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Managing Your Lab's Hazardous Substances

Most laboratories use hazardous substances. A laboratory can manage these substances by either:

  • complying with the relevant substance controls,
  • complying with the Laboratory chemicals and reagent kit group standard, or
  • operating as an exempt laboratory, as provided by section 33 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act

 

If your lab meets the requirements of the Hazardous Substances (Exempt Laboratories) regulations then it can import or manufacture small amounts of substances into New Zealand for:

 

What type of laboratory can operate as an exempt laboratory?

A laboratory in New Zealand can choose to operate as an exempt laboratory if it:

  1. complies with the provisions of the Hazardous Substances Exempt Laboratory Regulations
  2. does not use hazardous substances for which approval has been declined under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act
  3. does not use, or create, a persistent organic pollutant
  4. imports, stores and transports hazardous substances in accordance with the provisions of the Hazardous Substances Exempt Laboratory Regulations
  5. does not sell any hazardous substance or product derived from that substance, unless the sale is to another HSNO exempt laboratory.

 

Commercial laboratories selling hazardous substances cannot operate as exempt laboratories.

All other laboratories can operate as exempt laboratories, including research and development, analytical, and medical diagnostic laboratories.

 

Becoming an exempt laboratory

Becoming an exempt laboratory is a self-assessment process. A laboratory wishing to operate as an exempt laboratory should refer to the Hazardous Substances (Exempt Laboratory) Regulations 2001 and assess whether it complies with the requirements in these regulations.

 

Operating as an exempt laboratory

Operating as an exempt laboratory means that the laboratory:

  • is not required to apply to use or manufacture a new hazardous substance i.e. the substance does not need HSNO approval
  • is exempt from approved handler requirements
  • must comply with the Hazardous Substances (Exempt Laboratory) Regulations 2001 to ensure that the hazardous substances are appropriately managed within the laboratory.

 

Guidance for exempt laboratories

If you are operating as an exempt laboratory, you still need to manage your hazardous substances safely and comply with the rules.

Codes of practice have been developed to provide guidance to laboratories on complying with the Exempt Laboratory Regulations:

 

Importation of non-approved hazardous substances

If your laboratory wishes to purchase a chemical that is not HSNO approved, your chemical supplier may request a letter stating that your laboratory is operating as a s33 exempt laboratory and that it complies with the Exempt Laboratory Regulations.

 

Declined substances and Persistent organic pollutants

If your laboratory wishes to use a persistent organic pollutant (POP), or a substance for which approval has been declined, you need to make Containment Application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Contact the EPA on (04) 916 2426 or visit their website: www.epa.govt.nz

 

Last updated 30 August 2014

PLEASE NOTE

On Monday 4 April 2016, the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect.

HSWA repeals the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with immediate effect.

All references to the 1992 Act on this website and within our guidance will be progressively removed.