The GB CLP Regulation
European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures came into force on 20 January 2009 in all European Union (EU) Member States, including the UK. It is known by its abbreviated form, 'the CLP Regulation' or just plain 'CLP'.
The EU CLP Regulation adopts the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of the classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) across all EU countries, including the UK, when the UK was an EU Member State.
As GHS is a voluntary agreement rather than a law, it must be adopted through a suitable national or regional legal mechanism to ensure it becomes legally binding. That's what the EU CLP Regulation does.
The EU CLP Regulation as amended, is retained in GB law. These arrangements mean that Great Britain continues to adopt GHS, independently of the European Union.
In order for GB CLP to operate fully and effectively in Great Britain, the EU CLP Regulation has been amended. This means there are changes to the requirements or allowances in existing processes and procedures. The following should be noted:
- the main duties to classify, label and package remain
- HSE becomes the relevant GB CLP Agency overseeing GB CLP functions for substances and mixtures placed on the GB market
- the GB CLP Regulation applies to GB-based manufacturers, importers, downstream users and distributors supplying the GB market
- substances and mixtures placed on the market in Northern Ireland are subject to the EU CLP Regulation (placed on the market includes import into the territory)
- the GB CLP Regulation applies to NI based manufacturers, downstream users and distributors (collectively referred to as 'NI suppliers') who directly supply the GB market, with no intermediate NI supply, with qualifying NI goods (QNIGs)
- substances and mixtures are goods in this context
- GB-based manufacturers and importers and NI suppliers directly supplying the GB market with QNIGs will have to notify HSE within one month of placing 'new' substances on the GB market unless one of the exemptions applies
- all existing EU harmonised classification and labelling in force on 31 December 2020, are retained in Great Britain as GB mandatory classification and labelling (GB MCL)
- the classification and labelling of substances and mixtures placed on the GB market must comply with GB MCL where relevant. GB MCLs are listed in the GB mandatory classification and labelling list
- GB-based manufacturers, importers or downstream users wanting to submit information to support new or revised mandatory classification and labelling proposals should read the GB MCL guidance 'Submitting a new or revised GB MCL proposal'
- HSE and ministers, including ministers in the devolved administrations, acting as GB CLP competent authorities can also propose new and revised GB MCLs
- the allowance to request the use of alternative chemical names remains
- GB-based manufacturers, importers or downstream users or NI-based suppliers, directly supplying the GB market with QNIGs, wanting to use a new alternative chemical name in Great Britain should apply to the HSE
- GB-based importers and downstream users and NI-based downstream users directly supplying the GB market with QNIGs should be aware of the arrangements for submitting information to the UK National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) known as the National poison Centre