New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will issue new rules on dealing with hazardous substances in December. In the future, the Authority will do so in the form of notices. The rule changes involve the disposal, labeling, and packaging of hazardous goods along with the form and content of safety data sheets (SDSs).
Regarding classification, New Zealand will continue to use the current ordinance, the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Act of 2015 (HSNO). But for SDSs and labeling, it will adopt elements of the GHS regulations on the content and form of the sheets along with pictograms, signal words, hazards, and safety warnings for the labels.
Organizational changes will also occur. At the end of the year, a specific agency, WorkSafe NZ, will be responsible for workplace safety, while the EPA will expand its competencies and activities. In addition to its current tasks related to the manufacture, importation, and use of hazardous substances, EPA staff will regulate the classification, labeling, and packaging and handle SDS to ensure that:
- Approval is present for the use of hazardous substances
- Products are correctly labeled and packaged and the SDS contains all the required information
- Compliance with the threshold values of specific hazardous materials is maintained
- Bans on the use of persistent organic pollutants are observed
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