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Canada Publishes HPR Amendments to Align with Rev 7 of GHS

The amendments to the HPR align the regulations with the 7th edition and select provisions of the 8th edition of the UN GHS Purple Book.

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January 11, 2023

By Tammy J. Murphy, regulatory affairs manager, Supply Chain team, UL Solutions 

On Jan. 4, 2023, two amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Issued by the Department of Health, both affect the requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Canada’s national standard for hazard communication, by amending the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR). 

The amendments are a diverse range for the HPR, including aligning the HPR with the 7th revision of the GHS Purple Book (from the current alignment with the 5th revision), adding provisions for clarity to existing requirements, amending “specific revisions to better reflect their original intent” as well as administrative updates. Note that the amendments also include select provisions that align parts of the HPR with the 8th revision of the GHS Purple Book. Schedule 2 of the HPA in which the hazard classes of the HPR are listed has also been amended to reflect the changes to the HPR. 

*There is a three-year transition from the date the amendments were registered (15 December 2022) until the coming in force.

Highlights of the amendments to the HPR include the following:

  • Changes to the Flammable Gases hazard class:
    • Subdividing Category 1 (extremely flammable gases) into two Subcategories:
      • Subcategory 1A – includes pyrophoric gases and chemically unstable gases
      • Subcategory 1B – includes flammable non-pyrophoric gases and chemically stable gases with a lower flammability hazard than 1A
    • Addition of definitions for “chemically unstable gas” and “pyrophoric gas”
    • Repealing provisions in Part 3, Labelling, that would no longer apply
  • Changes to the Flammable Aerosols hazard class:
    • Name change to “Aerosols”
    • Addition of Category 3 for non-flammable aerosols
    • Removal of “flammable aerosol” definition
    • Addition/deletion of provisions in regards to labelling and classification, the most significant of which is a new provision indicating that products in the Aerosols hazard class need not be classified in any category of the Gases Under Pressure hazard class.
  • Changes to the Oxidizing Solids hazard class:
    • Addition of new test procedure
    • Expansion of classification criteria
  • Added in a second hazard statement for Combustible Dust:
    • May form explosible mixture dust-air mixture
  • Amending and/or adding definitions for numerous Health Hazard classifications
    • Acute toxicity
    • Carcinogenicity
    • Germ Cell Mutagenicity
    • Reproductive Toxicity
    • Respiratory Sensitization
    • Serious Eye Damage/Eye Irritation
    • Skin Corrosion
    • Skin Irritation
    • Skin Sensitization
  • Amending classification criteria for the Skin Corrosion/irritation hazard class:
    • Change from reference of corrosive effects “in at least one of three animals” to “in at least one animal”
  • Amending sections of Schedule 1, Information Elements on Safety Data Sheets:
    • Section 2 - Hazard Identification
    • Section 3 - Composition/Information on Ingredients. Notable is the disclosure requirement for all hazardous ingredients which are present in a mixture above its relevant cut-off limits regardless of whether that ingredient contributes to the classification of the mixture.
    • Section 9 – Physical and Chemical Properties
      • New property added: Particle Characteristics
      • Property deleted: Evaporation Rate
      • Properties renamed:
        • ‘Appearance’ changed to’ Physical State’ and ‘Colour’
        • ‘Vapour density’ renamed to ‘Relative Vapour Density’
        • ‘Viscosity’ renamed ‘Kinematic Viscosity’
        • ‘Initial Boiling Point and Boiling Range’ renamed to ‘Boiling Point or Initial Boiling Point and Boiling Range’
    • Section 14 – Transport Information
  • Clarification of the following:
    • Classification in the most severe hazard category/sub-category for which criteria are met
    • Non-allowed use for certain animal studies
    • Label exemptions for certain laboratory samples
    • Applicable exemptions for products ‘sold to an employer who has filed’ a CBI claim
  • Amendment of provisions dealing with “substances and mixtures, that when in contact with water, emit a toxic gaseous substance (Water-Activated Toxicants)”
    • Concerns required supplemental hazard statements where selection is “based on the toxicity of the emitted gaseous substance”
  • Amendments to Part 4, Safety Data Sheets, to better align with Part 3, Labelling, in terms of combining hazard statements and precautionary statements as well as noting that the omission of non-applicable precautionary statements for labels also apply to safety data sheets. The Part 4 amendments also clarify that the reduced information allowed on a label due to container size also applies to safety data sheets.
  • Addition of the allowed use of narrower concentration ranges that still fall within prescribed ranges for disclosure of hazardous ingredients
  • Requirements for when significant new data is discovered and subsequent supply of the amended safety data sheet and/or label
    • The amended safety data sheet and/or label must include the changes “that result from the significant new data, rather than the new studies or data themselves”
  • Addition to and/or correction of the classification criteria for the following classes:
    • Acute Toxicity
    • Combustible Dusts – Category 1
    • Organic Peroxides – Type G
    • Reproductive Toxicity – Category 2
    • Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Single Exposure – Category 3
  • Adoption of a new physical hazard class – “Chemicals Under Pressure”
    • Aligns with Revision 8 of GHS
    • Includes Categories 1, 2 and 3
    • Addition of paragraphs specifying the required symbol, signal word, hazard statements and precautionary statements
    • Provisions added that classification as “Chemicals Under Pressure” cannot also be classified as:
      • Flammable Gases, Flammable Solids, or Flammable Liquids;
      • Aerosols;
      • Gases Under Pressure
    • Addition of a table indicating the classification criteria
    • Amendment of Schedule 1 specifying required SDS symbol, signal word, hazard statement and precautionary statements

*Note that the above table does NOT list all of the amendments.  The reader is strongly encouraged to read the full text of the amendments for complete details.

In addition, changes to Schedule 2, Hazard Classes (Physical Hazard Classes) of the HPA were also published to align with the revisions to the HPR:

  • Item 3 of Schedule 2: Name change from “Flammable aerosols” to “Aerosols”;
  • Item 19 of Schedule 2: “Pyrophoric gases” is repealed as “Pyrophoric gases” is now included under “Flammable Gases Subcategory 1A”;
  • Addition of Item 21 of Schedule 2: “Chemicals Under Pressure” added to reflect the adoption of this hazard class from the 8th Revised Edition of GHS.

A 3-year transition period, from the date of Registration of the amendments (Dec. 22, 2022), has been identified. During the transition, the sale or import of a hazardous product can be in accordance with the former Regulations and classification of a product, mixture, material or substance may also be in accordance with the former Regulations as long as the category/subcategory is per the former Act.  

For additional information about WHMIS, please consult the Government of Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) site.

Although this move to revision 7 of GHS is in accordance with Canada’s spring 2020 commitment to the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan, the United States, as of this writing, has not published its expected move to revision 7 of GHS.


Department of Health, Hazardous Products Act, “Regulations Amending the Hazardous Products Regulations (GHS, Seventh Revised Edition).”  Canada Gazette, Part II, January 4, 2023 (see pages 13 to 103). 

Department of Health, Hazardous Products Act, “Order Amending Schedule 2 to the Hazardous Products Act.” Canada Gazette, Part II, January 4, 2023 (see pages 104 to 105).

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