Source: ECHA Newsletter

The two-year transition period to comply with the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) is about to end. This means that all chemical products on the market need to be labelled with the new red and white diamond-shaped pictograms by 1 June 2017.

Everyone in the supply chain, from retailers to manufacturers, is affected. Placing any incorrectly labelled products on the market will be illegal from 1 June. Consumers need to get used to the new pictograms so that they know how to use the products safely.

The CLP Regulation was introduced in 2008. Replacing both the Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD) and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (DPD), it marked a new beginning for communicating on the hazards of chemicals globally.

If you are a distributor or retailer

Since 1 June 2015, all mixtures being placed on the market for the first time have had to be classified and labelled according to the CLP Regulation. However, for mixtures that were already on the market, there was a transition period, during which they could stay on the market and be sold.

The transition period ends on 1 June 2017. No matter what your role is, you need to observe this deadline.

From 1 June 2017, a distributor is not allowed to sell any products with the old classification and labelling. For a retailer, this means that you can only have products with the new CLP labels on your shelves.

Even if you have products with old labels in stock, after 1 June, you can no longer sell them. You need to remove them from the shelves unless you have agreed with your supplier that they provide you with new labels and their packaging complies with the CLP requirements.

If you print your own labels, you must make sure that classification and labelling is correct. Your supplier may be able to help you with this.

What does this mean for consumers?

We use chemicals at home every day: for cleaning, gardening and household maintenance. Most of these products are not hazardous when used properly, but you always need to be careful and know how to use them.

The information on the product label is there to help you identify the hazards and give you advice on how to use them safely. Therefore, it is important that you always read the label of the chemical product before you use it.

The label includes:

  • the name of the product,
  • contact details of the supplier of the product,
  • pictograms to show the potential hazard,
  • written information to alert you about the severity of the hazard, and
  • what safety measures are required.