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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will promote the implementation of the GHS in the field of pesticides through three major activities:

  • The integration of the hazard classification principles of the GHS into the next revision of the FAO Guidelines on Pesticide Registration;
  • The integration of the labelling principles of the GHS into the next revision of the FAO Guidelines on Good Labelling Practice for Pesticides;
  • Awareness building and training of pesticide regulators, pesticide manufacturers and distributors, and pesticide users on the GHS, through FAO pesticide management programmes and in cooperation with others.

At its twelfth session, the Sub-Committee of experts on the GHS was informed about the results of a FAO questionnaire on the impact of the GHS on the labelling of agricultural pesticides.

The answers received showed that even though GHS implementation for pesticide labelling had been initiated in eight countries of three different regions, the majority of the countries still relied on the guidance provided by FAO and WHO (in particular the “WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard”) for the toxicological classification of pesticide products.

In view of the results of the questionnaire, the FAO Panel of Experts on Pesticide Management recommended that, as a transitional measure, both the existing WHO classification system and the new classification based on the GHS be included in the new “FAO Guidelines on Good Labelling Practice”. The Panel also concluded that, since the necessity of a single independent international source for the classification of pesticides had been identified, there was an urgent need to harmonize the GHS toxicological classification and the WHO classification of pesticides by hazard.

For more information, see document UN/SCEGHS/12/INF.18

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the following three major instruments as being the most relevant to GHS implementation:

1.

WHO Recommended classification of pesticides by hazard

 

WHO has updated the Recommended Classification of pesticides by hazard to take account of the GHS criteria. Its latest edition (2009) uses revised classification criteria which take account of the GHS categories for acute oral and dermal toxicity. The GHS acute oral toxicity category for each pesticide is also now presented in the publication.

2.

International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSC)

 

WHO started to include GHS classifications in new and updated ISCs in April 2006. To date, GHS classifications have been included on 350 ICSCs.

A new database for producing and disseminating ICSCs has now been developed. The revision of sentences required for the new database also necessitates significant revision of the Compiler's Guide. Where relevant, the classification criteria for the GHS are now incorporated in the decision process for determining the information which appears on each ICSC. The ICSCs have been identified as a mechanism for making GHS classifications of chemicals more widely available.

3.

WHO Chemicals publications

 

Information on GHS classification is now routinely included within published chemical evaluations from WHO, including Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICADs) and Environmental Health Criteria (EHCs).

 

For more information, see document UN/SCEGHS/20/INF.30

For the transport of dangerous goods, the GHS is implemented through the "UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Model Regulations" and the following transport legal international instruments:

(a)  International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code);
(b)  ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI);
(c)  European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR);           
(d)  Regulations concerning the International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID);
(e)  European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN);

For the transport of dangerous goods, the GHS is implemented through the UN Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the following transport legal international instruments:

The fourth revised edition of the GHS will be implemented during the period 2012-2013 once the transport legal instruments mentioned in (a) to (e) above made mandatory the provisions of the 17th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations.

Figures 1 and 2 summarize the relationship between the different revised editions of the GHS and the UN Model Regulations and its related transport legal instruments.

Table 1 summarizes the status of implementation of the GHS (Rev.4), by hazard class, through the UN Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (Rev.16) and the major legal instruments regulating transport of dangerous goods.

 

MARITIME TRANSPORT:

 

International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)

Amendment 36-12 is harmonized (except as otherwise specified in table 1) with the 17th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations and will come into force on 1 January 2014 for two years although it may be applied in whole or in part, on a voluntary basis as from 1 January 2013. The IMDG Code is of mandatory application for 159 countries parties to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

 

AIR TRANSPORT:

 

ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI)

The 2013-2014 edition of the ICAO TI is harmonized (except as otherwise specified in table 1) with the 17th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations and became applicable on 1 January 2013. The ICAO TI are of mandatory application for the 191 countries parties to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

 

 

LAND TRANSPORT:

 

European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)
(48 Contracting Parties) . The annexed regulations are also of mandatory application for domestic traffic in EU and EEA countries through European Directive 2008/68/EC (see note 1) and in the Russian Federation (Ordinance No.272 of 15 April 2011).

Regulations concerning the International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID)
(43 Contracting Parties) (also of mandatory application for domestic traffic in EU and EEA countries through European Directive 2008/68/EC (see note 1)).

European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN)
At present, the Agreement has 17 Contracting Parties.

The Annexed Regulations are also of mandatory application for domestic traffic in EU and EEA countries through European Directive 2008/68/EC (see note 1) only for countries which are not linked by inland waterway to other EU countries.

The 2013 edition of RID/ADR/ADN (applicable since 1 January 2013) is harmonized except as otherwise specified in table 1 with the 17th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations.

Note 1: Directive 2008/68/EC applies to the transport of dangerous goods by road, by rail or by inland waterways within or between EU Member States. It makes direct reference to the relevant legal instruments implementing the provisions of the UN Model Regulations on the transport of Dangerous Goods by road, rail and inland waterways (i.e.: the European Agreement on the Transport of Dangerous Goods by road (ADR) and by inland waterways (ADN) and the Regulation concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by rail (RID)). 

The Directive entered into force on 20 October 2008. It continues to make ADR and RID applicable to road/rail transport of dangerous goods in the EU, and requires those States with inland waterways linked, by inland waterways, to waterways of other member States to apply the regulations annexed to ADN as from 1 July 2009 and at the latest by 1 July 2011 whether or not they are Parties to the ADN. Following its adoption, the following directives were repealed:

  1. Directives 94/55/EC and 96/49/EC (as amended) on the transport of dangerous goods;
  2. Directives 96/35/EC and 2000/18/EC on dangerous goods safety advisers; and
  3. Commission Decisions 2005/263/EC and 2005/180/EC (as amended) on national derogations from Directives 94/55/EC and 96/49/EC.

The annexes to the Directive are regularly adapted to take account of the amendments made to ADR/RID/ADN every two years. These adapations are usually referred to as "adaptations to scientific and technical progress" (see Commission Directives 2010/61/EU of 2 September 2010 and 2012/45/EU of 3 December 2012).

Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal

A joint correspondence working group between the Open-Ended working group of the Basel Convention on hazard characteristics and the Sub-Committee of experts on the GHS was established in 2005. The terms of reference of the correspondence group may be found in document UN/SCEGHS/9/INF.21.

Since the work assigned to the group was not completed at the end of the period 2005-2006, the Conference of the Parties decided (at its 8th meeting, which was held in Nairobi in December 2006) to extend the mandate of the Joint Correspondence Group so as to allow the work be continued during the biennium 2007-2008.

Information regarding the work of the joint correspondence group is available on the Basel Convention website (http://www.basel.int/techmatters/) under the heading "Hazard characteristics H10, H11". The Secretariat of the Basel Convention reports regularly on the progress of the work of the joint correspondence group to the Sub-Committee of experts on the GHS.


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013