UN GHS Sub-Committee


The UN Subcommittee of Experts on the GHS (hereinafter referred to as the UN GHS Subcommittee) is a UN platform formed by the UN Economic and Social Council (hereinafter referred to as ECOSOC). Within the framework of the UN GHS Subcommittee, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification of Hazards and Labeling of Chemical Products (hereinafter referred to as GHS) was created and is constantly being improved.

Experts from UN member states, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC, and specialized UN agencies (including UNITAR, UNEP, WHO, ILO) are actively discussing and improving hazard classification criteria in accordance with the GHS, as well as labeling rules.

The GHS is a set of rules that divides the hazards of a chemical into types (physico-chemical, hazards to human health and the environment) and establishes appropriate recommendations and criteria for the classification of hazards of chemicals and mixtures. In addition, the GHS offers consistent elements of hazard communication to both workers and consumers through warning labels and safety data sheets for chemical products.

Text of version 10 of the GHS

The first task of the GHS Sub-Committee was to make the GHS available for worldwide use and application. The first edition of the GHS, which was intended to serve as the initial basis for the global implementation of the system, was adopted in December 2002. Since then, the GHS has been updated every two years.

The GHS Sub-Committee is responsible for maintaining the GHS, promoting its implementation and providing additional guidance as needs arise, while maintaining stability in the system to encourage its adoption. Regarding the implementation of the GHS, as of 2019, the GHS was implemented in 69 countries, and at the end of 2023 - already in 85.

Information on the implementation of the GHS in the world

Participation in activities is necessary to harmonize differences in the implementation of the GHS in order to quickly monitor and respond to proposals for adjustments to classification criteria.

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia experts from the CIS Center take part in the annual meetings of the UN Subcommittee on behalf of the Russian Federation, which are held twice a year in Geneva, Switzerland. Experts from the CIS Center take part in the working groups of the Subcommittee, for example, on creating a global list of classified substances. Experts can make adjustments and suggestions to the working documents of the UN GHS Subcommittee.

CIS Center Specialists will be the first to know about changes in the criteria for the classification of chemicals, the introduction of new criteria or hazard classes, thereby informing the industry in the Russian Federation about the upcoming changes that the industry may face when exporting its products.



Current interesting projects

  • 1Potential hazard issues and their presentation in the Globally Harmonized System: Mandate to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on endocrine disruptors ;
  • 2Possible development of a list of chemicals classified in accordance with the GHS;
  • 3Revision of chapter 4.2 to include classification and hazard communication for greenhouse gasses listed in the annexes of the Montreal Protocol.