The legal system

For chemicals classification to work reliably and effectively, it is important for classifiers to have a clear set of rules to follow.

By following clear, shared rules when classifying, suppliers are able to give reliable, consistent, and objective advice to their customers. It also helps customers learn what different warning symbols and phrases mean, which is essential for hazard communication to be effective.

Laws on chemical classification and labelling establish the duty to classify chemicals and set out the rules that should be followed. Their aim is to improve:

  • knowledge of chemical hazards, and
  • how information about these hazards is passed to users so that chemicals can be used and disposed of safely

Over time, these laws have been developed and refined. The current classification laws are sophisticated and incorporate a detailed technical system of classification criteria.

If you supply chemicals, it is important that you understand these laws and what you need to do to meet the necessary requirements. See What do I need to do.

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Updated: 2022-02-11