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IP/10/1761

Brussels, 21 December 2010

Chemicals: 3 January 2011 is last day for companies to notify substances to classification & labelling inventory

3 January 2011 is the deadline for manufacturers and importers to notify the classification and labelling of the chemicals they place on the market to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Classification is essential to establish whether a chemical can damage health and the environment, and will determine the information on the labels of products used by workers and consumers. The notification to ECHA will ensure public access to the classification of all hazardous substances placed on the market whatever their quantities. If substances have already been registered under REACH by the first deadline of 30 November 2010 (see IP/10/1632), no action is required unless the registered classification information needs to be updated.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik, said: “Our chemical industry needs to be sustainable and provide the necessary information to ensure safe use of chemicals. Therefore, we appeal to all companies concerned to notify the classification and labelling of the substance they place on the market in time to the European Chemicals Agency."

In line with the new Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP Regulation No 1272/2008), manufacturers and importers are required to notify the classification and labelling of chemical substances placed on the EU market to ECHA by 3 January 2011. On 16 December, more than 1.9 million notifications had been submitted to ECHA, and the number is increasing.

It is important to note that these notifications must also be sent for small quantities of chemicals for which no registration is required under REACH (Regulation No 1907/2006 for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) or which have to be registered only in 2013 or 2018. This means many companies are concerned, including many small businesses. No notification is required for substances already registered under REACH by the 30 November 2010 deadline, unless the classification information needs to be updated due to the changes in rules that occurred on 1 December 2010.

Geert Dancet, ECHA Executive Director added: "ECHA and national helpdesks are available to help and support industry, especially SMEs, to comply with their obligations". ECHA will publish the information received in the Classification & Labelling Inventory, which will allow companies to harmonise the classification of substances.

Background

The new CLP Regulation incorporates the classification criteria and labelling rules agreed at UN level, the so called Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). It introduces new classification criteria, hazard symbols (pictograms) and labelling phrases, while taking account of elements which are part of earlier EU legislation.

The Regulation requires companies to classify, label and package appropriately their hazardous chemicals before placing them on the market. It aims to protect workers, consumers and the environment by means of labelling which reflects possible hazardous effects of dangerous substances.

For more information:

DG Enterprise and Industry

DG Environment

ECHA website


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