Chemical classification means finding out how the chemicals you supply can harm you, others or the environment. Classification is very important and provides the starting point for the controls needed to protect us and the world we live in.
Labels are there to help help identify hazardous chemicals, and explain what the hazards are and how to avoid them.
Packaging is also important to ensure that chemicals are stored and disposed of safely.
These pages provide an introduction to the basics of classification, labelling and packaging and where you can find detailed help and advice.
On 1 June 2015 the old classification and labelling system known as CHIP4 came to an end. The direct acting Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation has taken over.
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.
Trading with Great Britain from 1 January 2020
Businesses trading with Great Britain from 1 January 2020 please see the HSE (GB) website:
HSE (GB) Helpdesk:
UK government guidance on submitting chemicals information after 1 January 2020
This includes NPIS (National Poisons Information Service) and UFI (Unique Formula Identifier)
Guidance for companies placing hazardous mixtures on the UK market (such as manufacturers, importers, downstream users and distributors) from 1 January 2021, can be viewed at the following link:
How to create a Unique Formula Identifier (UFI)
The following advice is for companies that do not have a base in the EU or do not have a VAT number.
The UFI generator on the European Chemicals Agency’s website can be used by virtually anybody. A link to the UFI generator can be found here:
If a company using the generator does not have an EU VAT number, they can check the box which states: "By ticking this box, I declare that the company does not have a VAT number or chose not to use it to generate a UFI."
The use of the VAT number is a means to ensure that two different companies using the same formulation number will not produce the same UFI.
There are replies to a number of frequently asked questions about UFI in the EHCA Question and Answer section which can be found at the following link:
There are also explanations about what is a UFI, how to generate it and how to use it in the dedicated page on the ECHA website, at:
If you require further clarification you may wish to email the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA using the following ECHA contact form:
CLP Stakeholder Event
HSE (GB) and (DEFRA) have hosted virtual stakeholder events covering actions businesses need to take when the UK Transition ends and how the new GB regulatory regime for chemicals may impact their work.
To view the virtual CLP Stakeholder Event, please see the following Youtube link:
Plenty of supporting guidance is available for the CLP Regulation. If you have legal obligations under these regulations you should read the guidance and compliance information carefully.
Additional help is available from: