UNECE Releases GHS Meeting Report on its 38th Session

Posted on: January 10, 2020

by Darlene Susa-Anderson

Test tubes with hazard labels - SVHC in Articles Enforcement Project Report PublishedOn January 8, 2020, the UN released its ‘Report of the Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals’ for its 38th session. This report summarizes the December 11-13, 2019 meeting held in Geneva and can be found at: .

Experts from 19 countries, observers from 2 countries and representatives from 12 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated in the sessions which were chaired by Ms. Maureen Ruskin of US-OSHA.

As is customary, draft amendments to the eighth revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and the Manual of Tests and Criteria are found in Annex I of this report with corrections to the current 8th revised edition found in Annex II of this report.

Among the agreed to amendments were deletion of the term ‘and safety characteristics’ found in the Section 9 heading and revision of P230 from ‘Keep wetted with…’ to ‘Keep diluted with…’.

Among the agreed to corrections to the current 8th revised edition is the addition of P231 (Section 3 of Annex 3) to the Prevention column of Pyrophoric Liquids and Pyrophoric Solids.

Please consult Annexes I and II of the report to see further amendments/corrections.

Pending proposals to be discussed at future sessions include: testing of oxidizing substances, use of non-animal testing methods for classification of health hazards, and the addition of viscosity criteria for classification of mixtures.

Disappointingly, the work on Nanomaterials had no progress as the current lead of France solicited help from other delegations.

Draft amendments from the 37 through 40th sessions inclusive will form the basis for the changes to the eighth revised edition culminating in a ninth revised edition of the GHS which is expected to be published in 2021.

ChemADVISOR Article

Recommended Action Items:

  • Review Annexes I and II to determine impact if any on products and software
  • Stay alert to future discussions on practical labelling issues, the possible development of a list of chemicals classified in accordance with GHS and digitalization of hazard information
  • Participate in classification and/or SDS authoring training


Link to all reports of the Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals:



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