Proposal to change the classification system for hazardous substances in New Zealand

Your views are sought on the EPA’s proposal to update the current classification framework for hazardous substances to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), Revision 7 (2017).

The GHS is an internationally agreed system developed by the United Nations to classify chemicals and communicate their hazards through labels and safety data sheets. If adopted, it will ensure an internationally-aligned classification system for hazardous substances that facilitates trade, increases efficiency in chemicals management, and enhances the effectiveness of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

If GHS 7 is adopted, a new EPA Classification Notice will be issued that incorporates GHS 7 by reference. This Notice would align with the EPA Labelling and Safety Data Sheet Notices, which already require compliance with the GHS.

Having the classification system and compliance requirements aligned will reduce complexity for everyone. We see a lot of benefits to adopting GHS, but are also mindful that there are costs and resource implications for others in doing this, and this is one of the areas we are hoping to get feedback on. There are also a range of technical proposals we are seeking input on, for example which particular parts of the GHS we should adopt in New Zealand.

We believe that this consultation document will be of specific interest to applicants for new hazardous substances approvals, producers of safety data sheets, importers and manufacturers, industry organisations, relevant health sector bodies, Non-Governmental Organisations, and other regulators especially those that administer legislation that refers to the current HSNO classification system.

The consultation document

Read the consultation document (pdf 1.27MB)

Make a submission

You can make a submission using our online form.

Submissions close at 5pm on 9 January 2020.

Date published: 29 October 2019