GHS Overview in Japan

The Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) has implemented under Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL) regulatory framework of Japan. Japan Industrial Standards (JIS standards) are the major standards available for Japanese companies to apply classification, labeling, and SDS with the GHS. Although they are voluntary industrial standards, but some standards such as JIS Z 7253 are more than voluntary with a notion of “obligatory to make effort to comply”. The relatively new standard, JIS Z 7253, that is combined JIS Z 7250 (SDS) and JIS Z 7251 (Labeling) is published on March 2012, in accordance with 4th revision of GHS.

GHS classification of 640 designated chemicals according to the Article 57-2 of ISHL, and GHS labeling of 99 designated chemicals according to Article 57 of ISHL have required since Dec. 1, 2006.

Also, PRTR law, concerning reporting of the release of the environment of specific chemical substances and promoting improvement in their management required GHS SDS for over 400 designated chemicals.

Non-compulsory GHS classification of hundreds of chemicals has conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) and Ministry of the Environment (MOE) in following link:


For any other chemicals that are not listed by any of mentioned entity GHS SDS and labels are recommended.

When a chemical has been assigned a hazard class and hazard category as a result of classification in accordance with JIS Z 7252, providing a GHS label with appropriate pictograms, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements are required. These allocations are to be made in accordance with Annex A in JIS Z 7253.

  • The label elements required on Japanese GHS labels (JIS Z 7253 section 6.1) are consistent with UN GHS (4th revised);
  • Japanese GHS label is usually more complex than other countries. Other items required for display in accordance with domestic regulations (e.g., fire service laws, Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Law) should also be added.(Language on labels: In Japanese)

Japanese GHS-SDS according to criteria of section 5.4 of JIS Z 7253, implementation of UN GHS section 1.2 (Rev. 4), are recommended.

  • Relevant information is to be entered for each of the 16 headings. If this information is unavailable, the reason should be stated.
  • A change of the term “MSDS” to the shortened “safety data sheet” (“SDS”) is stated in JIS Z 7253.

(Language on SDS: In Japanese. Confidential language is not allowed)