Charles Chaplin said “Simplicity is not a simple thing” and that is definitely true for GHS harmonized classification.
Dr. Caroline Li of BASF started the day with a GHS introduction of the Asia pacific countries where a few countries have already implemented (China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore) and others who are still working on their regulation (Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand). She also informed the audience of a recently published circular following UN classification by Vietnam.
The day continued with a recurring and appreciated speaker of the of the Austrian Chemicals Industry association, Christian Gründling of FCIO, who showed us many practical examples of where CLP is not yet harmonized in the EU. Updated notifications and the introduction of the potential communication platform by ECHA are expected to bring harmonization a step further. After his presentation, a comment made by one of the members of the advisory committee – ‘crystal clear confusion’ – reminded me of the Charles Chaplin’s Oxymoron (not a chemical) quote.
We also heard from Laurraine Lotter of the Chemical & Allied Industry Association about the way African countries collaborate in adapting their regulations with different challenges. Karon Armstrong of 3M shared with us some aspects of MSDS creation around the globe, where translations are a big challenge for everyone and then it was back to Christian who showed us some serious implications of EU-CLP classification on other regulations like transport, cosmetics, etc.
In summary, companies have to look further than EU-CLP to understand the full impact of harmonized classification. Not simple.