Canada: Federal Budget Provides for GHS Implementation

February 12, 2014

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) welcomes the federal government’s move to amend the Hazardous Products Act, as announced in the 2014-2015 federal budget. This is the first step that Canada needs to take to bring its system for classifying and labelling workplace chemicals in line with similar regulatory changes being made in the United States.

The United Nations has created internationally consistent criteria for communicating about workplace hazardous materials, known as the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Canada and the U.S. agreed to align their respective systems with the GHS by June 1, 2015, as part of their Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan. However, to do this, Canada needs to amend its Hazardous Products Act, and change its Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulations. CIAC expects the federal government to change the WHMIS regulations as part of amending the Hazardous Products Act; this will allow companies to better manage the regulatory changes in Canada and the U.S., and provide them with enough time to comply with the Canadian regulations before they come into effect next year.

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