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2019 APEC CD GHS Implementation Convergence report

Since the 7th CD meeting in Peru in 2008 where the report of the Virtual Working Group on GHS (VWGGHS), “Developing Clarity and Consistency in the Implementation of the Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)” was endorsed, the participating APEC Economies provided GHS implementation Reports detailing the progress of GHS implementation in their respective Economies on an annual or biennial basis.

Over the past decade, these reports identified that foreshadowed trade benefits from GHS implementation were not fully realized due to divergent implementation of GHS across the regions. The divergences in GHS implementation include:

  • Adoption of different revisions of GHS,
  • Adoption of different building blocks,
  • Adoption of different classification cut-offs for building blocks, and
  • Imposition of specific local requirements.

At the 21st Chemical Dialogue (CD) meeting in Papua New Guinea in 2018, the CD agreed to a new reporting mechanism on GHS implementation, focused on identifying strategies to improve GHS convergence by Member Economies, noting that the GHS Implementation Report template developed in 2008 was not intended to tease out the reasons behind the divergence, and therefore not an ideal tool for the task.  The CD also supported trialing the new reporting form, the GHS Implementation Questionnaire (the Questionnaire), out of session, with a view to providing a new report to the Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) in 2019 (APEC CD 21 Agenda Item 3.c.ii).

This Report summarises the CD delegates’ input into the Questionnaire.