GPCA calls for adoption of new chemicals management regulation in the GCC

The creation of a robust chemical management framework will help safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the general public and reduce the number of road accidents

GPCA organised a government industry roundtable on harmonised chemicals management in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for the first time.
GPCA organised a government industry roundtable on harmonised chemicals management in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for the first time.

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) has called for a region-wide adoption and implementation of a new chemicals management framework in the Arabian Gulf at a government-industry roundtable, which took place in Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi on 6 February.

The roundtable entitled ‘Government and Chemical Industry Collaboration: Harmonised Chemical Management in GCC’, which was hosted by Borouge and organised by GPCA, sought to pave the way for the implementation of GHS (Global Harmonised System) and ADR (Dangerous Goods Road Transport) regulations in the GCC.

The new regulations will allow for the creation of a robust and successful chemical management framework, which in turn will help safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the general public by reducing the risk of incidents involving hazardous chemicals due to lack of knowledge and adequate understanding, and help increase confidence and trust of citizens in the industrial community.

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, secretary general, GPCA, commented: “As part of our efforts to drive the improvement of standards in the region and facilitate collaboration, GPCA has joined forces with the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), recently signing an MoU for collaboration in the development of effective regional industry standards. Moving forward, GPCA is committed to harmonising chemical industry regulations in the GGC and will continue to work closely with GSO and other GCC regulators to help meet these objectives that benefit both industry and society and serve the region’s economic interest.”

Abdulrahman Al Ateek, SVP, corporate affairs, Borouge, said: “In line with our commitment to Responsible Care best practice, Borouge strongly advocated implementing a new chemicals management framework across GCC countries. It is important to set clear and unified classification standards to deal with hazardous chemicals to ensure the safety of our people moving, handling and processing chemicals.”

Throughout 2018-19, GPCA organised a series of government industry roundtables on harmonised chemicals management in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, reaching out to over 325 regulators across the GCC, with the 5th edition of this highly successful event held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for the first time.

The roundtable was attended by 80 delegates, among whom were representatives from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Supreme Petroleum Council, Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology – ESMA, and Etihad Rail, as well as the Public Authority for Industry of Kuwait and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.

Introduced by the UN, GHS is a single worldwide system for classifying and communicating the hazardous properties of industrial and consumer chemicals. GPCA strongly advocates for the adoption of GHS in the region as it will improve the safety of employees and protect the environment by promoting safe handling of chemicals.

ADR, the agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road, is an international regulation, based on the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations. Adopting ADR in the region will help to establish a safe and uniform handling and transportation of dangerous goods.

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