Overview of Chemical Regulations in South Africa



Currently, there is no chemical registration or notification requirement in South Africa. "chemsafetypro" has published a brief introduction to how industrial chemicals are currently regulated in South Africa and how to comply with industrial chemical regulations in South Africa. Information are provided in relation to several regulations:

(*) National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No.107 of 1998)

(*) Hazardous Substances Act, 1973 (Act No.15 of 1973)

(*) Occupational Health and Safety Act No.85 of 1993

In particular, it is reported that the Hazardous Substances Act is probably the most important chemical regulation in South Africa. It controls the production, import, use, handling and disposal of hazardous substances. Under the Act, hazardous substances are defined as substances that are toxic, corrosive, irritant, strongly sensitising, flammable and pressure generating under certain circumstances and may injure, cause ill-health or even death in humans. Hazardous substances are classified into 4 groups (see below). Anyone who intends to sell or distribute group I hazardous substances must apply for a license from health authority first.

(*) Group I: industrial chemicals (IA) and pesticides (IB)

(*) Group II: 9 classes of wastes excluding Class 1: explosives and class 7: radioactive substances

(*) Group III: electronic products and group

(*) Group IV: radioactive substances.


The list of group IA hazardous substances is listed below.

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