The new CLP Legislation is the EU’s adoption of the latest chemical classification system devised by the United Nations.The new European Regulation on Classification, Labeling and packaging of Substances and Mixtures (EC1272/2008), known as CLP Regulation, came into force in January 2009. The first stage of the transition processes covered substances which meant the relabelling of all individual substances by 1st December 2010. The 2nd stage is the inclusion of mixtures which are to be relabelled by 1st June 2015. (However some stocks of products already in the supply chain may be onward supplied without needing to be relabelled for a further 2 years after the deadline)


Why Has the new CLP Legislation been introduced?

Increased international movement of goods has led to a greater focus on the need for standardised labelling. Anomalies existed where, a chemical may have been labelled as toxic in one country but not so in another. In extreme cases some countries didn’t have any labeling classification system at all.

To standardise chemical labeling the United Nations created the Globally Harmonised System (GHS). This worldwide system has been design to protect people and the environment but also to promote international trade.

Individual countries or trading blocks give the GHS legal status. The EU has used the GHS to create CLP, the classification, Labelling and packaging of substances. THis replaces the CHIP Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply)- Regulation. The old orange square CHIP hazard symbols are being replaced  with new pictograms of a red diamond with a white background. These are already being used for single substances and companies have until the 1st June 2015 to comply to the new rules and the labelling of mixtures.

The Nine CLP Pictograms

For the transportation of hazardous goods by road, rail air and sea there are separate legal requirements. For example road transportation through Europe is covered  by ADR, these and the other transport classification systems RID, IMDG, IATA and ICAO have yet to have been adopted into the Globally Harmonised System, so it still may be necessary to use both systems in tandem. It is also unclear at this stage whether ‘Storage Area Marking’ is covered by CLP or still covered by the existing CHIP regulations. We will keep you updated as more details become announced.