GHS: the Status Quo - Current developments towards greater harmonization

29 October, 2019

The declared objective of the Globally Harmonized System of classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) is the protection of human health and the environment by way of an internationally harmonised approach.

Nearly two decades have passed since the World Summit on Sustainable Development encouraged countries upon adoption of the first edition of GHS in 2002 to implement the system as soon as possible. However, according to the UN’s Global Chemicals Outlook II, which was published earlier this year, more than 120 countries had not implemented the GHS as of 2018.

In May 2018 the OECD Council adopted its Act on Co-operative Investigation and Risk Reduction of Chemicals which made it mandatory for its members and accession countries to implement the GHS.


Over the past few years the number of countries that have already or are in the process of implementing GHS, has increased considerably. This process has been fuelled by the activities of the OECD. It can be expected that within the next decade a greater number of countries will follow suit further reducing the gaps in global GHS implementation.

Check out the full article here.

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Dr. Elisabeth Wekel Head of Business Chemicals & Biocides - Product Safety
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