Classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) what you’ll need to do in a no-deal scenario
If the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal, the UK would establish an independent standalone chemicals regime.
At the time of exit, as the UK would effectively adopt the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (UN GHS) in the same way as the EU.
The UK classification and labelling regime would be based on the existing EU regulatory regime to provide continuity for businesses.
Functions now carried out by the EU (including those performed by ECHA), will be carried out in the UK by HSE. This would mean companies operating in the UK dealing with HSE in place of ECHA.
The majority of CLP would continue to be applied in the UK, so the main duties and obligations on UK manufacturers, importers and downstream users to classify, label and package the substances and mixtures they place on the UK market will remain. This would also be the case for the obligations on those suppliers to identify, examine and evaluate available scientific and information on substances and mixtures where it relates to the possible physical, health or environmental hazardous properties of those chemicals to ensure all the requirements of classification are fulfilled. Suppliers must also comply with mandatory classification and labelling.
All labelling requirements would remain in place including the principles of precedence for the different labelling elements, the location of the label on packaging, and exemptions where available. Our existing guidance provides an overview of CLP labelling and packaging.
There are no changes to the requirements where CLP (supply) labelling appears alongside transport labelling. More information about transporting dangerous goods, including transport labelling requirements is available on GOV.UK.
Packaging requirements stay the same, including those for child resistant closures and tactile warning devices.
Testing arrangements, including the prohibition of testing on humans or primates for the purposes of CLP, will still apply.
Manufacturers’ and importers’ duty to notify the required classification and labelling of the substances that they place on the UK market will continue. These notifications will be made to HSE, rather than European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
Implications for business
Existing arrangements would continue to apply, with the following changes:
- companies importing chemicals into the UK from EU countries would become importers under CLP and would need to comply with the duties and obligations of an importer, just as they would if importing chemicals into the UK from a non-EU country
- companies would interact with HSE for UK CLP functions, for example submission of notifications of classifications of chemicals
- HSE would act as the CLP competent authority for the UK, on behalf of the Secretary of State and the devolved administrations. Existing harmonised classification and labelling for named substances or groups of substances would continue to have legal effect in the UK. Once we leave the EU, HSE would have the ability to put in place new arrangements for mandatory classification and labelling. These arrangements would allow new and revised classification and labelling to be proposed, considered in liaison with the devolved authorities and adopted for the UK.
- companies would be required to use new UK arrangements and IT tools provided by HSE. These IT tools would be a UK mandatory classification and labelling list (of substances) and a UK notification database.
- responsibility for chemicals being imported into the EU from the UK would rest with whoever is the EU-based importer – the importer may therefore need details of the chemicals involved from the UK-based company
- In future, the UK will be free to make its own decisions about chemical hazard classification, including whether or not to align with decisions made in the EU or other countries
More information is available on our existing CLP guidance pages
Scenario table to help you prepare
This scenario table sets out a number of actions and dates that your company would need to investigate so that you can prepare for a ‘no-deal’ scenario.