Classification of articles (objects)

What is an article?

An article is an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.

A producer of an article is any natural or legal person who makes or assembles an article based within Great Britain or is a qualifying business in Northern Ireland, the latter supplying a qualifying NI good directly to the GB market.

These definitions are the same in both the GB CLP and the UK REACH Regulations.

In a general sense, an article can usually be considered to be a finished product. Some examples of articles are clear cut, for example a telephone, a chair and a car.

Sometimes it is not as easy to tell if something meets the definition of an article. For example, a metal bar can be an article if it has already been produced with a certain shape or size so that it can be engineered into another object. However, it will not be an article if it hasn't been produced in this way and is simply to be melted to make another metallic object.

Articles and the GB CLP Regulation

The UK REACH Regulation provides a more considered understanding of what an article might be.

The guidance supporting EU REACH provides an excellent overview of how suppliers can determine whether or not they are supplying an article. This guidance can be applied to GB supply. More information can be found in the guidance on the website of the European Chemicals Agency.

The position under the GB CLP is reasonably straightforward. The GB CLP Regulation applies to substances and mixtures, and to the following specific types of article:

  • explosive articles (those containing one or more explosive substances or mixtures)
  • pyrotechnic articles (articles containing one or more pyrotechnic substances or mixtures)

Where an article meets these definitions, it must be classified, labelled and packaged according to the GB CLP Regulation as if it were a substance or mixture.

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Updated: 2022-02-11