As GHS is implemented across the globe, it is important to remember two things: first, not all countries are at the same point in the implementation process and second, not all countries are implementing the same version of GHS. Even those countries who do implement the same version are able to customize GHS to fit their individual needs and preferences.
Within North America, the United States, Canada and Mexico are all at different places in their implementation of GHS. The U.S. published the revised Hazard Communication Standard in 2012 with implementation to be completed by June 1, 2015. Canada’s regulations to address GHS are currently in draft form and are expected to be published by June 2015, with implementation expected to begin in July 2015. And finally, Mexico’s GHS standard (NMX-R-SCFI-2011) was published in June 2011, but the standard is currently not mandatory.
There are some similarities within GHS in North America. For example, the U.S., Canada and Mexico are all implementing UN GHS Revision 3. Canada wants to synchronize implementation with the U.S. to the greatest extent possible and that has resulted in Canada and the U.S. being alike in their approach to the implementation. Both countries decided against the inclusion of the same building blocks: Acute Toxicity, Category 5; Skin Corrosion/Irritation, Category 3; Aspiration Hazard, Category 2; Hazardous to the Aquatic Environment, Acute and Chronic – all categories. Additionally, Canada is expected to include the same additional hazards not documented in the Purple Book as the U.S. did. These include combustible dust, simple asphyxiants and pyrophoric gases. Mexico’s approach was to implement all of the Revision 3 hazard classes and categories in the Purple Book, as is.
Critical Path Services (CPS) and knoell will continue to follow the ever-changing scope of GHS both in North America and worldwide so that we will be able to continue providing our clients with solutions to help them meet their regulatory needs.