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Classification, labelling, packaging

Updated 08/2014

CLP stands for the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation pdf български (bg)czech (cs)dansk (da)Deutsch (de)eesti (et)ελληνικά (el)español (es)Français (fr)Gaeilge (ga)italiano (it)latviešu (lv)lietuvių (lt)magyar (hu)Malti (mt)Nederlands (nl)polski (pl)português (pt)română (ro)slovenčina (sk)slovenščina (sl)suomi (fi)svenska (sv) [7 MB] . It complements the REACH Regulation and ensures that the hazards of chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers through standard statements and pictograms on labels and safety data sheets.

The EU has developed systems for providing information on hazardous chemicals since late 60s. Yet, the classification systems used in other countries were different.

Therefore, to help consumers and facilitate global trade, the EU adopted with CLP new worldwide rules (Globally Harmonised System - GHS), developed by the United Nations.

From June, 1st 2015 the new CLP system will be the only one in force. All businesses in all EU countries must comply.

CLP applies to you if …

The CLP rules apply to any supplier of hazardous chemicals on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA). It includes a wide range of companies, not only manufacturers, but also importers and re-importers of substances or mixtures, producers of specific articles, formulators and distributors or even retailers. Your obligations depend on your role in the supply chain.

How does CLP work?

Before you place chemical substances or mixtures on the market, you must

  • establish the potential hazards to human health and the environment and classify them in line with the identified hazards.
  • label and package hazardous chemicals according to the standardised system laid out in the CLP Regulation so that workers and consumers know about their effects before they handle them.

If you place a hazardous substance on the market, whether on its own or in a mixture, you must notify [228 KB] български čeština dansk Deutsch ελληνικά español eesti suomi français English magyar italiano lietuvių latviešu Malti Nederlands polski português română slovenčina slovenščina svenska its classification and labelling to the Classification and Labelling Inventory, established by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), within one month of placing the substance (or mixture) on the market for the first time. Notifications are free of charge. If you are an importer, the one month is counted from the day when a substance, on its own or contained in a mixture, is physically introduced into the customs territory of the EU.

When do I have to classify and label my chemicals in line with CLP?

The new CLP rules for substances came into force as of 1 December 2010. But until 1 June 2015 you need to classify according to both the current and the new CLP systems, and communicate both classifications to your users. Labelling and packaging of substances should be according to CLP.

The new CLP rules must be used for mixtures as of 1 June 2015 but may be applied sooner (in which case, the mixtures must be labelled and packaged according to CLP only). For mixtures already in the supply chain (‘on the shelves’) before 1 June 2015, re-labelling and re-packing can be postponed for two years - until 1 June 2017.

How do I comply with CLP?

  • Identify your role and obligations under the regulation: manufacturer, importer, user, distributor, producer of articles. You may have more than one role.
  • Update the inventory of your substances and mixtures (including those substances contained in mixtures) and substances contained in articles.

It is a good idea to plan CLP processes together with the processes related to REACH and the legislation on biocides and pesticides, if applicable.

Dig deeper, country by country:

Help & advice

Help & advice

Product Contact Point

Your Product Contact Point can inform you on national product legislation and help you access another national market in the EU.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

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