GHS Mandatory for All OECD States

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has made the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) mandatory for member states and prospective members.

The implications of the decision are limited, said Bob Diderichs, director of the OECD’s environmental division, in a conversation with ChemicalWatch, given that all OECD states have already implemented the system. New applicants are also required to implement GHS regulations before joining the organization.

The obligation is part of a more extensive law that seeks to reduce the risks of chemicals across the OECD and that was approved by the OECD Council at the end of May.

The new law replaces the previous law of 1991. The old law required member states to “cooperatively investigate” chemicals with a high production volume (HPV) and thereby identify the health and environmental hazards of the substance. Individual countries were to establish appropriate measures and programs to minimize the risks.

With the new law, the OECD seeks to achieve harmonized and collaborative assessment methods and provide better dissemination of information.

The OECD currently has 36 member states. Columbia became the newest member in May.

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