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Hazardous substances system world class

2 August 2006 Media Statement

Minister: hazardous substances system world class

Thanks to new Group Standards for managing hazardous substances, New Zealand now has one of the best systems in the world, Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

From 1 July this year, all hazardous substances in New Zealand have been governed by The Hazardous Substances Act 1996 (HSNO). The Dangerous Goods Act and Toxic Substances Act cease to apply.

Over the past few years approximately 5000 products of various types were transferred from old legislation to the new Act. These include dangerous goods, pesticides and veterinary medicines, and more recently over 118,000 notified toxic substances (NOTS).

“This puts us in an excellent position internationally. New Zealand is now a world leader in its comprehensive approach to hazardous substance management. We have fully adopted the United Nations globally harmonised system of classification,” Mr Benson-Pope said.

“These innovative group standards set a benchmark for the safe management of hazardous substances throughout their life-cycle.

“I would personally like to thank the hundreds of business people and larger industry groups for their cooperation and patience to achieve the transfer of hazardous substances to the new Group Standards under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.

“The Environmental Risk Management Authority’s (ERMA) pragmatism, perseverance and commitment to the transfer project, is admirable, and industry played a significant part and I appreciate their encouragement and on-going involvement.

“The completion of transfer on 1 July was the result of many years of hard work and will improve the protection of our health and environment, while allowing us to benefit from well managed substances,” Mr Benson-Pope said,

The new group standards allow two years for importers, manufacturers and users of hazardous substances to progressively implement group standard conditions.

ENDS

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