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Last checked: 14/10/2021

Classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals

If you supply any hazardous chemicals within the EEA (In this case, the 27 EU member states + the UK (until the end of the transition period) + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you must abide by the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation. It complements the REACH Regulation and ensures that the hazards of chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers through pictograms and standard statements on labels and safety data sheets.


The new system for classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) took effect on 1 June 2015. All businesses supplying hazardous chemicals anywhere within the European Economic Area (EEA) must comply.

If you are a newcomer to EU laws on chemicals, have a look at the Guide to chemical safety for small and medium-sized businessesOpen as an external linkPDF document. You should take account of the processes associated with REACH and of legislation on biocides and pesticidesOpen as an external link, if applicable, when planning CLP procedures.

Hazardous chemicals

Before placing chemical substances or mixtures of such substances on the market, you must

If you place a hazardous substance on the market (whether on its own or mixed with other substances), you must notifyOpen as an external linkits classification and labelling to the Classification and Labelling Inventory set up by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHAOpen as an external link). Notifications are free of charge and ​must be completed within one month of placing the substance/mixture on the market for the first time. If you are an importer, the deadline is counted from the day when a substance (or mixture of substances) enters EU customs territory.

How to classify, label and package chemicals

As of​ June 2015,​ you must follow 2 rules:

How to comply with CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) Regulation

The CLP Regulation applies to a wide range of companies:

Your obligations depend on your role in the supply chain.

The EU has incorporated the new worldwide rules (Globally Harmonised System - GHS) developed by the United Nations into the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation. The aim is to make global trading easier and help consumers.

See also:

Related topics

EU legislation

Affected by Brexit?

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Product Contact PointOpen as an external link

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

National helpdesks for chemicalsOpen as an external link

The national helpdesks are your first contact point on questions related to your obligations under the CLP and REACH Regulations.

More assistance services

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