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Safety data sheets (SDSs) provide information on how to store and handle hazardous chemical substances. Within the automotive industry, manufacturers, importers and downstream users frequently need to send or receive SDSs, and a new electronic platform called eSDScom has been developed to streamline this process.
eSDScom meets the requirements of two sets of EU regulations that directly impact the content of safety data sheets. These are REACH (covering registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals), and CLP (covering classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals).
More broadly, communication relating to hazardous materials has become more complex, both up- and downstream and within companies. To minimise this increased administrative and cost burden, it is essential to switch to the paperless exchange of SDS information between manufacturers, importers and downstream users.
In 2010, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) agreed that an XML-based electronic data exchange system should be developed as a long-term alternative to the existing paper-based system for communicating SDSs along the supply chain. Such a system would enable data to be made available in a structured XML format ready for importing into in-house databases.
In this joint paper, the four associations review the main characteristics of the current eSDScom data sharing platform and recommend that all members of the automotive supply chain implement an XML interface into their health and safety and environmental IT systems.
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