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Does Your Country Limit the Number of Precautionary Statements on GHS Labels?

By Little Pro on 2016-10-10 Views:  Update:2017-01-18

Due to the limited size of a label, some countries have limited the number of precautionary statements on the label to make it more readable. This is very helpful when you prepare a label for a hazardous mixture with multiple hazardous constituents or a substance with multiple hazards. In this article, we intend to give you an overview of GHS labeling requirements in various countries with a focus on whether the number of precautionary statements can be reduced on GHS labels for hazardous chemicals.

EU

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: Yes, mandatory.
  • Precautionary statements on labels: No more than 6 precautionary statements shall appear on the label unless they are necessary to reflect the nature and the severity of the hazards.
  • Limit on the number of hazardous constituents on labels: No more than 4 chemical names should be provided on the label for a mixture, unless necessary due to the nature and severity of the hazards.
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: ECHA CLP FAQ

USA

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: No
  • Precautionary statements on labels: OSHA requires all of the appropriate precautionary statements to appear on the label.  However, OSHA does allow for some flexibility when identifying the appropriate precautionary statement(s) for labels. For example, OSHA allows precautionary statements to be combined or consolidated to save label space. In addition, where a chemical is classified for a number of hazards, and the precautionary statements are similar, the most stringent must be included on the label and the less stringent may be omitted. Finally, if the chemical manufacturer, importer, or responsible party can demonstrate that a precautionary statement is inappropriate for a specific chemical, it may omit the precautionary statement from the label.
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional
  • Reference: OSHA Hazcom FAQ

Canada

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: No
  • Precautionary statements on labels: All required precautionary statements and hazard statements must be included on labels except for small packages (<=100mL).
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: WHMIS 2015 FAQ

China

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: No
  • Precautionary statements on labels: All precautionary statements must be included on labels except for small packages (<=100mL)
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: GB15258-2009

Japan

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: No
  • Precautionary statements on labels: All precautionary statements and hazard statements must be included on labels, even for small packages.
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: GHS in Japan.

Korea

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements and pictograms: Yes, advisory.
  • Precautionary statements on labels: Up to 6 precautionary statements if there are 7 or more precautionary statements. A sentence pointing to SDS for full statements shall be added. Hazard and precautionary statements can be omitted from labels for small containers (<=100mL).
  • Pictogram: Up to 4 pictograms if there are 5 or more pictograms.
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: MoEL Public Notice No. 2016-19

Taiwan

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: No
  • Precautionary statements on labels: All precautionary statements and hazard statements must be included on labels except for small packages (<=100mL).
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: GHS in Taiwan

Australia

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: Yes, advisory.
  • Precautionary statements on labels: Not all precautionary statements need to be included on the label. As a guide, a maximum of between 6 and 10 precautionary statements should appear on the label, depending on the nature and severity of the hazards.
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Not allowed.
  • Reference: COP Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals

Malaysia

  • Limit on the number of precautionary statements: Yes, mandatory.
  • Precautionary statements on labels: Not more than 6 precautionary statements shall appear on the label, unless necessary to reflect the nature and the severity of the hazards.
  • Hazard and precautionary statements can be omitted from GHS labels for small containers (<=125mL).
  • H codes and p codes on labels: Optional.
  • Reference: GHS in Malaysia

Summary

  • EU, Korea, Australia and Malaysia have limited the number of precautionary statements on labels.
  • In addition, EU has limited the number of hazardous constituents on labels while Korea has limited the number of pictograms on labels.
  • Australia does not allow the use of precautionary statement codes on labels.
  • Most countries allow more labelling elements to be omitted from GHS labels for small packages. Please read: GHS labeling for small containers.

Note: It is generally required that all hazard statements, precautionary statements (except duplicate ones) and hazardous constituents be given in SDSs because there is no limit on the length of a SDS.

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