GHS Hazard Classification and Compliance Facilitates International Trade

 The reason to adopt GHS hazard classification standards and put in place internationally accepted documentation and labeling is simple enough, especially in helping promote international trade. Labels on containers are the primary means to identify the hazardous nature of chemicals contained within. In the earlier system or where exporters follow old methods, a container may have different labels with confusing warning text and symbols. Some of these might not be acceptable to the country where the chemical is exported, and it may be misinterpreted by customs authorities. They may then detain or hold up the shipment. Buyers may be aware of this fact and may insist on the latest labeling. Each day a shipment is held up it adds to the cost since logistics companies charge for warehousing and, if there is an inordinately long delay, the added cost will result in a loss either for the seller or buyer of that chemical. Given this risk, buyers may insist on suppliers complying with regulations of their country. Manufacturers would then have to go to extra effort and expense to prepare and affix multiple labels. If they do not, they risk losing orders.

GHS brings in a globally harmonized system of classification of hazardous chemicals that should simplify the task and reduce costs for those engaged in chemical trade. There are over 100 different communication regulations for chemical products worldwide. Compliance with all such regulations or with country-specific regulation is expensive and time-consuming, a reason why suppliers may not entertain orders from such geographic regions. GHS compliance in both countries of origin and compliance makes it easier for seller and buyer and reduces their burden and costs. OSHA has found that GHS SDS compliance facilitates international trade in chemicals where hazards have been standardized and identified as such on an international basis. EHS Compliance

A side benefit of such standardization is that it also helps logistics companies and their employees. Logistics and warehousing companies routinely train their employees in recognizing and interpreting labels. A unified system of labeling helps the employees of logistics companies carry out their task efficiently. It also helps those engaged in emergency answering services such as in the case of spills, burns or accidents and takes immediate action that saves lives, prevents extensive damage to property and the environment. GHS hazard grouping covers physical hazards, health hazards, and environmental hazards, easily identifiable in labels and from the documentation. Safety Data Sheets

GHS SDS is not a monumental undertaking. Even if a company deals with hundreds of products for which they have current MSDS these documents can be updated to internationally acceptable SDS documentation and labeling with the help of experts who may also assist with conversion to electronic forms and regulatory compliance with regulations of countries with which the supplier has trade connections. MSDS Software

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