Consultation opens on changes to chemical classification and labelling

29 October 2019

We are proposing to internationally align New Zealand’s hazardous substance classification system by adopting the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS).

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.

New Zealand’s current classification system was implemented in 2001. It was based on a pre-published version of the GHS that was first introduced in 2003. Whilst our system was considered world-leading at the time, the EPA has identified a number of benefits in updating to a later version of the GHS. They include reducing complexity for stakeholders, international alignment that facilitates trade, and enhanced effectiveness of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO).

We propose to adopt revision 7 of the GHS, which was published in 2017.

Adopting the GHS will not change the hazardous substance risk assessment process that is set out by the HSNO Act.

Submissions close at 5pm on 9 January 2020.

Read the consultation document (pdf, 1.27MB)