The "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)", addresses classification of chemicals by types of hazard and proposes harmonized hazard communication elements, including labels and safety data sheets.
It aims at ensuring that information on physical hazards and toxicity from chemicals be available in order to enhance the protection of human health and the environment during the handling, transport and use of these chemicals.
The GHS also provides a basis for harmonization of rules and regulations on chemicals at national, regional and worldwide level, an important factor also for trade facilitation. While governments, regional institutions and international organizations are the primary audiences for the GHS, it also contains sufficient context and guidance for those in industry who will ultimately be implementing the requirements which have been adopted. The first edition of the GHS, which was intended to serve as the initial basis for the global implementation of the system, was adopted in December 2002 and published in 2003. Since then, the GHS has been updated, revised and improved every two years as needs arise and experience is gained in its implementation.
GHS is currently being implemented around the world. Information about the status of implementation of the GHS by country is available (in English only) on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe website.
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