What is the GADSL? Understanding the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List

In the automotive industry, the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL) is critical for meeting materials reporting compliance requirements. Similar to the united effort to develop the International Material Data System (IMDS), the GADSL was developed by a group of experts in the global automotive industry in response to regulations and customer demands for more transparency about the chemicals used in automotive production.

Companies use the GADSL to ensure they are using safe and sustainable chemicals in their production processes and to enable them to meet compliance regulations and customer requirements. The list also serves as a harmonized industry standard, facilitating supply chain communication and making it easier for suppliers to comply with multiple customer requirements.

This means that familiarity with the GADSL is important for every automotive manufacturer. To meet your compliance requirements, you will need to understand what the GADSL is, how to use it, and understand its inherent benefits.

What is the GADSL?

The GADSL is a database that provides information about the chemical substances used in automotive manufacturing that may be regulated in various parts of the world. Companies use it as a reference when building their parts and materials, not just in the International Material Data System (IMDS), but also for any other product compliance requirement that must be met worldwide.

The GADSL includes a list of over 3,000 substances. It lists the chemical names, CAS number, and the reason why the substance is included in the list. The list is also regularly updated to reflect the latest scientific understanding of chemicals and how they may be potentially harmful to human health and the environment.

How Do Companies Use the GADSL?

The GADSL can be used in a variety of ways to ensure regulations and requirements are met, support industry supply chains, promote sustainability, and increase transparency.

Materials Reporting Requirements

The GADSL provides the necessary support for companies to meet product compliance regulations. By referencing chemicals in the GADSL, companies can understand whether their products contain hazardous substances that may be restricted or that their customers have asked them to limit the use of.

Supply Chain Communication

Solid supply chain communication is essential to keep your products on the market and deliver products to your customers on time. Because the GADSL provides a common framework for understanding automotive chemicals, it makes it easier to communicate with your global supply chain about the use and restriction of these chemicals and find alternative substances to replace hazardous chemicals.

Sustainability Reporting

In today’s world, consumers increasingly care about the sustainability of the products they are using and purchasing. As a result, many automotive manufacturing companies are aiming to be more transparent in their sustainability reporting. Since the GADSL provides a framework for evaluating the safety and sustainability of  chemicals used in automotive manufacturing, it can help companies report on their sustainability initiatives and demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility.


The GADSL can also help promote innovation in the automotive industry by encouraging companies to explore alternative materials and production processes that are more sustainable. By providing information about the potential risks and hazards of chemicals, the GADSL can help companies identify potential materials that can be replaced to create more sustainable products.


Using the GADSL to Meet Product Compliance Requirements

While using GADSL is not required, it is designed to make your compliance reporting easier and more cost-effective. Therefore, most automotive companies use it to support their compliance requirements and reach their sustainability goals.

It’s also important to remember that the GADSL does not replace requirements you may be given by your customers. For example, there could be substances that are not on the GADSL list that your customers could still ask you to report.

Get Automotive Support From Tetra Tech

Meeting automotive compliance requirements can be a complicated endeavor. The GADSL is just the beginning of understanding the ins and outs of successful compliance reporting. You’ll also want to make sure you have strong supply chain communication systems in place, your staff is trained in IMDS, and you understand all of the compliance requirements you are subject to.

If you need help with your automotive reporting compliance reporting, contact Tetra Tech at [email protected]. We have decades of experience supporting global automotive compliance and can help you with everything from compliance assessments to program implementation to IMDS training.


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