Global regulatory update: What’s happening with GHS?

Categories: Featured, REACH Registration Services, Regulatory Advisory Services, WERCS Studio Software May 31, 2016

Revision 6 of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling was published last year, but questions and confusion persist. Because implementation is voluntary, and designed to serve as a set of building blocks for country-specific chemical regulation, the extent of adoption varies widely. This can make it extremely difficult for regulatory compliance departments to keep up. As a leading provider of regulatory compliance services and automation tools, it’s our job to stay on top of nuanced changes to the global landscape. Here’s part one of our recap of some notable country/region-specific chemical regulation updates*. Read part two here.


  • Proposition 65 in in the process of being revised
  • Legislators recently released proposed amendments to Article 6, Clear and Reasonable warnings
  • The proposed amendment would change the current “safe harbor” message to improve the meaningfulness of warnings
  • Once enacted, companies will have 2 years to comply


  • WHMIS 2015 came into force in February 2015 to incorporate GHS
  • These amendments include three major regulations: Hazardous Products Act (HPA); Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR); and Hazardous Material Information Review Act (HMIRA)
  • While the amendments are based on GHS Revision 5, there are some special additions/considerations
  • Companies should include English and French in labels and SDS (SDS can be two documents)
  • Until May 31, 2017, suppliers (manufacturers and importers) can use WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
  • For more information and the full timeline, click here


  • Mexico is not known to have chemical management system, but published a National Inventory of Chemical Substances (INSQ) in January 2013 (no legal framework around it)
  • The country adopted all GHS building blocks based on Revision 5, and this will be effective in October 2018
  • One nuance: there are point-size requirements for the GHS pictograms, based on the distance the user/reader would likely be from the label

See GHS related updates from the EU and China in part two of our update.

Need help navigating these regulations and automating your hazard communications? Contact us today.


*While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, no representation is made about the content and suitability of such information for any purpose, and all warranties are disclaimed. Laws and regulations change frequently. Always consult the relevant original regulatory references to determine your compliance requirements. In no event shall the author be liable for any special indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of income or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other action, arising in connection with the use or performance of this information.


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