Commission welcomes provisional agreement on improving classification, labelling and packaging of hazardous chemicals
The Commission welcomes the provisional agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council on the revision of the regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals (CLP). While improving the functioning of the EU market regarding products containing hazardous chemicals, the new measures will better protect consumers, workers, and the environment. The revised text will also accelerate the identification of hazardous substances and mixtures at EU level. The revision will improve communication about hazardous chemicals including for chemicals sold online. It also lays down rules on refill sales and provides more flexibility on how to use the labels.
Clearer rules and labels on hazardous chemicals to better protect consumers and the environment
The revision of the CLP Regulation will lead to the following improvements:
- Updated rules for classifying complex substances (substances containing more than one constituent, known as ‘MOCS'). The Parliament and the Council agreed on a specific derogation for plant extracts, including essential oils, with a 5-year review of scientific evidence by the Commission.
- Better protection of consumers when buying hazardous chemicals online. Websites will have to display the hazardous properties of the products.
- Clearer labelling of hazardous chemicals, including for online sales. For instance, the revision introduces advertising requirements and a minimal font size for hazardous chemicals.
- The possibility for businesses to use fold-out labels and digital labelling, while important safety information and the hazard pictograms will also remain on-pack.
- In addition to Member States and industry, the Commission will also have the right to develop classification proposals on potentially hazardous substances. This will speed up the pace at which hazardous substances are identified.
- First ever rules for refillable chemicals, to support the safe sale of household chemicals in bulk. This will also reduce packaging and consequently packaging waste.
- Poison centres will receive better and faster information for medical emergencies.
The CLP revision will foster the transition of the European industry, including SMEs, to sustainable chemicals, and support them to become global front-runners for future-proof chemistry. The revision of the CLP is an important deliverable of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which is a key building block of the European Green Deal.
The European Parliament and the Council will now formally adopt the new Regulation. Once formally adopted, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
The objectives of the CLP Regulation are to protect people and the environment against hazardous chemicals and ensure the free movement of substances and mixtures across the single market. The CLP Regulation obliges manufacturers, importers or other businesses in the value chain to classify, label and package their hazardous chemicals appropriately before selling them. Through pictograms and statements on labels, the CLP Regulation informs consumers and professionals about the hazards in these chemicals so that they are well informed when purchasing or handling hazardous chemicals and which precautionary measures they must follow when using them. Free movement on the single market is ensured since the rules are the same throughout the EU.
CLP provides the basis for many legal provisions across EU legislation on the risk management of chemicals. CLP determines on a scientific basis whether a substance or mixture should be classified and labelled as hazardous. It implements in the EU the United Nations' Globally Harmonised System (GHS).
Once adopted, the agreed changes in the regulation of today, as well as the new hazard criteria for endocrine disruptors and persistent and toxic chemicals in the environment that already apply since April this year, will ensure improved communication and identification of chemical hazards.
For More Information
Delegated Act establishing new hazard classes
Questions & Answers on the revision of the CLP (from 19 December 2022)