Introducing Our Weekly Compliance Digest – Mexico GHS Rule

October 23, 2015

We’re happy to introduce a new feature on Enablon Insights that will hopefully help you better anticipate potential regulatory changes. Welcome to the Weekly Compliance Digest. Every Friday, we will summarize for you in a simple way the major developments in EHS regulations that took place over the week or recently.

For this introductory post, we cover a recent development in Mexico regarding the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.


Mexico GHS (NOM-018-STPS-2015)

What is it?

The full name of the regulation is NOM-018-STPS-2015: Harmonized System for the Identification and Communication of Hazards and Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace. The new Mexican Official Standard implements the 5th revised edition of GHS and establishes a new mandatory scheme for hazard communication of chemicals in the workplace. Many countries have already adopted GHS (U.S., E.U., China, Japan, Canada, etc.), and gradually other countries are also adopting it. GHS aims to harmonize hazard communication around chemicals, although each country can have its own “adaptation” of GHS.

Who is affected?

Companies that have regulated chemicals requiring Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), specifically:

  • Companies in Mexico that use, handle or store chemicals (substances or mixtures) for which SDSs are required.
  • Foreign companies with business units, subsidiaries or facilities in Mexico that use, handle or store chemicals (substances or mixtures) for which SDSs are required.
  • Companies in Mexico or any other country that sell or distribute chemicals (substances or mixtures) to other firms in Mexico, and for which SDSs are required.

The law excludes pharmaceuticals, food additives, cosmetics articles, pesticide residues in food and hazardous waste, according to Chemical Watch.

What are the requirements?

SDSs and labels must follow the classification and content (Hazard & Precautionary statements, pictograms, warning phrases, etc.) requirements specified by the Standard, which aims to create a uniform communication scheme for chemicals. For more details about the specific requirements, check out the blog post from 3E Company.

What is next?

The Standard provides a three-year transition period. Companies will have to comply with the new mandatory GHS scheme in Mexico as of October 9, 2018. During the transition period, companies must comply with NOM-018-STPS-2000 or NOM-018-STPS-2014. The latter is an optional GHS standard. Both of these standards will be repealed at the end of the transition period.

We hope that you found this very first Weekly Compliance Digest interesting. See you next week!