New European rules on notifying chemical substances

From December, within one month of placing a chemical substance on the market, all companies involved in its manufacture or import will need to notify ECHA for its inclusion in the new Classification and Labelling Inventory.

European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures – the CLP Regulation – is about the hazards of chemical substances and mixtures and how to inform others about them. It is the task of industry to establish what are the hazards of substances and mixtures before these are placed on the market, and to classify them in line with the identified hazards. In case a substance or a mixture is hazardous, it has to be labelled so that workers and consumers know about its effects before they handle it.

Phased in over a five-year period, the legislation will apply to chemical substances from December 2010 and to chemical mixtures from 1 June 2015.

Companies have to notify a substance to the Classification & Labelling (C&L) Inventory established at ECHA in cases where they are placing the substance on the market and they either:

  • manufacture the substance and it is subject to registration under the REACH regulation; or
  • import the substance and it is subject to registration under the REACH; or
  • manufacture or import the substance and it is classified as hazardous, irrespective of the quantity; or
  • import a mixture which contains the substance that is classified as hazardous and is present above the relevant concentration limit, which results in the classification of the mixture as hazardous according to the CLP regulation; or
  • import an article containing substances which are subject to registration under Article 7 of REACH.

ECHA has published a guide which explains the role of the Inventory, the information needed in a notification, and how to submit it.

To ensure companies do not miss the first deadline for notification, 3 January, ECHA recommends that notifications are submitted well before 24 December 2010.

Further information is available on the ECHA website.