Little Pro on 2015-12-30
China has fully implemented GHS for all hazardous substances and mixtures from 1 May 2011. Decree 591 requires manufacturers of hazardous chemicals to classify, label and package chemicals as well as prepare safety data sheets in accordance with relevant national standards. Decree 591 also prohibits distributors from selling hazardous chemicals without SDSs and labels. In addition, GHS SDSs and labels are required by new substance notification under MEP Order 7 and HazChem registration under SAWS Order 53.
Chemical classification criteria and the content and format of SDSs and labels are set by several compulsory national standards (prefixed with "GB") and recommended national standards (prefixed "GB/T") issued between 2008 and 2013. The table below summarizes the latest Chinese national standards that businesses need to follow to classify chemicals and prepare SDSs and labels.
|Safety Data Sheets|
In 2013, the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China (SAC) issued 28 compulsory chemical classification standards (GB 30000.2-2013 to GB 30000.29-2013 Safety rules for classification and labelling of chemicals) and each standard corresponds to one hazard class under GHS. Those standards are fully aligned with UN GHS Rev. 4 and have adopted all building blocks under UN GHS Rev. 4 including aspiration hazards and hazards to the ozone layer.
For those who are interested in knowing chemical classification criteria in China, they may directly refer to the English version of UN GHS Rev. 4 since GB 30000.2~29 are directly translated from UN GHS Rev. 4.
For chemicals listed in the Catalogue of Hazardous Chemicals, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) has published harmonized chemical classifications of those chemicals.Industry must use the classifications given in the guidance or more severe ones to classify their chemicals and prepare SDSs and labels.
GB 15258-2009 General rules for preparation of precautionary label for chemicals has set detailed requirements on the content and format of chemical labels. China has adopted standard GHS label elements (see example given below) and set additional requirements on language, 24h emergency telephone number, and sizes, etc.
For workplace labelling, companies shall refer to GB 30000.30-201x (draft version available). For labelling of consumer products, companies shall refer to a separate standard called "risk-based GHS labelling of consumer product" which is also being drafted by SAC.
There are two important standards specifying the content and format of SDSs in China: GB/T 16483-2008 safety data sheet for chemical products: content and order of sections issued in 2008 and GB/T 17519-2013 Guidance on the compilation of safety data sheet for chemical products issued in 2013. GB/T 16483-2008 specifies the basic content and order of sections in Chinese SDSs while GB/T 17519-2013 provides detailed guidelines on how each section should be compiled in China.
Both GB 15258-2009 and GB/T 17519-2013 have given clear guidance on information disclosure on labels and in SDSs. Hazardous ingredients contributing to the classification of a substance or mixture and their concentration or concentration ranges shall be disclosed. Generic names are acceptable.
For trade secret ingredients, real substance names and CAS numbers can be hidden. However, hazards shall be fully disclosed.
Click here to access all references and resources for China including the English translation of regulations, regulatory lists, national standards and useful links to the websites of competent authorities.
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