Summary of task 1.7 - Existing approaches of exchange of chemical information

Safety data sheets (SDSs) are important, and often the only information source for safe use of chemicals. SDSs have been prepared for many years in accordance with EU legislation. However, chemical legislation is dynamic with introduction of new rules.

The requirements related to SDSs were updated with the introduction of the REACH regulation (guidelines for SDS given in Annex II to REACH). The introduction of GHS (Globally harmonized system for classification and labeling of chemicals) in European legislation (CLP – Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures) requires a revision of annex II to REACH to harmonise European legislation to GHS. This process will hopefully be finished before summer 2010

The import and export format for ChemXchange must be updated to facilitate exchange of legally correct information on chemicals until the system is launched.

The Norwegian XML based standard format for electronic exchange of chemical information in SDSs has been developed over several years. The format is administered by the Norwegian Product Register, and the current version 3.5 is adapted to a certain degree to the requirements according to the new CLP regulation in EU. The format will be further developed to meet all requirements in the updated Annex II of REACH as soon as the annex is published. The current format meets most of the requirements that are expected in the revised Annex II, but there will be need for certain new elements.

In our work we experienced that there exists a German XML format for exchange of SDS information. This format has gained a certain, but not extensive distribution in Germany. To explore differences and discuss possible future cooperation, a meeting was arranged with the German company Eska, which is responsible for the format. This format is closely related to the BDI phrase library in its organization – any object introduced in the BDI phrase catalogue as a subsection will be introduced in the format. The format is presented as a DTD (Data type document) – a bit less modern than the Norwegian XML Schema.

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