CHemical Hazards Legislation - International
Import & Export (PIC)Download As A PDF
In the European Union Regulation (EU) No 649/2012, concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals implements the Rotterdam Convention and is the latest in a series of such regulations on international chemicals trade dating back to 1992. In 1999, the United Kingdom signed the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC), which allows signatories to monitor and control the international trade of certain dangerous chemicals.
The Regulation aims to protect human health, of both consumers and workers, and the environment against potentially harmful impacts from certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides.
Globally Harmonised System (GHS)
The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) has been the subject of more than a decade of work. Its aim is to provide a framework to bring together the various national and regional hazard communication systems which control the supply of hazardous chemicals in much the same way that the ‘Orange Book’ offers a global framework for the transport of dangerous goods.
The purpose of GHS is to provide a single, globally harmonized system to address classification of chemicals, labels, and safety data sheets. The first edition of GHS was published in July 2003 as the ‘Purple Book’, it is revised every December of even numbered years (and usually published in the following summer).
GHS includes a series of pictograms: see our Globally Harmonized System Pictograms page.
Further details about the publication status, its ‘adoption’ throughout the world, and often access to electronic versions (when these are eventually made available), can be found on the UNECE website:
The EU Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP) harmonises the EU supply provisions with the GHS. See the Introduction To European Chemicals Legislation page of this website for further information.
Page reviewed: December 2020
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