Beta This is a new way of showing guidance - your feedback will help us improve it.

Chemical classification

Chemical classification means finding out whether the chemicals you supply can harm you, others or the environment.

Classification is important because it provides the starting point for the controls needed to protect people and the environment.

This guidance is to help you understand the basics of classification and where you can find detailed help and advice.

The law

The classification of chemicals placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) are regulated by the GB Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation, known as GB CLP.

HSE is the GB CLP Agency and carries out certain CLP functions formerly undertaken by ECHA.

Supply chemicals to the GB market

If you are:

you have a legal duty to understand your obligations and duties under the GB CLP Regulation.

If your business is based in Great Britain and is supplied by businesses based within the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) and you place those products on the GB market, you are defined as an importer of chemicals and must comply with the GB CLP Regulation.

Supply chemicals to the NI market

The classification of chemicals placed on the market in Northern Ireland are regulated by European regulations known as EU CLP. HSE Northern Ireland (HSENI) has separate guidance on EU CLP.

What do I need to do?

If you supply chemicals directly to the GB market, you need to understand your legal responsibilities. What do I need to do? overview guidance outlines your duties under GB CLP

The legal system

Find out about laws on GB classification, labelling and packaging and what they mean for chemical suppliers placing substances and mixtures on the GB market.

Labels and packaging

Labels on chemical products provide us with lots of information about hazards and how to use the products safely. Labels and packaging guidance explains hazard symbols/pictograms, hazard wording and safety advice.


Subscribe for free email updates and receive the latest news and guidance on chemical classification.

Updated: 2021-03-29