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New Zealand Proposes Adoption of GHS Revision 7 Classification System

  •   7 Nov 2019
  •    Horace Wang
  •    605
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    Takehome:

    • New Zealand is consulting on the proposed adoption of the GHS Revision 7 classification system, aiming to increase the efficiency of chemical management, and enhance the effectiveness of the HSNO Act.
    • In the consultation notice, the proposed changes in classification are detailed, together with the introduction of GHS 7 and the current HSNO classification framework. An exposure draft of the new Classification Notice has been released for public comments too. 

    On 29th October, New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) issued a notice seeking public feedback on the proposal to change the classification system for hazardous substances in New Zealand [1]. The main target of the proposal is to update the current classification framework for hazardous substances to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), Revision 7 (2017) [2]. Public comments shall be submitted using an online form before 9th January 2020. 

    In the consultation document, EPA first introduces the benefits of adopting the GHS classification system. On one hand, adopting the GHS 7 system will ensure New Zealand has an internationally-aligned classification system for hazardous substances that facilitates trade. On the other hand, it can also increase efficiency in chemical management and enhances the effectiveness of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996. However, the incompatibility of the new classification system to related industries is also predictable. So transitional provisions are proposed to give stakeholders time to adjust to the new classification system. 

    EPA also concludes the consultation focuses in the document, including: 

    • the new EPA Classification Notice
    • the application of GHS 7 building blocks
    • the concentration cut-off values for classification of mixtures
    • replacing the current HSNO classification subclasses for terrestrial ecotoxicity (9.2, 9.3 and 9.4) and 9.1D biocides with a classification category “substances that are ecotoxic in the terrestrial environment”
    • the additional two-year transitional period which is to be included in the EPA Labelling Notice, Safety Data Sheet Notice, and Packaging Notice 

    Should the decision to adopt GHS 7 be made, a new EPA Classification Notice will be issued that incorporates the GHS 7 by reference. This Notice would align with the EPA Labelling and Safety Data Sheet Notices, which already require compliance with the GHS. An exposure draft of the new Classification Notice is attached in the document, which is one of the consultation focuses as mentioned above. For more information, please click here to read the consultation document. 

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