GHS stands for the Globally Harmonised System of the classification and labelling of substances and mixtures. GHS was invented by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992 (Agenda 21, Sec. 19B). In Europe, GHS is adopted by the CLP Regulation (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) EG No. 1272/2008.
GHS works on a modular design principle, from which the CLP Regulation uses certain modules. Outside the EU, the country-specific transpositions of GHS apply.
All chemicals are affected by this CLP Regulation - only cosmetic and medicinal products are not affected by the regulation.
The purpose of GHS is to achieve a worldwide unified system for the classification and labelling of all chemical substances and mixtures. This is a major benefit to ensure human and environmental safety. The new identification system serves to identify hazardous chemicals and to inform all users about the associated dangers. Harmonised with the law governing the transport of hazardous goods, this also faciliates global trade.
The most significant changes are the nine new hazard pictograms. The symbols are similar to the "old" ones, as they only have a new colour and form. On all product labels, where there used to be the familiar black symbols on an orange background, there is now a similar symbol with a red frame on a white background.
Additionally two completely new hazard pictograms have been introduced:
Indication of a health risk
Indication of a severe health risk
Together with the new hazard pictograms, new signal words have been introduced:
There are differences between the regulations for classification in the former Dangerous Substances Directive and the CLP Regulation. The CLP Regulation is stricter than the regulations in the the former guidelines - it is possible that a few products get a stricter or an additional hazard pictogram.
As one of the leading companies in this industry, schülke will implement the GHS/CLP system as soon as possible. Gradually, schülke will change all the affected products in the next few months. By 1 June 2015, schülke will have changed all the relevant products which we manufacture.
The CLP Regulation has deliberately given a period of two years for all these changes. During this period, products with the former labelling regulations, but also products with the new CLP labelling, are allowed to be delivered to customers. This period is necessary so that, for example, all traders can use up their stock.