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Hazard labels

The Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals had its beginnings in the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio Earth Summit). It is progressively being adopted worldwide, with the first countries to introduce it being New Zealand, Japan and Taiwan in 2008.

It is designed to provide a ‘level playing field’ for hazard communication and establishes international guidelines for:

  • Common form and content of Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Common label language and symbols
  • Common criteria for determining safety, health and environmental hazards

Each country or region has to adopt GHS by harmonising its domestic legislation and, in Europe, this is being achieved through EC Regulation 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures. It replaces Directive 67/548/EEC (substances) and Directive 1999/45/EC (preparations).

There are two deadlines for implementation:

  • 1 December 2010 (substances)
  • 1 June 2015 (mixtures)

Latest update

  • Safety Data Sheets that are compliant with both REACH and CLP will be available as soon as possible after December 1, 2010. 
  • CLP classifications for Shell Chemicals substances are published in the Shell Chemicals REACH and CLP product inventory .
  • CLP classifications for mixtures will become available between early 2011 and 1 June 2015, as they are dependent on the classification of their components, either registered under REACH or notified into the inventory.