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Singapore Considers One-Year Grace Period for 4th version GHS

Singapore’s taskforce on GHS implementation will discuss with industry the feasibility of implementing a grace period of one year before GHS implementation becomes mandatory.

On February 7th 2014, Singapore Chemical Standards Committee approved the Singapore Standard SS 586: 2014, “Specification for hazard communication for hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods”. It adopted the 4th version of the GHS and took effect immediately. The Singapore GHS taskforce was founded in 2005 by Ministry of Trade and Industry to coordinate the implementation of chemical hazard communication system through harmonized classification of chemicals, labeling of chemical containers, and preparation of safety data sheets. However manufacturers, chemical suppliers and users who already used the 2nd revision of GHS have encountered problems adapting to the new requirements. Before implementing the latest version, they would like a grace period to re-check classifications, revise safety data sheets, and make changes to the labels.

Veronica Chow, senior assistant director (occupational hygiene) from Singapore's Ministry of Manpower, confirmed at an International Conference on Chemical Policy in Seoul, that a meeting between the GHS taskforce and industry representatives would be held at the end of June to negotiate the grace period. Ms. Chow also talked about the common challenges that all countries faced when implementing GHS, such as reaching out to small and medium-sized enterprises, keeping up with the latest revisions to the GHS documents, assessing the impact of the revised version and making decisions on whether some building blocks should be adopted or dropped. 

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