In Japan, the Sixth revised edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS6) was implemented in 2006. GHS6 has been linked with the Japanese Industrial Standards JIS Z 7252 and JIS Z 7253 for chemical classification, labelling, and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and labelling according to GHS6 are mandatory for certain specified substances and mixtures regulated by the ISHL, PRTR and PDSCL laws. Industry must make reasonable efforts to abide by the following two Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) for chemical classification and hazard communication for all other hazardous compounds that fulfil the GHS classification criteria:
Japanese Industrial Standards JIS 7252:2019: Classification of Chemicals based on Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
Japanese Industrial Standards JIS 7253:2019: Hazard Communication of Chemicals based on GHS - Labelling and Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
The following GHS building blocks have not been implemented in Japan:
Acute Toxicity, Category 5
Skin Irritation, Category 3
Aspiration Toxicity, Category 2
In Japan, labels have to follow the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) JIS Z 7253 which is aligned with UN GHS6. The JIS selectively adopted part of the contents of UN GHS considering the circumstances of laws and rules in Japan (building block approach). The classification method needs to prioritize JIS Z 7253.
The following elements should be indicated on the label in Japanese in conformity with JIS Z 7253:
Substance name or product name
Precautionary statements (see Annex A of JIS Z 7253)
Effects on the human body
Hazard statements (stability and reactivity)
Precautions concerning storage or handling
Pictograms (at least 1 x 1 cm; black symbol with sufficiently bold red frame)
Name, address, and telephone number of the supplier
The following information also applies to labels:
Small Packages: For small packages on which labels are not easily affixed, the label elements other than those required by domestic regulations may be displayed using a tag that is tied to the containers or packages.
Confidential Business Info: The generic name may be printed to protect confidential business information provided that the general name would not pose a risk to the health and safety of the receiver, or to environmental protection.
Additional Information: JIS Z 7253 requires companies to label additional info required by other domestic regulations. For example, "danger division" under the Fire Service Law and "Poisonous substance" or "Deleterious substance" under the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law also needs to be labelled if applicable.
The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in Japan, like elsewhere, should include the 16 standards sections of the GHS. It has to follow the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS Z 7253) on Hazard Communication of Chemicals.
The substance name and its concentration or concentration range shall be indicated in SDSs if it is present above the concentration limit and contributes to the classification of a product. However, the following categories of substances must be disclosed even if their content is below the concentration limit:
Respiratory sensitizing or skin sensitizing substance > 0.1% w/w
Carcinogenic, Category 2 substance > 0.1% w/w
Reproductive toxicant, Category 1 or Category 2 > 0.1% w/w
Specific Target Organ Toxicity (STOT) Substance, Category 2 > 1% w/w
Marine and Air Transport Regulations in Japan are based on the UN Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Ministry of the Environment (MOE)
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Main relevant legislation:
Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof (Law concerning Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) systems)
Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc (Evaluation concerning New Chemical Substances, Regulatory measures according to the properties of chemical substances, and Other measures including reporting of hazardous properties on chemical substances, etc.) (Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL)).
GHS implementation status
Transport of dangerous goods
Marine and Air transport regulations in Japan are based on the UN Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.
For international transport of dangerous goods, see “Implementation through international legal instruments, recommendations, codes and guidelines”
National standard JIS Z 7253:2014 and JIS Z 7253:2012 cover GHS classification and hazard communication (labels and Safety Data Sheets). They are based on the 4th revised editions of the GHS. The standards are being revised to bring them into line with the 6th revised edition of the GHS (GHS Rev.6).
GHS labels and Safety Data Sheets are mandatory only for chemicals regulated under the Industrial Safety and Health Law, the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) law and the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law . However, implementation of GHS classification and hazard communication elements is encouraged. Implementation for consumer products is voluntary.
GHS classification results as well as several support tools and guidance documents are available on the website of the National Institute Technology and Evaluation (NITE).
GHS classification tool for mixtures as well as other support tools are available on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
The ASEAN-Japan Chemical Safety Database (AJCSD) is developed by ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines; Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and Japan under AMEICC Working Group on Chemical Industries. The database includes chemical regulatory information, GHS classification results, risk and hazard information: http://www.ajcsd.org/top.
A memorandum of cooperation “on Strengthening of risk-based chemical management System in Vietnam” was signed on 12 July 2012 and renewed in July 2015between the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Republic of Vietnam.. The project for strengthening chemicals management in Vietnam was conducted from April 2015 until March 2019. Detailed information about the outcome of the project is available in the final report. See also information on the status of implementation of the GHS in Vietnam.