India has not officially adopted the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). According to the draft chemical law, Chemical (Management and Safety) Rules (ICMSR), published in 2020, India will adopt the eighth revised edition of GHS with standard 16-section Safety Data Sheets (SDS). The languages would be English and Hindi.
The current SDS requirements were proposed in Schedule 9 of the Manufacture, Storage, and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules 1989. The SDS only contains 9 of the 16 standard sections.
In 2011, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) published a draft legislation called Hazardous Substances (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Rules. The Rules set out the responsibilities and procedures for key players dealing with hazardous substances. These are described as “any substance or preparation, which by reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, or other living creatures, plants, micro-organism, property or the environment”. The legislation specifies various classes of hazardous substances including explosives, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidizing substances, toxic and infectious substances, radioactive materials, corrosive substances, and miscellaneous dangerous substances. The Rules came into force in 2013.
In India, transport of dangerous goods is regulated by the Explosive Rules, 2008 and the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. The Explosive Rules (2008) incorporates recommendations of the UN Committee on Transportation of Dangerous Goods related to explosives. Under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, educational qualification of drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous or hazardous goods, responsibilities of drivers and transporters/owners of goods carriages, emergency information panel, reporting and class labels are specified.
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