China Approves Final Standard on GHS Codes and Hazard Statements

China’s Standards Administration (SAC) has approved a recommended national standard that describes the phrases and hazard codes labels must carry. It comes into effect on January 1, 2017. The standard, GB/T 32374-2015: Phrase and Codification of Chemical Hazard Statements, was developed by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) and is based on the fourth revised edition of the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS). It applies to the production, operation, use, storage, transport and disposal of chemicals.

The Standard will serve to supplement existing China GHS standards, especially the GHS labelling standard (GB 15258-2009) and the SDS preparation standard (GB/T 16483-2008 and GB/T 17519-2013).

The SAWS released a draft version of the Standard in July 2013, for public consultation, which consisted mainly of the following three parts:

  • Pictograms and their codes;
  • Hazard statements and their codes for physical, health and environmental hazards; and
  • Precautionary statements and their codes, including general, prevention, response, storage and disposal precautionary statements.

The finalized standard was approved jointly by the SAC and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China under Announcement No. 43 of 2015. This announcement approved a total of 287 National Standards, covering a wide ranges of requirements placed on chemicals, aerospace systems, information technology, and household products and other areas.