The Classification, Labelling and Packaging CLP Regulation was introduced in 2008 to ensure that hazards presented by chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers in the European Union through harmonised classification and labelling of chemicals.
All substances must be classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with the CLP Regulations since 1st December 2012, with a transitional deadline for mixtures until 1st June 2015. This transitional deadline is fast approaching and the changes will have far reaching consequences for all those who supply and use hazardous chemicals in Ireland, throughout the EU and indeed worldwide.
By 1st June 2015 all hazardous mixtures placed on the market will need to be classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with the CLP Regulation 1272/2008 (CLP). Any business that imports or formulates chemical mixtures will be affected by this deadline, they should be aware of it and ready for the change. Before placing chemicals on the market these businesses must establish the potential risks to human health and the environment of such substances and mixtures, classifying them in line with the identified hazards. The hazardous chemicals also have to be labelled according to a globally harmonised system so that workers and consumers know about their effects before they handle them. CLP introduces new pictograms, signal word, hazard and precautionary statements to labels. For those mixtures that are already on the market, there an exemption from re-labelling and repackaging until 1st June 2017.
The responsibility for labelling and packaging of hazardous substances and mixtures lies with:
manufacturers of substances,
importers of substances or mixtures,
formulators of mixtures, and
distributers or Downstream Users, who do not reformulate or change the substances or mixtures but relabel/repackage them.
Exactly what steps a company needs to do to comply with CLP will depend on their role and where they sit in the supply chain. The Health and Safety Authority recommends that all stakeholders have an obligation to ensure they are ready for the upcoming deadline.
The HSA is participating in an EU wide awareness raising campaign to alert Irish companies of these changes. As part of this campaign, the HSA is also offering assistance to help compliance with the upcoming deadline and encourages those affected to contact its Chemicals Helpdesk email (email@example.com) for assistance.
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