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The Revision of Annex II of REACH Regulation specifies in point 0.2.3 that:
“[…] The safety data sheet shall be prepared by a competent person who shall take into account the specific needs and knowledge of the user audience, as far as they are known. Suppliers of substances and mixtures shall ensure that such competent persons have received appropriate training, including refresher training.”
Definition of “Competent Person”
A person (or combination of persons) – or a coordinator of a group of people – who has as a result of their training, experience and continued education, sufficient knowledge for the compilation of the respective sections of the SDS or of the entire SDS.
Delegation of Responsibilities
The supplier of the SDS can delegate this function to his own staff or to third parties. It is not necessary that the expert knowledge be provided in full by one single competent person.
Collaboration of Competences
Generally, a single person rarely possesses comprehensive knowledge in all the fields covered by an SDS. It’s thus necessary that the competent person rely upon additional competences, either internal or external. The competent person should ensure the consistency of the SDS, especially if he acts as the coordinator of a group of people.
Supplier’s Duty for Training
There is a specific duty on the supplier of the substances and mixtures to ensure that the competent persons have received appropriate training and refresher training.
Nature of Required Training
There is no specific indication in the REACH Regulation of the training which the competent person should have or that he should attend a special course or pass an official examination. However attendance at such courses and any examination and certification may be useful in demonstrating the required competence.
Training Methods and Documentation
These persons can receive training and ongoing education either within the organization or from external sources. The recommended approach involves documenting the organizational flow for compiling and updating Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) within a company, utilizing internal guidelines or operating procedures.
If SDSs are to be compiled for explosives, biocides, plant protection products, or surfactants additional knowledge on specific products legislation applicable to them is needed.
The text of point 0.2.5 of Annex II to REACH specifies that:
“The date of compilation of the safety data sheet shall be given on the first page.
When a safety data sheet has been revised and the new, revised version is provided to recipients, the changes shall be brought to the attention of the recipient in Section 16 of the safety data sheet, unless they have been indicated elsewhere.
For the revised safety data sheets, the date of compilation identified as “Revision: (date)” as well as a version number, revision number, supersedes date or other indication of what version is replaced shall appear on the first page”.
To note revisions, label them on page one. Describe changes in section 16 or other SDS parts.
Article 31 and Annex II of the REACH Regulation define the format and content of SDS. The latest change is from 1.6.2015 by Regulation No. 830/2015/EC and safety data sheets issued before 1.6.2015 must be in compliance till 31.5.2017 as a latest.
Classification in the safety data sheets is in compliance with CLP Regulation No. 1272/2008/ES from 1.6.2015. For instances where a labeled and market-entered mixture existed prior to that date, the exemption for reclassification remains valid until June 1st, 2017.
Another reason for revising the SDS is the update of the CLP Regulation (ATE) No. 918/2016/EC from 19.5.2016, which involves changes to certain hazard phrases (H). It is necessary to adhere to this regulation by the latest date of 1.2.2018.