Canada Implements GHS (February 2015)

Health Canada published a final rule implementing GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) in Canada on February 11, 2015. The implementation will be phased in over the next several years, and Canada’s adoption of GHS will be similar to OSHA’s in the United States.

Canada has outlined the following implementation deadlines by which companies will need to comply with the new GHS requirements in Canada:

Canada GHS Schedule
Manufacturers and Importers               June 1, 2017
Distributors June 1, 2018
Employers December 1, 2018

More Information
Canada GHS Final Rule
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Background Information
Implementation of Hazardous Products Regulations
In December 2011, an initiative was announced as part of the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan. The initiative involved the implementation of GHS for Canada’s workplace hazardous chemicals sector, which would be aligned with the United States’ approach. In order to implement GHS, the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) must be repealed and replaced with the new Hazardous Product Regulations (HPR).

HPR would implement the GHS hazard classification criteria and hazard communication materials (labels and safety data sheets). HPR has been aligned with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). HPR would also repeal the Ingredient Disclosure List and differ from CPR in five broad areas:

    ▲ Create a new approach to establishing the classification of workplace hazardous chemicals by integrating the relevant provisions of GHS with the current manner of establishing classification under the CPR;

    ▲ Change the physical hazard classes and classification criteria so that they are in alignment with the OSHA HCS;

    ▲ Change the health hazard classes and classification criteria so that they are in alignment with OSHA HCS;

    ▲ Amend hazard communication and other requirements, including labels and safety data sheets, to respect the content and format specifications of GHS, in alignment with OSHA HCS; and

    ▲ Develop exemptions that allow, under specified conditions, an exemption from requirement of the Hazardous Product Act to provide, obtain or prepare a safety data sheet, product label or reduced information on labels and safety data sheets.

Amendment of Existing Regulations

Implementation of GHS would require substantive changes to the following regulations:
    ▲ Food and Drug Regulations

    ▲ Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations

    ▲ Hazardous Materials Information Review Act Appeal Board Procedures Regulations

    ▲Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations (2011)

    ▲ Safety of Human Cells, Tissues and Organs for Transplantation Regulations.

These amendments reflect the proposed terminology and definitions of the proposed HPR (e.g., changing the name of Material Safety Data Sheets to Safety Data Sheets). Despite the consequential amendments, the mechanism to protect confidential business information would continue to function as it currently does.

There would also be changes to two regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA):
    ▲ New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers)

    ▲ Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations

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