CLP Regulations come into Force this June

CLP stands for Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures Regulations. This framework was established in 2008 for the classification and labelling of substances and mixtures in the European Union which came into force in 2009. The CLP Regulations are based on the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) which is an international voluntary agreement that has to be adopted through a national or regional legal mechanism to ensure that it becomes legally binding. The CLP Regulations have been progressively replacing the EU’s Dangerous Substances and Dangerous Preparation Directives over the past few years. GHS came into force via CLP as it was widely recognised that the various systems for classification and labelling of chemicals was causing confusion, potential errors and misunderstandings among workers and consumers. On a basic level the CLP Regulations requires chemicals to be classified based on their hazards and their packaging labelled accordingly. From the start of June of this year, the CLP Regulations which have been gradually phased in to ease the burden on businesses will complete. From June 2015, this regulation will be directly applied in all EU member states. This impacts on all aspects of chemical legislation including REACH and COSHH (click here to read about the update in the Seveso Directive). There are a number of benefits connected with the CLP Regulations which include:

  1. A single classification and labelling system in the EU and worldwide.
  2. Reduce compliance costs associated with the numerous current systems and by facilitating international trade.
  3. Ensures more consistent hazard classification and communication leading to environmental and health & safety protection.
  4. Supports and improves the information flow up and down the chemical supply/use chain.

In order to be compliant with CLP Regulations, businesses need to:

  • Classify and label substances in accordance with CLP by 1st December 2010 or December 2012 if already on the market.
  • Mixtures need to be classified and labelled in accordance with CLP by 1st June 2015 or 1st June 2017, if already on the market.

CLP applies to suppliers of substances and mixtures and for anybody that has to apply the new rules of classifications, labelling and packaging under CLP. So what is new to the CLP Regulations? CLP will become a single ‘direct acting’ regulation which introduces new ‘global’ classification criteria for both substances and mixtures and global rules for labelling. Some of the main changes to the CLP Regulations include:

  • The familiar orange hazards signs will be replaced by hazard pictograms in the shape of a square set at a point, with a white background and a red border.

For example:

CLP (1)

CLP Pictograms

  • CLP also introduces three new hazards pictograms:
  1. The ‘Exclamation Mark’ will replace St. Andrew’s Cross
  2. The ‘Exploding Man’ which is used to identify chronic health hazards
  3. The ‘Gas Bottle’ which is used to identify compressed and liquefied gases.
  • There will no longer be an ‘indication of danger’ such as ‘Toxic’ or ‘Dangerous to the Environment’ instead CLP is introducing two signal words ‘Warning’ or ‘Danger’ depending on the category of the hazard class.

Sources: CLP Regulation: http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Archived_Material/FAQs/Chemical/CLP_Regulation.html CLP Changes: http://www.shponline.co.uk/clp-changes-new-comah-regs-prepared/ The CLP Regulation: http://www.hse.gov.uk/chemical-classification/legal/clp-regulation.htm

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