Events and Training
Safety Data Sheets
Questions Forum
Jobs Offered and Sought
Contact Us
CHCS Members-Only Pages
Chemical Hazards Legislation - UK
Note: Statutory Instruments (SI) can be accessed on: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

NOTE BENE: Northern Ireland may have its own versions of the following or may not yet have passed the applicable Statutory Rule (SR). In some case the SIs quoted may even be specific to England, with Wales, Scotland and NI having their own equivalents.


The export of chemicals from the UK is also subject to a number of other regulations, more information about which can be found in the paper presented by Peter Short at the 2003 AGM - (see the Events' Paper section - members only). NB Please check however for amendment thereto.

Suspicious enquiries for chemicals that might be used as precursors for drugs and/or chemical weapons should be reported, as soon as possible to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321. See National Counter Terrorism Security Office website and leaflet.

  • COSHH: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2677). See also COSHH ACoP L5 (6th edition 2013) and COSHH Essentials a free access website (www.coshh-essentials.org.uk) which can be used to make a risk assessment of the health hazards of chemical processes.
  • DSEAR: The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2776) implements the Explosives Atmosphere Directive (ATEX 137) 1999/92/EC and the safety aspects of the Chemicals Agents Directive (CAD). (Note: CAD also deals with the health aspects which is being implemented by amendments to COSHH). DSEAR implements measures to reduce the risks from fires, explosions and other energy releasing events (e.g. exothermic chemical reactions) arising from the use of dangerous substances. See DSEAR ACOP L138 (2nd Edition 2013).
  • CLAW:  Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1998  (SI 1998/543) and 2002 (S.I. 2002/2676). CLAW AcoP (3rd edition) 2002 (L132)
  • CAW: Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (SI 2002/2675)

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (SI 2009 No 1348 - known as CDG2009) basically make the current editions of ADR and RID applicable to international carriage and domestic carriage within Great Britain (GB).  Note: unlike previously CDG2009 will not need to be remade every two years when ADR and RID are amended.   CDG2009 is accompanied by an approved document (hence its provisons are legally enforceable) known as the “Approved Derogations and Transitional Provisions” (ADTP),  and a Guidance Note, both of which are available on the Department for Transport (DfT)  website.  These DfT Documents will be changed as and when required (eg when a new edition of ADR/RID applies) .  Northern Ireland (NI) normally has legislation mirroring the GB position, though it may take some time to appear after the GB version. However in practice compliance with the GB rules within NI is normally accepted as compliance with the NI provisions. 

The carriage of dangerous goods by sea both domestically in under the requirements of the IMDG Code, and enforced by the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 2367). The latest version of the IMDG Code is implemented via a Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN) and guidance may be given in Marine Guidance Notes (MGNs) and Marine Information Notes (MINs). There are basically no derogations for UK only operations.

The carriage of dangerous goods by air, both domestically and internationally,  is legally subject to the ICAO Technical Instructions, enforced by the Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002 (2002 No 2786) as amended from time to time to reference the most current edition.  However, the IATA, so called, Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGRs) are used in practice. These contain all the ICAO TI requirements, plus some additional terms and conditions of the airlines.

Transport Of Dangerous Goods Training

See the CHCS advice on Transport of Dangerous Goods Training.


After more than a decade of work, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) whose purpose is to protect people from the mismanagement of chemicals, classify them according to their hazard and create a labelling system based on universally understandable pictograms, was adopted byt the United Nations in December 2002. The first revised edition of GHS, the ‘Purple Book’ was adopted in 2004 (ISBN 92-1-116927-5) and can be downloaded from the UNECE website. In December each even numbered year changes to form the next Revised Edition are agreed. The agreed changes are normally available on the UN ECE website early the following odd numbered year, with the formal publication of a priced hardcopy of the revised edition in the summer, and sometime later also as free to access PDF files on the UN ECE website.

CHCS ran two very successful seminars (in September and November 2003) to introduce the GHS requirements to members. The papers are available on the members section of the website. CHCS now runs a training module (Module 50 – GHS –The basics of the GHS scheme). Details of this can be found on our training page.


Safety Data Sheet Training

CHCS run a very popular, modular course on the writing of Safety Data Sheets and related issues such as classification, labelling and other documentation.

For dates of these courses, click HERE.



REACH is the acronym for the European Community Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94, as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC. It is the new single system for controlling both “existing” and “new” chemicals. It replaces the existing Notification of New Substances (NONS) requirements of the 67/458/EEC Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD) and the EEC No. 793/93 Existing Substances Regulation (ESR).

See the CHCS REACH web page.