GHS is a programme at UN level that aims to achieve global harmonization in the classification and labelling of chemicals, and thus to improve the protection of human health and the environment during their transport and use. It creates a common regulatory framework and determines the information that must be included on product labels and in safety data sheets, in order to ensure effective management of chemicals, particularly in the area of hazard prevention.
In Europe, GHS is implemented through Regulation (EC) Nr. 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (GHS-EU = CLP).
The CLP Regulation entered into force on the 20th January, 2009. It will replace Directives 67/548/EWG (Dangerous Substances Directive, DSD) and 1999/45/EG (Dangerous Preparations Directive, DPD) after a transition period.
Switzerland adopted the European Regulation and added its own national requirements (ChemV, SR 813.11). Saftey data sheets in Switzerland need to be translated into the customers preferred language (German, French or Italian).
Since December 1, 2010, safety data sheets for substances must state the classification and labelling required by CLP. The transition period for mixtures requiring classification ends on the 31st May, 2015. Beyond this date, classification and labelling according to CLP is also obligatory for mixtures.
Even after the 4th revision of the ChemV it is mandatory in Switzerland to specify the classification of substances according to the Substance Directive. Both classifications need to be completed by June 1, 2015.
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