Classification of Labelling & Packaging

A new regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures became effective on 20th January 2009. The CLP regulation implements the UN Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) into EU legislation. Harmonised international rules aim to improve the protection of human health and the environment and to facilitate international trade with chemicals.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will be the host of the official classification and labelling inventory. After 1 December 2010 manufacturers and importers will be obliged to report their classification to the inventory. All substances within the scope of CLP that are classified as hazardous must be reported to the inventory. In addition, substances registered according to the REACH regulation must also be reported.

Regulation (EC ) No.1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures will supersede the EU substance 67/548/EEC and preparation 1999/45/EC directives. To allow companies to adopt the new regulation there will be a transitional period during which both old and new classification can appear on the label and the safety data sheet.

A new feature of CLP is that criteria and test methods for physical hazard (explosive, flammable and oxidising properties etc.) are in accordance with the regulations on transport for dangerous goods.

The black danger symbols on an orange square background do not appear in CLP. The CLP symbols (pictograms) are placed on a white diamond background. Indications of danger included in the labelling like Harmful or Irritating are not included in CLP. Instead the signal words Hazard and Warning apply.

Exemptions: radioactive substances and mixtures, substances and mixtures which are subject to customs supervision, non-isolated intermediates, substances and mixtures for scientific research and development which are not placed on the market, medicinal products, veterinary medicinal products, cosmetic products, medical devices and food or feeding stuffs.

After 1 December 2010

Until 1 June 2015, mixtures must continue to be classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with DPD. However a mixture may also be classified, labelled and packaged according to CLP before this date. When this is done, the labelling and packaging provisions of DPD shall no longer apply to the mixture. This means that labelling and packaging must respect the provisions of CLP.

Until 1 June 2015, the classification of a mixture according to DPD must be provided in the Safety Data Sheet. Until 1 June 2015, if a mixture is classified, labelled and packaged according to CLP, the CLP classification must appear on the Safety Data Sheet alongside the classification based on the DPD. However a supplier may choose to identify the CLP classification of a mixture in advance of applying CLP to it in full. Where this happens the supplier may include this information on the accompanying Safety Data Sheet under the other information heading.

After 1 June 2015

Substances must be classified in accordance with CLP only. Substance classification according to CLP must be provided on the Safety Data Sheet. Mixtures must be classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with CLP only. Mixtures already classified, labelled and packaged in accordance to DPD and placed on the market (on the shelves) before 1 June 2015 will only have to be re-labelled and re-packaged by 1 June 2017. Mixture classification according to CLP must be provided on the Safety Data Sheet.

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