The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the voice of the chemical industry in the Arabian Gulf, 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, 2020.
The roundtable entitled ‘Government and Chemical Industry Collaboration: Harmonized Chemical Management in GCC’, which was hosted by Borouge and organized by GPCA, sought to pave the way for the implementation of GHS (Global Harmonized System) and ADR (Dangerous Goods Road Transport) regulations in the GCC.
The new regulations will enable for the creation of a strong and successful chemical management framework, which in turn will help safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the general public by decreasing the risk of incidents involving hazardous chemicals due to lack of knowledge and adequate understanding, and assist increase self assurance and trust of residents in the industrial community.
Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented, “As part of our efforts to drive the improvement of requirements in the region and facilitate collaboration, GPCA has joined forces with the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO), currently signing an MoU for collaboration in the improvement of effective regional industry standards. Moving forward, GPCA is dedicated to harmonizing chemical industry regulations in the GGC and will proceed to work intently with GSO and other GCC regulators to assist meet these goals that gain both industry and society and serve the region’s economic interest.”
Abdulrahman Al Ateek, SVP Corporate Affairs, Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), said: “In line with our dedication to Responsible Care best practice, Borouge strongly advocates enforcing a new chemicals management framework throughout GCC countries. It is essential to set clear and unified classification standards to deal with hazardous chemicals to make sure the safety of our people moving, dealing with and processing chemicals.”
Throughout 2018-19, GPCA organized a series of government industry roundtables on harmonized chemicals management in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, reaching out to over 325 regulators throughout 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 enhance the safety of employees and protect the environment by promoting safe managing of chemicals.
ADR, the Agreement regarding 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 assist to set up a safe and uniform handling and transportation of hazardous goods.