Confidential Business Information - Transition to WHMIS 2015

The transition to Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 2015, which implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals in WHMIS, does not alter the elements of the claim for exemption evaluation and process as they relate to the validity of a claim.  However, the criteria used to determine the compliance of an (material) safety data sheet ((M)SDS)/label have changed significantly as the  Hazardous Products Act (HPA) has been amended, and the  Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) have been repealed and replaced with the  Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR), effective February 11th, 2015.  In addition, consequential amendments have been made to both the  Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA), and the  Hazardous Materials Information Review Regulations (HMIRR) to reflect and support the revised HPA/HPR.

Transition begins the day that the amended HPA and new HPR come into force.  To allow stakeholders adequate time to prepare for the new system, a top down approach with three main phases of implementation has been adopted. For more information on the WHMIS transition from WHMIS 1988 to WHMIS 2015, click here.

Claims with a validity period beginning before the transition period remain valid for the established duration. There is no need to refile a claim with Health Canada during the validity period.  There is also no need to refile a claim with Health Canada when the claimant makes the transition from WHMIS 1988 compliance to WHMIS 2015 compliance.

The claims process has not changed as a result of this transition; however, some of the forms have been amended to support the implementation of the HPR and the transitional period. Of note, it is now necessary to indicate on the form whether the SDS and label with the claim submission are intended to be compliant with WHMIS 1988 or with WHMIS 2015.

Note: For a certain time period, suppliers and employers making claims for exemption may file claims with (M)SDS(s) and labels complying with either WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015. However,

  • as of June 1, 2016, Health Canada will only review supplier claims under the HMIRA for compliance with WHMIS 2015 (GHS); and
  • as of December 2017, Health Canada will only review employer claims for compliance with WHMIS 2015 (GHS).

To see frequently asked questions regarding the confidential business information process in general, and the process during transition, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

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