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South Africa: Moving Forward with GHS

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January 24, 2020

South Africa has moved a step forward in regards to mandating that GHS, Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, be implemented within the country.

Standard SANS 10234:2019 (edition-2) was published through the South Africa Bureau of Standards on December 17, 2019. This Standard supersedes Standards: SANS 10265 edition-1 of 1999 and SANS 10234 edition-1.01 of 2008.

This Standard is aligned with the 4th revision of the UN GHS Purple book and is cross referenced in the:

  • National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008) and
  • National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)

The National Committee for Standards for Dangerous Goods, including hazardous chemical substances and dangerous goods, is in charge of preparing this Standard. The Committee has decided to permanently remove the Supplement (List of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals in Accordance with GHS), to the SANS 10234:2008 (edition-1), since the Committee believes that the chemicals on this list are constantly changing.

This Standard is also mandated by the South Africa Department of Environment Affairs and Department of Health.

This Standard will be considered a minimum requirement to adhere to when the draft Regulation of Hazardous Substances Agents (2018) is published, which is projected for 2020, under the authority of the Department of Labor.

In late 2019, the South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS) subcommittee (National Committee for Standards for Dangerous Goods including Hazardous Chemical Substances and Dangerous Goods – classification, operational requirements and information) withdrew the supplement SANS 10234:2008. SANS 10234:2008 contained GHS classifications for 565 chemicals. Since its withdrawal, it is recommended that the latest edition of  SANS 10234: 2019 be consulted when determining GHS classifications for substances.

GHS Compliance Training

GHS Essentials is a two-day training course which covers the history of the GHS and its resultant harmonized classification criteria, and labeling and SDS requirements.

You will learn the requirements for the harmonized documents of hazard communication (i.e. labeling and safety data sheets) along with the status of GHS implementation around the world.

This course is designed to provide experienced hazard communication professionals with all of the salient information and expert insights on the Globally Harmonized System.

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Standard SANS 10234:2019 (edition-2), South African Bureau of Standards

South Africa – Regulation of Hazardous Chemicals Agents


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