17-18 February 2014, Mexico City, Mexico – A National Planning and Inception Workshop to launch a project for the national implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) was held in Mexico City from 17 to 18 February 2014.

The two-day workshop was attended by some 40 representatives of government, industry, non-governmental organisations, and academia, as well as a GHS expert from UNECE and a UNITAR resource person. UNECE and UNITAR provided substantive training on the GHS and provided examples of GHS implementation in various countries, while the national project consultant gave an overview of the national chemicals management situation and the GHS project to be implemented. Subsequently, participants identified the key actors, benefits, and existing infrastructure and capacity for GHS implementation in Mexico. A voluntary regulation to implement GHS exists in the country and there was a strong push from the workshop participants to take steps to convert this into an obligatory norm.

The country will expand on these discussions and carry out a GHS situation and gap analysis over the next few months. Based on this, a National GHS Implementation Strategy will be prepared. This document will contain action plans for the implementation of the GHS in key sectors such as the industrial workplace, agriculture, transport, and consumer products. In parallel to the development of the Strategy, Mexico will carry out awareness-raising and training activities for the different sectors.

The National Planning and Inception Workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico, with technical support provided by UNITAR, and financial support provided by SAICM’s Quick Start Programme Trust Fund.