Brazil Implements Revision 7 of GHS: What is new?.

In a move towards standardizing the classification, labeling, and safety documentation of chemical products, Brazil has adopted the 7th revised edition of the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

This update will be effective on July 4th, 2025 and brings changes in the way hazardous materials are handled, labeled, and communicated to users and regulators.

Consolidating Standards for Clarity and Efficiency

Previously, the standards governing chemical safety in Brazil were spread across four separate documents:

  • 1. ABNT NBR 14725-1 on Terminology
  • 2. ABNT NBR 14725-2 on Hazard Classification System
  • 3. ABNT NBR 14725-3 on Labeling
  • 4. ABNT NBR 14725-4 on Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

The new regulation, NBR 14725:2023, consolidates these into a single comprehensive standard, aligning Brazil with global practices, facilitating international trade, and ensuring a consistent approach to chemical safety. In fact, the new regulation is based on the comments and background provided by experts and stakeholders through three national public consultations held in October 2020, April 2022 and October 2022.

Key Changes and Implications

  • a) Safety Data Sheets (FDS): One of the most noticeable changes is the shift from "Ficha de Informações de Segurança de Produtos Químicos (FISPQ)" to "Ficha com Dados de Segurança (FDS)."This demands revisions to all existing SDSs, a critical task for businesses before the end of the implementation period.
  • b) QR Code Integration: Labels on chemical products can now include QR codes, offering users a convenient way to access detailed safety information instantly.
  • c) Emergency Contact: Section 1 of the Safety Data Sheet now mandates a 24-hour local phone number for emergencies. This ensures rapid response in case of accidents or chemical incidents, prioritizing the safety of personnel and the environment.
  • d) Classification Enhancements: The alignment with GHS Revision 7 brings changes to physical hazard categories, including the addition of "Desensitized Explosives" and amendments to categories like flammable gasses, also introducing new health hazard categories and an environmental classification.
  • e) Hazard and Precautionary Statements: Revisions and additions to hazard (H) and precautionary (P) statements offer clearer, more detailed information on the potential dangers associated with each chemical. This enhanced clarity aids in risk assessment and management.

Challenges and Opportunities

Companies operating in Brazil must adapt swiftly. A grace period until July 4, 2025, has been granted for compliance. However, proactive organizations are encouraged to embrace these changes promptly to ensure seamless adherence to the updated standards. This transition period allows businesses to incorporate the revised nomenclature, update physical and environmental hazard classifications, and implement the new labeling requirements effectively.

While the two-year implementation period might pose challenges for businesses in updating all their documents, it also presents an opportunity for companies to reassess their safety protocols comprehensively. Furthermore, harmonizing its chemical safety standards with the global community, the new regulation enhances Brazil's standing in international trade..