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SafeWork Australia Guidance re Non-GHS Compliant Labelled Hazardous Chemicals after December 2016

Posted by Ian Good on 13 December 2016

SafeWork Australia has issued a change to the model regulations to allow non-GHS compliant labelled hazardous chemicals to be sold after 31/12/2016, if the product was manufactured and labelled prior to that date.

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/news/pages/05122016-labelling-requirements

This accommodates those companies to whom GHS compliance was a 'surprise' but also for those companies that have slow moving stock that will last well into 2017. The only issue is that the other WHS/GHS jurisdictions will have to make amendments to their regulations. Given there is limited time to the end of the year, the possible change will be cold comfort to those companies busily relabelling stock.

With Victoria's intention to adopt GHS from 30/06/2017, one wonders whether they will make the same accommodation for stock on hand, in regards to compliance.

Many national companies have already informed their suppliers that they will only accept GHS compliant stock. What this potential change has on supplier/customer relationships is an unknown? In addition, the transport company is likely to be the meat in the sandwich if stock is rejected.

There is also the potential for some companies taking advantage of this change to delay their GHS labelling program until 2017 and use the cover of made before 2017 as an excuse.

Author: Ian Good
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