EPA Notices for hazardous substances

EPA Notices contain many of the rules you must follow for managing hazardous substances. The Notices and some accompanying guidance are listed here.

The following EPA Notices on hazardous substances were published on 1 December 2017. The Notices contain the rules for managing hazardous substances and explain what is needed.

See the What rules have changed? section for more information about when these Notices come into force for group standards and for individual approvals of hazardous substances.

If you are going to use a hazardous substance in a workplace, consult with WorkSafe New Zealand to ensure you are meeting their requirements.

Hazardous Substances (Minimum Degrees of Hazard) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice contains information for checking whether a substance should be defined as hazardous, for different types of hazard. It sets out the minimum degrees of hazard needed before a substance must be considered as a hazardous substance under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO).

Hazardous Substances (Minimum Degrees of Hazard) Notice 2017 (PDF 766kB)

If your substance is hazardous, as defined in this Notice, you must then classify it according to the information in the Hazardous Substances (Classification) Notice.

What’s changed?

The rules for determining whether a substance is hazardous have not changed since the new rules came into effect on 1 December 2017.

Hazardous Substances (Classification) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice sets out the classification system for hazardous substances in New Zealand, and provides the criteria for each hazard classification.

Hazardous Substances (Classification) Notice 2017 (pdf 1.07MB)

What’s changed?

Nothing. The Hazardous Substances (Classification) Notice is essentially a copy of the previous Hazardous Substances (Classification) Regulations 2001, and includes some updated references to the legislation. The rules for classifying hazardous substances have not changed since the new rules came into effect on 1 December 2017. 

Hazardous Substances (Labelling) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice sets out the rules for the information that must be included on the labels of hazardous substances. It combines a number of rules currently spread across different sets of regulations, and is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) provisions.

The Notice also allows compliant labels from Australia, EU, Canada, and USA to be used, as long as certain New Zealand specific information is also included.

Hazardous Substances (Labelling) Notice 2017 (pdf 692KB)

What’s changed?

From 1 December 2017, the Hazardous Substances (Labelling) Notice requires the GHS pictograms, signal word, and hazard and precautionary statements to be on the label. This is a change from the previous requirements of the Identification Regulations, but is similar to the labelling requirements for group standards.  

Read our quick guide to ensure you are complying with the rules:

What's Changed? Labelling of Hazardous Substances (pdf 201KB) 

When do I need to comply?

The timeline for complying with the Hazardous Substances (Labelling) Notice depends on when the substance was approved, and whether or not it is covered under a group standard.  See the What rules have changed? section for more information.

Hazardous Substances (Packaging) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice sets the rules for the packaging of hazardous substances, including the rules for child-resistant packaging. This notice combines and updates rules previously set in the Hazardous Substances (Packaging) Regulations 2001 and group standards.

Hazardous Substances (Packaging) Notice 2017 (pdf 709KB)

What’s changed?

From December 1 2017, rule changes apply to packaging requirements for some classifications of hazard so they better align with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. 

The provisions for child-resistant packaging have been extended, but equivalent child-resistant packaging requirements from Australia, EU, Canada, and the USA will be allowable. 

We have also incorporated two new provisions relating to misleading packaging of consumer goods.

Read our quick guide to ensure you’re complying with the rules:

What's changing - packaging of hazardous substances (pdf 201KB)

When do I need to comply?

The timeline for complying with the Hazardous Substances (Packaging) Notice depends on when the substance was approved, and whether or not it is covered under a group standard.  See the What rules have changed? section for more information about timelines.

Hazardous Substances (Safety Data Sheets) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice sets the rules for the format and content of a safety data sheet. It is similar to the provisions of the existing group standard.

Hazardous Substances (Safety Data Sheet) Notice 2017 (pdf 688KB)

What’s changed?

From December 1 2017, all safety data sheets need to be in the 16-header format in line with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) provisions. Either the HSNO or GHS classification must be provided in Section 2 of the safety data sheet, along with the GHS signal word, and hazard and precautionary statements. The Notice includes more details on the specific information required in some sections of the safety data sheet. 

The Notice will allow GHS-compliant safety data sheets from Australia, EU, Canada, and USA, as long as some New Zealand specific information is also included.

Read our quick guide to ensure you’re complying with the rules:

What's changing - safety data sheets (pdf 312KB)

When do I need to comply?

The timeline for complying with the Hazardous Substances (Safety Data Sheets) Notice depends on when the substance was approved, and whether or not it is covered under a group standard. See the What rules have changed? section for more information about timelines.

Hazardous Substances (Disposal) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice sets the national minimum standard for the disposal of hazardous substances. It updates disposal provisions in the Hazardous Substances (Disposal) Regulations 2001 and group standards. 

Hazardous Substances (Disposal) Notice 2017 (pdf 539KB)

What’s changed?

The minor changes clarified ambiguous provisions and better aligned to with the new Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations.

We also incorporated a new provision to prohibit the disposal of halogenated organic substances (natural and synthetic chemicals that contain fluorine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine) by low-temperature incineration.

Read our quick guide to ensure you’re complying with the new rules: 

What's changing - disposal of hazardous substances​ (pdf 317KB)

When do I need to comply?

The timeline for complying with the Disposal Notice depends on when the substance was approved, and whether or not it is covered under a group standard. See the What rules have changed? section for more information about timelines.

Hazardous Substances (Hazardous Property Controls) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice is a compilation of several different types of rules from various HSNO Regulations and substance approvals.  It covers two main areas, rules:

  • to protect the general public when using and storing hazardous substances in non-workplaces
  • when using and storing hazardous substances that are known to be harmful to the environment (ecotoxic)—these rules apply in both workplaces and non-workplaces, and many relate to the use of pesticides.

Hazardous Substances (Hazardous Property Controls) Notice 2017 (pdf 1.1MB)

What's changed?

This Notice includes several rules to ensure there are no outstanding areas of risk as a result of the reforms. These are:

  • qualification requirements for users of highly ecotoxic pesticides in certain situations
  • rules to manage the risks from the storage and use of ecotoxic substances in workplaces
  • restriction on supply and use of certain highly hazardous substances to non-workplaces
  • rules for  hazardous substances used or stored in non-workplaces
  • rules about stationary container systems for domestic oil burning installations
  • certification of non-workplaces storing more than 100 kg of LPG
  • rules for filling SCUBA cylinders in non-workplaces.

Read our quick guides to make sure you are following the rules:

Storing or using substances that have ecotoxic properties (pdf 20KB)

Protecting the environment while using pesticides (pdf 194 KB)

Guide for suppliers (pdf 98KB)

When do I need to comply?

Compliance with this Notice depends on when the substance was approved, and whether or not it is covered under a group standard. See the What rules have changed? section for more information about timelines.

EPA's Approved Hazardous Substances with Controls Database lists the rules set under this Notice, find out more here.

Hazardous Substances (Forms and Information) Notice 2017 Plus

This Notice sets out all the information you need to provide to the EPA if you are applying for an approval for a hazardous substance under the HSNO Act. It also includes a form for issuing compliance orders.

Hazardous Substances (Forms and Information) Notice 2017 (pdf 512KB)

What’s changed?

Nothing. Most existing provisions of the Hazardous Substances (Forms and Information) Regulations 2001 have been moved – unchanged – into this Notice.

Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers) Notice 2015 and Amendment Notice 2017 Plus

This set of Notices requires most people or businesses that make or import hazardous substances to provide the EPA with some basic contact information. This information helps us manage hazardous substances in New Zealand and allows us to communicate with manufacturers and importers and keep them up to date and informed.

Your details must be provided to us within 30 days of the first time you import or manufacture a hazardous substance. You will only need to do this once, although you will need to keep us updated if your details change.

The 2017 Amendment requires importers of class 1 explosive substances to apply to the EPA for an import certificate. See the section on applying for an Explosives Import Certificate.

Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers) Notice 2015 (pdf 492KB)

Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers) Amendment Notice 2017 (pdf 589KB)

Questions and answers - Importer and manufacturer information notice

How do I know if I am considered an importer or manufacturer?

This rule applies to anyone who imports or manufactures a hazardous product for a commercial use. Commercial use can mean for sale or trade, but it also applies if you are importing or manufacturing a hazardous substance to use in a business setting – for example, a beautician might import a product to use on clients in his or her salon.

The only case where you would not be required to give us your contact details is if you are importing or manufacturing a product that you will keep for your personal use, and no other purpose.

How do I know if what I import or manufacture is considered a hazardous substance?

It is your responsibility to know if your product is a hazardous substance. This is a broad term, which covers many different products, from soaps and crayons to petrol and explosives.

What will the EPA do with my information?

We will use your information to communicate with you to make sure you are aware of changes to the regime around managing the risks of hazardous substances. It will also help us understand the industry.

What should I do if my details change?

As soon as your details change, you should email the EPA to ask us to update your details. We will need to know your name, address and phone and email contact.

Do international exporters who are sending hazardous substances to New Zealand need to provide their details?

No, the Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers Information) Notice 2015 applies to the New Zealand entity which is importing or manufacturing hazardous substances.

Will laboratories operating under the Code of Practice for Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) and University Exempt Laboratories also need to supply their information if a hazardous substance is being manufactured in the lab?

The Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers Information) Notice 2015 does not apply to small-scale research on hazardous substances under section 33 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.  Section 33 provides an overarching exemption for small-scale use of hazardous substances in research and development or teaching providing specific criteria are met.

Doesn’t the EPA already have this information? Why do I need to provide it again?

The EPA has a large number of stakeholder contact lists, however our data does not indicate whether organisations or people are importers, manufacturers or have some other interest in our work. We need to collect details so we can differentiate importers and manufacturers from other types of businesses we may hold information about and so we can be sure we have a comprehensive list. We will be using your contact information to keep you informed about any new rules or changes you should be aware of.

Do large organisations (eg oil companies) need to provide their details?

If you are a NZ-based organisation and are importing and/or manufacturing hazardous substances then yes, you need to provide the information.

If an organisation or person imports or manufactures hazardous substances assigned to Group Standards will they still need to provide their information?

Yes, the Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers Information) Notice 2015 applies to all importers and manufacturers of hazardous substances other than people making or importing the hazardous substances for personal use.  Remember that if hazardous substances are assigned to group standards a record of assignment must also be kept.

If an organisation or person has imported or manufactured hazardous substances in the past but is no longer importing or manufacturing hazardous substances does it still need to provide its details?

No, you only need to notify us if you import or manufacture a hazardous substance after 19 November 2015. You have 30 days from the time of import or manufacture to provide us your details.  The notice applies to importers and manufacturers of hazardous substances but does not apply to people making or importing the hazardous substances for personal use.

Does EPA require a notification each time we import?

No, the Hazardous Substances (Importers and Manufacturers Information) Notice 2015, only requires you to provide us this information once. However, you do need to notify us if your details change.

Importers and manufacturers must ensure that the hazardous substances they import or manufacture are approved under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

Hazardous Substances (Enforcement Officer Qualifications) Notice 2015 Plus

The Hazardous Substances (Enforcement Officer Qualifications) Notice 2015 sets the qualifications a person needs to be a warranted hazardous substances enforcement officer. Generally, to become a warranted hazardous substance enforcement officer a person must be competent to carry out the responsibilities, functions and duties for this role.

Hazardous Substances (Enforcement Officer Qualifications) Notice 2015 (pdf 537KB)

Guidance on this notice (pdf 396KB)