Implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) – Consultation 2
Decision Date: 15 October 2020
We have updated New Zealand's hazardous substance classification system to apply Revision 7 (2017) of the GHS.
GHS consultation update
31 May 2021
Update to group standards
On 17 May 2021, we approved minor and technical amendments to correct errors to the Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard and this was gazetted on 31 May 2021.
The Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard has been replaced with the updated version.
17 May 2021
Update to individual approvals
Our Chief Executive approved:
- the reissue of four hazardous substance approvals to update the hazard classifications to GHS 7 classifications. These four individual approvals are updated ahead of the remaining individual approvals to allow them to be processed in a separate reassessment process.
- a minor and technical amendment to two individual approvals. The decision and the tracked changes version can be found below.
The clean versions of these individual approvals, and the four reissued approvals mentioned above, can be found with the other hazardous substance approval documents:
New hazard classification system came into force
The new system came into force on 30 April 2021.
Update to individual approvals
On 22 April 2021, a HSNO decision-making committee approved the reassessment of 222 hazardous substances approvals to update the hazard classifications to GHS 7 classifications.
On 16 April 2021, our Chief Executive approved the reissue of 3,093 hazardous substance approvals to update the hazard classifications to GHS 7 classifications.
These approvals also may have controls updated to reflect the role WorkSafe NZ plays in the regulation of hazardous substances in New Zealand.
After these approvals were reissued, we identified a minor error in the following approvals:
- Soluble concentrate containing 520 to 540 g/L hydrogen cyanamide, HRC000001
- Hydrogen cyanamide, HSR002949
We are in the process of amending these approval documents and will publish them when this has been completed.
On 16 April 2021, our Chief Executive approved the revocation of 5,360 hazardous substance approvals as they could be covered by a group standard.
There remains approximately 300 individual approvals that are yet to be reissued or reassessed to include GHS 7 hazard classifications. These will be updated soon and we will publish those when we complete them. For those who are using these approvals, please continue to use the current controls and WorkSafe New Zealand rules until new controls become available.
For more information about these changes, to look up the fate of any individual approval and to view the new approval documents, go to the following page:
We have produced an Excel spreadsheet showing the fate of all approvals, including the previous and current hazard classification.
24 March 2021
Update to group standards
On 11 March 2021, a HSNO decision-making committee approved the issue of Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard (HSR002573) that is based on GHS 7 classifications. It was not updated last year as it was undergoing a separate amendment process to incorporate changes to the Stockholm Convention.
On 17 March 2021, our General Manager, Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, approved minor and technical amendments to make minor changes to correct errors and minor in effort amendments to group standards and this was gazetted on 23 March 2021. The group standards affected and the changes are:
- Dental Products (Subsidiary Hazard) Group Standard 2020
The phrase “8% or more hydrogen peroxide” in Part 1 clause 1(2) was replaced with “less than 7% hydrogen peroxide”.
- Veterinary Medicines (Limited Pack Size, Finished Dose) Group Standard 2020 and Veterinary Medicines (Non-dispersive Closed System Application) Group Standard 2020
The subsidiary hazard “skin corrosion Category 2 or Category 3” was replaced with “skin corrosion Category 1B or Category 1C”.
- 65 corrosive group standards
The hazard classification “skin irritation Category 2” was added to the subsidiary hazards.
The group standards have been replaced with the updated versions.
30 October 2020
Issue of EPA notices
On 15 October 2020, the EPA Board signed off two new EPA notices:
- the Hazardous Substances (Hazard Classification) Notice 2020
- the EPA Notices (Amendments and Revocations) Notice 2020.
The EPA Notices (Amendments and Revocations) Notice outlines the amendments made to the following six EPA notices:
- Hazardous Substances (Labelling) Notice 2017
- Hazardous Substances (Safety Data Sheets) Notice 2017
- Hazardous Substances (Packaging) Notice 2017
- Hazardous Substances (Disposal) Notice 2017
- Hazardous Substances (Hazardous Property Controls) Notice 2017
- Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers Notice) 2015.
The new and amended notices come into force on 30 April 2021.
Approval of new group standards
On 19 October 2020, a HSNO decision-making committee approved the issue of 207 new group standards that are based on GHS 7 classifications. The committee also approved the revocation of 209 group standards that are based on the 2001 HSNO classification system.
The Fire Fighting Chemicals Group Standard (HSR002573) is undergoing a separate amendment process to incorporate changes to the Stockholm Convention which are to be implemented into New Zealand law. This amendment should be completed in December 2020. This group standard will be updated again early next year to apply the GHS 7 classifications.
The new 2020 group standards come into force on 30 April 2021.
Submission analysis report
We received 28 submissions on GHS Consultation 2 which we have analysed and reviewed. The Submissions Analysis Report has a summary of the submissions and our recommendations on the proposals.
Following consideration of submissions, we made a number of changes to the proposed GHS 7 classifications and fates of some substances listed in Appendix 6 to the consultation document.
We have released some more information about the changes to GHS 7 and how this may affect you.
19 August 2020
The submission period closed on 4 August 2020.
We are currently working through the public submissions we received. We will update this page once we have analysed and reviewed them. You can email us at HSnotices@epa.govt.nz.
We consulted on the intention to adopt the GHS 7 in October 2019 and are now requesting feedback on the next stage of the project, which involves updating existing hazardous substance individual approvals and group standards to convert their current HSNO classifications to GHS classifications.
We are also revoking a number of duplicate approvals, updating the controls on approvals issued before 1 December 2017 to bring them into line with the health and safety reforms that came into force on that date, and make other minor changes to a small number of group standards.
Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms (this appendix is contained in the main consultation document (PDF, 1.1MB)
Appendix 2: October 2019 consultation (PDF, 1.3MB)
Appendix 3: Read the Submissions Analysis Report from the October 2019 consultation (PDF, 815KB)
Appendix 4: Exposure drafts of the new and amended Notices
Appendix 5: Proposed group standards
Appendix 6: Proposed classifications and fates of approved substance (XLXS, 1.7MB)
Appendix 7: Proposed controls mapping spreadsheet (XLXS, 662KB)
Proposed Group Standards
We have updated the 2017 group standards to refer to GHS 7 classifications rather than the old alpha-numeric HSNO classifications, and have proposed some changes to a small number of group standards.
Two documents are provided for each proposed group standard, a 'clean' version and a second version with tracked changes to indicate where modifications, additions and deletions have been made.
GHS 1 consultation
Information about our first consultation, which was open for submission in October 2019, is available at the link below:
GHS revision 7
You can read Revision 7 of the GHS on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe website: