Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


New Classification System For Hazardous Substances

On 30 April 2021, New Zealand adopted a new classification system for hazardous substances under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO). This new system is the Globally Harmonised System (GHS).

The GHS is an international hazard classification system for chemicals created by the United Nations. The hazards are communicated on labels and safety data sheets including how to safely store, use and dispose of chemicals.

The GHS is used by more than 50 countries, including all of New Zealand’s major trading partners.

Importers, manufacturers and suppliers have four years to update labelling, safety data sheets and packaging for hazardous substances.

There is no change to the classification system used under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

Regulations under HSWA will continue to refer to the current HSNO classification system. This means that there is no change to the workplace requirements for hazardous substances under:

  • the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017
  • the Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016
  • safe work instruments.

WorkSafe’s guidance and approved codes of practice continue to refer to the current HSNO system.

WorkSafe’s Hazardous Substances Calculator refers to both systems. If you have information about the GHS classification of your substance, you can enter it into the Calculator to find out the controls under HSWA that apply to it.

Because the current HSNO system and the new GHS system coexist, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has created a correlation table that shows the equivalent GHS classifications to the current HSNO classifications.

What you need to know

  • Updated EPA notices explain the new product labelling, safety data sheet and packaging requirements. You’re encouraged to comply with the new requirements sooner rather than later.
  • Substances with an individual approval issued after 30 April 2021 must comply with these three notices immediately.
  • Individual approvals issued before 30 April 2021 have a four-year transitional period, through to 30 April 2025, to comply with the updated labelling, safety data sheets and packaging notices.
  • Substances managed under a group standard must also comply with the labelling, safety data sheet and packaging notices by 30 April 2025, regardless of when the substance was imported into or manufactured in New Zealand.

Read the EPA Labelling, Safety Data Sheet and Packaging Notices

What happens to my current approval?

  • You will need to check what approval your substance is assigned to, especially for individual approvals, as some have changed and some no longer exist. More than 5,000 individual approvals have been revoked as they can be managed under one or more group standards.
  • While most group standards have the same scope as the previous group standards a very small number, such as those for aerosols, have changed. Check the group standard that is currently assigned to your substance to ensure it is still appropriate.
  • If the individual approval you use has been revoked, the EPA have suggested a group standard your substance may fit into. However, it’s possible another group standard may be a better fit and you should check this.
  • You must also ensure your self-assignment records are up to date as soon as possible.
  • HSNO approval numbers have not changed, so you do not need to update these.

More information, including the new approval documents, can be found at the following pages:

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mosque Movie, And The Demise Of Netanyahu

Plainly, a whole lot of New Zealanders – including PM Jacinda Ardern - are not on board with They Are Us, the mooted film project intended about the Christchurch mosque shootings. Here’s how the original Hollywood Reporter story described the gist of They Are Us... More>>


Government: To Apologize For Dawn Raids

The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s.
Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>


Trade: EU And UK FTAs Top Of List For First Ministerial Trip Since COVID-19

Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19... More>>

Transport: Clean Car Package To Drive Down Emissions

The Government is taking action in line with the advice of the Climate Change Commission to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles by introducing a range of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target... More>>


Jewish Council: New Zealand Not Immune From Rise In Antisemitism

The representative body of New Zealand Jewry, the NZ Jewish Council (NZJC), has expressed concern about the high number of antisemitic incidents in New Zealand recorded last month. Spokesperson for the NZJC, Juliet Moses, said... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels