There’s a new GHS labelling system on the way – here’s what you need to know


There’s a new GHS labelling system on the way – here’s what you need to know

It’s time to begin the transition from GHS3 to GHS7 to improve your team’s safety on-site.

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a global method of classifying chemicals and preparing labels and safety data sheets (SDS). It gives users practical, consistent and easy to understand information about chemical hazards and helps them take steps to protect their health and safety.

The 3rd revised edition of the GHS (GHS3) was implemented in Australia on 1 January 2012 and is currently the only system that can be used for developing labels and SDS for workplace hazardous chemicals in all Australian states and territories.

On 1 January 2021, Australia began a two-year transition to the 7th revised edition of the GHS (GHS7). During the transition, manufacturers and importers may use either GHS3 or GHS7 to prepare classifications, labels, and SDS for hazardous chemicals.

From 1 January 2023, only GHS7 may be used.

During the transition, suppliers and users of hazardous chemicals may continue to supply and use chemicals classified and labelled under GHS3.
However, suppliers and users of hazardous chemicals should not supply or receive stock manufactured or imported after 31 December 2022 if it does not have up-to-date labels or SDS under GHS7.

The two-year transition period will:

  • Allow time for manufacturers and importers to prepare new classifications, labels and SDS for their hazardous chemicals
  • Keep Australia in line with our key chemical trading partners, who are also adopting GHS7, and
  • Ensure classifications, labels, and SDS are based on the most up-to-date system of classification and hazard communication.


Why do I need to transition from the GHS3 labelling requirements to GHS7?

The 3rd revised edition of the GHS was published in 2009 and was one of the most recent versions of the GHS available when it was introduced to Australia in 2012.

However, it was introduced with a five-year transition period and by the time it became mandatory in 2017, it was no longer the most up to date version of the GHS.

Moving to the 7th revised edition of the GHS labelling requirements will allow us to stay up to date with trading partners and international standards for chemical assessment and hazard communication.

The 7th revised edition of the GHS also brings improvements that will help businesses move away from animal testing and encourage the safe use of hazardous chemicals.

How can Business Basics help?

In order to maintain compliance with the new GHS7, all Australian businesses that deal with hazardous chemicals must adopt the changes identified within the new GHS7 prior to 1st January 2023.

Business Basics Australia has a number of specialised consultants with detailed understandings and recognised qualifications within hazardous and dangerous chemical industries.

We understand the time pressure and resource availability of a company’s operation in an ever-evolving industry. We specialise in legislative changes and can assist your business in remaining compliant as changes are identified.

Allow us take the stress out of legislative compliance. Feel free to give us a call on 1300 919 515 to discuss how we can assist your business, or for further information regarding changes to GHS7 labelling requirements, contact us on:

Alternatively, follow the below links to Safe Work Australia: 

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