The Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) Regulation 1272/2008 (EC), entered into force in January 2009, aligning European Union (EU) legislation with the United Nations, Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
CLP repealed the Dangerous Substances Directive (67/548/EEC), DSD and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (1999/45/EC), DPD on hazard classification and labelling for substances and mixtures respectively. Hazard symbols, risk phrases and classification according to the DSD and DPD were replaced with pictograms, hazard statements and a new classification system based on GHS criteria. More than 20 pieces of EU legislation refer to the classification and labelling of chemicals e.g. Seveso and Waste Directives, all of which had to be revised to reflect CLP.
GHS was developed to address global differences in classification and hazard communication for chemicals. However, it is a set of model recommendations that individual countries can adopt according to their own time frame and within their own transition periods.
Furthermore, GHS comprises a set of “building blocks”, which are the hazard classes and hazard categories of the classification system. Individual countries or regions chose which building blocks to adopt, creating further differences. CLP was developed to maintain the scope as close as possible to the DSD and DPD and does not include the full range. For example, the EU adopted three of the four flammable categories. This results in classification and labelling differences in supply from the EU and those countries that implemented all four.
GHS was adopted in 2002 and published in 2003. It has been revised and re-issued every two years and is now on the 7th revision (2017). However, there is further variation in that different countries are working with different versions.
CLP introduced a new EU Classification & Labelling (C&L) Inventory. The inventory contains classification and labelling information on REACH registered substances, the list of harmonised classifications and those substances that require notification, according to the Articles of CLP.
A harmonised classification and labelling must be applied for categories of CMR substances, respiratory sensitisers and when justified for other hazard classes.
Notification to the C & L Inventory is required by manufacturers and/or importers for substances not yet REACH registered and hazardous substances, irrespective of volume. It is also required for hazardous substances in imported mixtures, when the concentration of the substance results in classification of the mixture, and substances in imported articles subject to registration under Article 7 of REACH.
The European Chemicals Agency is largely responsible for the management of the regulation e.g. in receiving notifications made to the C&L Inventory.
Page published 5 May 2018
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