Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021:  Amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations to align with the 7th revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

Title of Regulatory Initiative

Amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations to align with the 7th revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

Enabling Act

Hazardous Products Act

Description

Under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan, Canada and the United States committed to “work together to coordinate the adoption of future updates of the GHS to facilitate common approaches and synchronized implementation in Canada and the United States”.

In order to continue to ensure alignment between our respective hazard classification and communication requirements for workplace chemicals in Canada and the United States, Canada will make necessary updates to the Hazardous Products Regulations.

The objective of the amendments to the Hazardous Products Regulations is to incorporate changes adopted in the 6th and 7th revised editions of the GHS, as well as to amend certain provisions of the regulations to provide greater clarity.

It is important to note that Canada will continue to maintain the current level of worker protection that currently exists.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

This is an initiative under the Canada - United States RCC.  Building on the success of the RCC Joint Action Plan, a second phase of regulatory cooperation was initiated with the RCC Joint Forward Plan in August 2014.  Under the Work Plan for workplace chemicals, Canada and the United States committed to “work together to coordinate the adoption of future updates of the GHS to facilitate common approaches and synchronized implementation”.   Canada will be fulfilling this commitment by amending the Hazardous Products Regulations to adopt the updates made to the GHS in the 6th and 7th revised editions. 

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

The key stakeholder groups that may be affected by these amendments include: industry (suppliers), employers, workers, and federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety regulatory agencies.  Suppliers may need to re-evaluate and make changes to product classifications, labels and safety data sheets to ensure that they are compliant with the new requirements. 

It is anticipated that there will be some initial costs to industry; however, the amendments will maintain alignment with other countries who will have adopted the 7th revised edition of the GHS, including the United States. Ultimately, this will facilitate international trade   with Canada’s largest trading partner and other countries.

Consultations

Canadian stakeholders have been involved in the development of the GHS, under the auspices of the United Nations, for more than 20 years.

In June 2017, Health Canada and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration hosted a joint webinar with stakeholders from both Canada and the United States. This webinar provided an update to stakeholders on amendments under consideration to the U.S. Hazard Communication Standard and the Canadian Hazardous Products Regulations to align with GHS (7th rev. edition).

In May 2018, Health Canada presented the proposed regulatory amendments at a face-to-face meeting of the multi-stakeholder Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Current Issues Committee.  Health Canada provided a list of the amendments currently being considered and “walked stakeholders through” some examples.  A survey was then distributed to industry representatives to gather data on the anticipated impacts of the proposed amendments (e.g., costs associated with reclassification, relabeling, and/or changes to safety data sheets).  Responses from industry were received in July 2018 and will be used in the development of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement. 

Health Canada continues to engage key partners and stakeholders through regular teleconferences and meetings, presentations at association events, and ongoing one-on-one dialogue.
Canadians will have the opportunity to provide comments on the regulatory proposal during the Canada Gazette, Part I public comment period, which is anticipated to take place in fall/winter 2019-20 and last 30 days.

Information on previous consultations and details on upcoming opportunities for consultation in the area of Hazardous Products and Workplace Chemicals can be found on the Canada.ca website.

Further information

Additional information can be requested from the Departmental contact.

Departmental contact information

Kim Godard
A/Director
Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau
Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch
Health Canada

Telephone: 1-855-407-2665
Email address: hc.whmis-simdut.sc@canada.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

April 1, 2018

Consult Health Canada’s acts and regulations web page for:

  • a list of acts and regulations administered by Health Canada
  • further information on Health Canada’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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