harmony (GHS)
New European Regulations on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures implementing the UN GHS criteria in all EU Member States came into legal effect in January 2009.
The aim of the GHS is to ensure, worldwide, the same criteria is used for classifying chemicals according to their health, environmental and physical hazards and that each country adheres to the same identifiable hazard communication requirements for labelling and safety data sheets.
The new CLP Regulation will replace both the Dangerous Substances Directive (67/548/EEC) and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (1999/45/EC) and is directly-acting in all EU Member States, requiring no national transposition.
However, the Regulation provides a transition period to allow a gradual migration from the existing system. This transition period is up to seven and a half years (the Regulation will apply to the classification of substances from 1 December 2010, and to the classification of mixtures from 1 June 2015).
In Great Britain, the implementing legislation is the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 (as amended), and in Northern Ireland (NI) the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2002.
Although the CHIP Regulations will be repealed in full in the UK when the new Regulation is fully in force (anticipated June 2015), it may be necessary to amend CHIP and its supporting guidance as the transitional period progresses and the new Regulation begins to apply the new GHS regime.
The Regulations include:
- New scientific criteria to assess hazardous properties of chemicals.
- Two new harmonised hazard warning symbols for labels.
- A new design for existing symbols.
- New harmonised warning and precautionary statements for labels, to replace the existing risk and safety phrases.
- New hazard statements for labels:
- H240 – Heating may cause an explosion.
- H320 – Causes eye irritation.
- H401 – Toxic to aquatic life.
- New precautionary statements for labels, for example:
- P102 – Keep out of reach of children.
- P271 – Use only outdoors or in well-ventilated areas.
- P410 – Protect from sunlight.
For further information visit: www.hse.gov.uk/ghs/index.htm