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Why GHS Should be Implemented

GHS or globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals developed by the UN and which are being implemented by different countries, has the purpose of providing greater safety in handling, storage, and transportation of hazardous, extremely hazardous or less risky chemicals.

The authorities in different countries are the ones in charge of implementing GHS in their own countries. Some countries implement the GHS fully but there are also that already have their own regulations in place and so they only need to blend it with the GHS. There are some countries that have implemented GHS. The implementation of GHS has not been completed in some countries while there are others that have not even started but are to implement it in the near future. There are many benefits of GHS implementation for cross-border trade in chemicals.

With the implementation of GHS, chemicals will be transported, handled, and stored with greater safety. Accidents will be fewer.

It will be possible to have online electronic data management, controls, tracking and integration into ERP, if these classifications and labeling are uniform for all countries.

With GHS implementation, chemicals will be handled and transported with greater safety such that there will be no mishaps and which will prevent accidents that can threaten life and the environment.

Safety data sheets are what makes GHS implementation workable. SDS is required for every manufacturer, dealer, or distributor or chemicals and if they have an existing data sheet, then they should upgrade it to a GHS SDS. In the GHS documentation, there are many categories, and subcategories as well as definitions of hazards, and this is why this a very complex process. If some is to handle the GHS SDS, it has to be a professional with extensive experience and knowledge of the field especially in international compliance.

Professionals should also be chosen for GHS SDS for international trade. It is important that traders be compliant with local regulations since many local regulatory agencies have implemented their own regulations. For example, US manufacturers and exports need to comply with OSHA hazard communications standards that were implemented by OSHA. Exporting to the EU countries would mean that US manufacturers need to comply with EU regulations. It is important for exporters to be fully compliant with the method of GHS implementation that the foreign countries require.

When categories or sub categories have been chosen, the SDS which has 16 sections have to be presented clearly. It is important that documents be translated into the local language if one is to export to a foreign country.

The best person to hand SDS, indentify label elements that are required, create new SDS to ensure full compliance, carry out composition review and assessment of raw materials, provide consultative guidelines, author SDS, and translate into various languages, is a professional with expertise, experience, and knowledge of regulations of various countries.

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