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Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)


4.     The present Terms of Reference provide guiding principles, procedures and workplans for undertaking the technical work for harmonizing existing systems of classification and labelling of chemicals. They are based on the finding of the 1992 ILO Report on the Size of the Task of Harmonizing Existing Systems of Classification and Labelling for Hazardous Chemicals. In January 1992, the Intersecretariat Committee of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), endorsed the establishment of a Coordinating Group for the Harmonization of Chemical Classification Systems (CG/HCCS) to promote and oversee this work.

5.     The following international instruments, Conference resolutions and intergovernmental and inter-organizational decisions are the basis for action toward achieving a globally harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemicals:

     (a)    the 1989 ILO Resolution concerning harmonization of systems of classification and labelling for the use of hazardous chemicals at work;

(b)    the ILO Chemicals Convention (No. 170), 1990 and its accompagnying Recommendation (No. 177);

(c)    the 1992 UNCED Recommendations in Agenda 21, Chapter 19 on environmentally sound management of chemicals, programme area B, concerning harmonization of classification and labelling of toxic chemicals;

(d)    the Resolution on priorities for action, Programme area B, adopted by the 1994 International Conference on Chemical Safety after being constituted as the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety;

(e)    the decision by the Inter-Organization Coordinating Committee(IOCC) of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) to have the CG/HCCS report to the IOMC instead of the IPCS;

(f)    the UN Economic and Social Council Resolution 1995/6 on the Role of the Committee of Experts on Transport of Dangerous Goods in the development of a harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemicals for the implementation of Chapter 19 of Agenda 21.

This page was created by EC/IO/AS. It was approved in May 1999 by JT.