Gulf Countries Want Harmonized Regulations Based on the Fifth Edition of the GHS

The Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates seek to develop common regulations based on the fifth edition of the GHS. The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Standardization Organization (GSO), a standardization organization of the member states and Yemen, has published a draft regulation that the member states can react to until November 26.

With the regulation, the Gulf countries standardize the requirements for safety data sheets and for the labeling and classification of chemicals based on the fifth edition of the GHS. Both must be written in English and local Arabic language.

The planned regulation does not cover the following categories of GHS Version 5: 

  • Aspiration hazard, category 2
  • Acute toxicity, category 5
  • Acute aquatic toxicity, category 2 and 3
  • Serious eye damage and eye irritation: Only category 1 and 2 are adopted, not 2A or 2B 

Otherwise, the norms reflect the requirements of the harmonized classification list in Table 3.1 of Part 3 of Annex VI of the EU’s  CLP Regulation.

The new regulation is being driven by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) in the region. The association issued a position paper on the law last year, encouraging standardization of safety procedures. Up to now, manufacturers and importers have had to deal with various legal frameworks. Many companies have followed the requirements of the EU’s CLP regulation, while other have followed the OSHA regulations of the United States or the WHMIS regulations of Canada as a standard. The Association stated that the various approaches have cause confusion about hazards along the supply chain and encourage safety and environmental risks.

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