Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) - Act now!

Date published: 28 May 2015

On 1 June 2015 the old classification and labelling system known as CHIP4 comes to an end. The direct acting Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation takes over.

The CLP Regulation entered into force across all EU member states, including the UK, on 20 January 2009. It replaced the Classification (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations gradually. From 1 June 2015 nearly all elements of CLP will be in force.

The CLP Regulation ensures that the hazards presented by chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers in the European Union through classification and labelling of chemicals.

CLP and substances

The CLP Regulation has applied to substances that are placed on the market since 1 December 2010.

CLP and mixtures (preparations)

Therefore, if you are a supplier of chemicals, you must classify, label and package your substances and mixtures in accordance with the CLP Regulation. Your obligations depend upon your role in the supply chain.

Suppliers may have one or more of these roles:

  • manufacturer of substances or mixtures
  • importer of substances or mixtures
  • producer of specific articles
  • downstream user, including formulator and re-importer
  • distributor, including retailer

Exemptions for re-labelling and re-packaging

There are certain limited circumstances where these transitional arrangements for substances and preparations/mixtures can be extended: the re-labelling and re-packaging of substances and mixtures which are already labelled and packaged and in the supply chain (‘on the shelves’) on the above compliance dates may be postponed until 1 December 2012 and 1 June 2017 respectively

Find out more about CLP on the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) website.

Hazard pictograms

The CLP Regulation has introduced a new classification and labelling system for hazardous chemicals in the European Union. The pictograms have also changed and are in line with the United Nations Globally Harmonised System.

The new pictograms are in the shape of a red diamond with a white background, and will replace the old orange square symbols which applied under the previous legislation.

CLP guidance

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) oversees the CLP Regulation and has published a suite of guidance to help you comply with the Regulation.

You are encouraged to look at this guidance and to understand your new and changing duties.

HSENI is the enforcement authority in Northern Ireland for compliance with the CLP Regulation. For more information, please contact HSENI on Freephone: 0800 0320 121.

More information

Chemical labels are changing - How will this affect you? (pdf 586 KB )
CLP’s effect on companies - ECHA website

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