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Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

Given the reality of the extensive global trade in chemicals and the need to develop national programs to ensure their safe use, transport and disposal, it was recognized that an internationally-harmonized approach to classification and labelling would provide the foundation for such programs. The new system, which was called "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.



Recently, the third revised edition of the GHS (published in July 2009) has been published taking into account different amendments which concern, inter alia: new provisions for the allocation of hazard statements and for the labelling of small packagings; two new sub-categories for respiratory and skin sensitization; the revision of the classification criteria for long-term hazards (chronic toxicity) to the aquatic environment; and a new hazard class for substances and mixtures hazardous to the ozone layer.

CLP-Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008

On 20 January 2009 the Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures entered into force (Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, OJ L 353). It aligns existing EU legislation to the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS).This new Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging ("CLP Regulation") contributes to the GHS aim that the same hazards will be described and labelled in the same way all around the world. By using internationally agreed classification criteria and labelling elements, it is expected to facilitate trade and to contribute towards global efforts to protect humans and the environment from hazardous effects of chemicals. The new act will complement the REACH Regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. The CLP Regulation will, after a transitional period, replace the current rules on classification, labelling and packaging of substances (Directive 67/548/EEC) and mixtures (Directive 1999/45/EC). The date from which substance classification and labelling must be consistent with the new rules will be 1 December 2010 and for mixtures 1 June 2015.


The experts of ARCHE are ready to guide you through this impressive piece of legislation. For more information contact



World Coal Association

 The World Coal Association really appreciate the high quality delivered by ARCHE on our classification project. We are very pleased with the attention we got from the Arche Team  and we would recommend your services to any other industry group embarking on a similar project.." Aleksandra Tomczak, Policy Manager, World Coal Association.