New Zealand's EPA has published all ten of its planned Notices dealing with the management of hazardous substances. Overall, they consolidate existing chemical regulations.
However, there are a number of significant changes. These include updates to labelling and safety data sheet (SDS) rules so they are more in line with the country's main trading partners and with the fifth revision of the GHS.
The Notices come into force on 1 December. However, companies will then be given time to adapt.
Companies must comply with labelling and SDS changes from 1 December 2021, where substances are covered by group standards.
Where they have individual approvals, labelling and GHS can remain as is until this is legally reissued. There will then be between two and four years to comply. All individual approvals issued after 1 December must follow the new GHS and labelling requirements immediately.
Labelling, SDS and packaging changes
Overall the changes are to bring labelling and SDS more in line with the fifth revision of the GHS. Labelling using these elements will be mandatory.
GHS-compliant SDSs and labels from Canada, Europe, Australia or the US can be used in New Zealand, so long as they contain information specific to New Zealand. However, they must record the country and legal instrument being relied upon and keep records for at least two years after the substance is no longer available.
The New Zealand Health and Safety Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), or GHS classification can be the reference in the SDS. However, a "correlation table" to relate the two must also be included. The HSNO approval number must still be listed in section 15 of the SDS.
Additionally, the EPA Notice on packaging now specifies that dangerous goods packaging must comply with the requirements of the UN Model Regulations and be type-tested and certified by the relevant national authority. For packaging made in New Zealand, this means by an accredited testing laboratory.
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