APEC Virtual Working Group on GHS Data Exchange





The Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Virtual Working Group (VWG) on GHS Data Exchange was an outcome of the 11thAPEC Chemical Dialogue (CD11) meetings held in Kazan, Russia in May, 2012.  Its provisions were outlined in item 3.6 of the APEC CD Action Plan for Chemical Strategic Framework 2011-2013.


Proposed scope of work

The proposed objective of the VWG on GHS Data Exchange is to expand cooperation and mutual recognition among chemical regulators including other international fora to facilitate trade.


Proposed scope of work________________________________________________


To provide for participation of the APEC CD in the establishment of the global non mandatory list of chemicals classified according to GHS (leb by UN SCE GHS) - APEC CD Pilot on GHS classification of chemicals.


The proposed steps are:


1) Interested Members of the VWG on GHS Data Exchange and APEC CD to propose candidate substances for classification project.


2) Interested Members of the VWG on GHS Data Exchange and APEC CD to vote on the candidate substances for classification project from Lists A and B (see Short list of chemicals). While taking decisions on the choosing the substances several considerations should be considered: production volumes, availability of the recent data (including data assessment reports). 


3) Interested Members of the VWG on GHS Data Exchange and APEC CD to express interest to be the lead for classification pilot for substances both from Lists A and B. 


4) Interested Members of the VWG on GHS Data Exchange and APEC CD to take part in the APEC CD pilot on GHS classification of several (2-4) substances (chosen from the UN SCE GHS shortl list of chemicals (List A) and 1-2 extra substances chosen from the substances suggested by the APEC CD members interested in this activity (List B) – intersessionally. 


5) VWG Member and/or economy that has nominated the substance / or is willing to take the lead performs data assessment and GHS classification proposal.


6) VWG on GHS Data Exchange to compile the results of the APEC CD pilot on GHS classification. It distributes them to the interested Members of the VWG on GHS Data Exchange and APEC CD for comments and input.


7) An APEC Project in 2015 - Workshop on discussion of the results of the APEC CD pilot on GHS classification, including discussions of the approaches used for classification. OECD CoCAM representative may be invited.


8) VWG on GHS Data Exchang to document the results of the Workshop as a report and to forward it to the APEC CD for consideration.


9) APEC CD to endorse the report and forward it to the CTI for approval. Upon its approval to forward the report to the UN SCE GHS or OECD CoCAM (if CoCAM will be designated as a focal point for cooperation with its stakeholders).


10) Proposed scope of work as well as possible practical outcomes of work is to be discussed among the VWG members.


11) Work would involve active interaction with the UN Subcommittee on GHS efforts to proceed with the project on the global list of classified substances. This project, thus, provides for a collaborative interface between the APEC CD and the UN Subcommittee on GHS.




Please refer to the presentation made by Russia at the CDSG meeting in Beijing, 12 August 2014 (available for download for registered users).





  • The VWG will consist of two Co-chairs, one each from government and industry. The Russian Federation is proposed as the government Co-chair, with the other industry based Co-chair to be appointed subject to VWG consensus.    


  • APEC CD members may become Members of the VWG if they have such intention without APEC CD approval. The APEC CD will approve and invite experts representing a variety of national, multilateral and international sectors to become Members of the VWG.  The proposed founding VWG Members are from Russia, Japan and the USA, representing organizations such as Russia’s CISCENTER, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Japan Chemical Industry Association, and the US National Library of Medicine, also Taiwan Safety and Health Technology Center (SAHTECH), Singapore Chemical Industry Council Limited (SCIC) and Singapore Ministry of Manpower Services Centre.  The global composition of invited experts provides a unique opportunity for the multilateral cross fertilization of ideas. 



Data Resources and Tools

To carry out the VWG’s tasks and facilitate data exchange, an extensive compilation of assorted documents, databases, and Web sites will be presented in this section.  We encourage VWG members to contribute to this page.


About the VWG Platform

 A Platform was developed to facilitate the activities of the VWG, particularly information exchange of publicly available resources, tools, and discussions.

Currently, it’s provided that users have different access modes to the platform and are divided in the following groups:

  • Registered Users:
    • Members
      Only VWG Members can belong to this group. They have access to all items, can post new materials, and leave comments. They have access to the full list of registered users’ names.
    • Observers
      Regulators and experts from industry and the scientific community representing a variety of national, multilateral and international sectors which are not VWG Members. They have access to public items and can comment them. By commenting on the public items observers can support the work performed by the VWG Members.
  • Unregistered
    Unregistered users have access only to public items. They are not permitted to post new items or comment on existing items. In addition, they don’t have access to the list of registered users’ names. 



We welcome comments from all APEC CD members, as well as VWG Members on general issues relating to chemicals data exchange of any other aspects of this site.  Please use the form below.  It can also be used to express your interest in becoming a VWG Member.  Thank you.