GHS Compliance Timeline

What is the GHS compliance timeline in Canada?

The Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is being implemented by Canada and this alignment will change WHMIS-related laws (the Hazardous Products Act and Controlled Products Regulations).

Health Canada is the government body responsible for making the required changes to the federal WHMIS-related laws. In June 2014, the amended Hazardous Products Act(HPA) received Royal Assent. These changes will enable Canada’s implementation of the GHS for workplace chemicals. The proposed Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR), which will replace the Controlled Products Regulations, were published in the Canada Gazette Part I in August 2014, followed by a consultation period. Final regulations are expected to be published in Canada Gazette Part II in late 2014 or early 2015.

Health Canada’s goal is to have the updated WHMIS laws in force no later than June 1, 2015. In force means that suppliers may begin to use and follow the new requirements for labels and SDSs for hazardous products sold, distributed, or imported into Canada at that time. A transition period is expected, but the dates have not yet been announced.

Provincial and territorial WHMIS regulations will also require updating. Employers will be expected to have updated their WHMIS program and training to include the alignment with GHS at this time (exact timelines to be determined).