Updated by Susan on 24 October 2016
"Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)" is a system created by UN to address the classification of chemicals by types of hazard and harmonized hazard communication elements, including labels and safety data sheets. It aims at providing a basis for harmonization of rules and regulations on chemicals at national, regional and worldwide level, an important factor also for trade facilitation.
As an international agreement GHS is non-legally binding in the member countries of United Nations. Thus many countries and regions have published their own regulations or standards to implement GHS. For example, the GHS criteria were introduced into Europe via the Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labeling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP).
China is one of many countries that have agreed to implement GHS. Chinese government has published several compulsory national standards (starting with GB) and recommended national standards (starting with GB/T).
Companies selling chemicals to China and chemical companies in China are required to adopt these standards to classify, label and package chemicals as well as prepare safety data sheets in accordance with the requirements of GHS as from 1 May 2011.
Regulations - Who is requiring SDS and Label in China
In China, the overarching regulation governing GHS and SDS is State Council Decree No. 591- Regulations on Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals (2011).
Under Articles 15 and 37 of Decree 591, companies involved in the production, import, storage, use, sales, marketing and transportation of hazardous chemicals are required to obtain and maintain SDS and safety labels for their chemical products. Penalties for non-compliance, are covered under Article 78, and are composed by the competent authority.
Regulations that govern hazardous chemicals registration (SAWS Order 53) and new substance registration (MEE Order No. 22) also require that Chinese SDS and Labels should be submitted along with registration/licensing applications.
Under the Ministry of Transportation Decree No.2 (2013) Article 32, SDS and Labels are required for all dangerous good in China. According to the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) Announcement No. 30 (2012), Chinese Label and sample SDS are required for imported chemicals, whilst for export, SDS, Label and equivalent Chinese translations are required.
National standards - How to compose Chinese SDS and Label
There are several national standards concerning both GHS and the preparation of SDS and Labels in China. GB 13690-2009 - General rule for classification and hazard communication of chemicals, is in line with the GHS. It is due to be replaced by GB 30000.1 - 2013 soon, although it is not known when the standard will come into force.
For classifcation, the most recently released standard series are GB 30000.2-2013 to GB 30000.29 - 2013. They comprise 28 separate standards each referring to a particular GHS hazard. The standards were authored based on the 4 rev. edition of the UN purple book and became effective from 1 November 2014. All hazard classes and categories in the purple book were adopted in the Chinese classification standards.
The mandatory basic element of a Chiense safety label and printing requirements are given in the GB 15258-2009 - General rules for preparation of precautionary label for chemicals, which came into force on 1 May 2010.
16 Oct 2013, the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China (SAC) published 28 new GHS classification standards for chemicals and the implementation date is 1 November 2014. The new compulsory national standards (GB 30000-2013) for chemical classifications are fully aligned with UN GHS Rev. 4 and have adopted all building blocks under UN GHS Rev. 4 including aspiration hazards and hazards to the ozone layer.
Please click here, for Building Blocks differences among UN GHS (rev.5), EU CLP, US HCS and China GHS.
The Compulsory National Standards (GB 30000-2013) for chemical classification in present.
Standard GB 30000.2-29-2013
Name: Safety rules for classification and labeling of chemicals for
Gas under pressure
Self-reactive substances and mixtures.
Self-heating substances and mixtures
Substances and mixtures which are in contact with water emit flammable gases
Corrosive to metals
Serious eye damage/irritation
Respiratory or skin sensitization
Germ cell mutagenicity
Specific target organ toxicity- single exposure
Specific target organ toxicity-repeated exposure
Hazardous to the aquatic environment
Hazardous to the ozone layer
Harmonized Classification-China Hazardous Chemical Inventory 2015
On 9 March 2015, The Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals (2015) has been officially published, which was prepared by The State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), The Ministry of Industry and Information (MIIT), The Ministry of Public Safety (MPS), The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), The Ministry of Transport (MOT), The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), The Railway Administration of China (RAC) and The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
There are 2828 entries have been included in this inventory. Catalog 2015 has entered into force on 1 May 2015 and replaced hazardous chemical catalog 2002 accordingly.
The obligated classification of substances in China are also given in the inventory. That means the classification in the inventory is the minimized requirement for one substance. In addition, you may add more classification of this substance in your own SDS or Label. For the classification category marked with asterisk, you may use more severe classification category instead of original one.
Safety Data Sheet Standards
The most important national standard related to Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in China is "Safety data sheet for chemical products: Content and order of sections" (GB/T 16483 -2008). This recommended standard was published in June 2008 and entered into force in February 2009. It specifies the structure, content and format of Safety Data Sheet in line with China GHS.
The other important standard is GB/T 17519-2013 Guidance on the compilation of safety data sheet for chemical products, which was issued in September 2013 and comes into force on 31st Jan 2014. This recommended standard provides detailed guidelines for SDS authoring in China.
Please note that 24h emergency telephone number is mandatory required for the SDSs and labels of hazardous chemicals. It must be a domestic landline number in China which coud provide directly Chinese launguage supporting and techinical suggestions during emergency issues. CIRS works with National Registration Centre of Chemicals (NRCC) to provide this service. More info can be found here.
Labeling and Packaging Standards
China released 2 main national standards related to the labeling and packaging of chemical products in line with GHS in 2008 and 2009.
The first mandatory national labeling standard (GB 15258-2009) – “General rules for preparation of precautionary label for chemicals” came into force on 1 May 2010. Examples of precautionary labels, transport symbols, and precautionary statements for different categories of chemicals are given in this standard. The transition period is also between 1 May 2010 and 1 May 2011. There are some differences between this standard and CLP regulation.
- Black frame of a pictogram is also acceptable(for domestic use);
- Simplified label is available for volume < 0.1L;
- No requirement on the minimum size of a pictogram;
- There is no limit of 6 p-statements;
- Emergency number on the label must be a domestic 24h emergency telephone number.
The second mandatory national standard (GB 190-2009) -“Packaging Labels for Dangerous goods" is based the 15th revised edition of the UN recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. This standard specifies the requirements of pictogram, label size, color and packaging of hazardous goods. This standard also came into force on 1 May 2010.
A sample of Chinese GHS label can be found below:
- Free regulatory advice;
- Free chemical inventory search service;
- IECSC 2013;
- Catalog of Hazardous Chemicals;
- Catalog of Highly Toxic Chemicals;
- Prohibited Chemicals(2005);
- List of Toxic Chemicals Restricted to Be Imported/Exported
- Preparation of SDS and labels in accordance with China GHS;
- Updating/translating your SDS into Chinese;
- Label review and preparation for consumer products;
- Support to chemical classifications and labeling in China;
- 24h emergency telephone service(working with NRCC);
- SDS and Label free review
Please note: Compared to other translation service providers, our price is very competitive and our knowledge with China GHS allows us to translate/author your SDS more professionally using standard phrases.
Please contact email@example.com for more information.