Chemical Hazards Legislation - GB


In Great Britain, the major areas of legislation that impact on the provision of Chemical Hazards information are the EU’s directly acting REACH Regulation 1907/2006, the directly acting Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, and amending Directive 67/548/EEC and Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (in short CLP), and the Chemical (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009 No 716) (CHIP4 or just CHIP).

CHIP4 revoked and remade, from 6th April 2009, the former CHIP 3 which had implemented the system of classification, packaging and labelling of the European Union’s (EU’s) 67/458/EEC Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD) and 1999/45/EC Dangerous Preparations Directive (DPD). However CHIP4 goes further and recognises, and provides for enforcement for CLP, which can be applied as an alternative to compliance with the CHIP classification and labelling system.

A useful Table of Contents for the Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 is available to CHCS Members in the "Members Pages" section of this website.


Those involved with the transport of chemicals and some other goods need to be aware of the various international transport regulations, ADR (Road), RID (Rail), IMDG Code (Sea), and ICAO Technical Instructions/IATA (Air).

The international codes are enforced and made applicable to domestic transport by Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (SI 2009 No 1348) (known in short as CDG 2009), by the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 2367, as modified from time to time by a Merchant Shipping Notice to apply the latest edition of the IMDG Code), and the Air Navigation Dangerous Goods Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No 2786, as amended from time to time to apply the latest edition of the ICAO TIs).

The supply and carriage regulations are totally separate pieces of legislation but there is some interaction between them – Section 14 of the SDS required by REACH needs for example needs information about the carriage classification. Whilst hazard criteria can differ between the two sets of legislation, these differences are being gradually reduces under the influence of GHS , see below.


When exporting outside the EU, of the presence of local regulations concerning such matters as safety data sheets and local chemical inventories and the obligations placed on exporters by international agreements such as those implemented by the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 649/2012, which deals with the export of chemicals to countries outside the EC, and the Chemical Weapons convention, need to be observed

Other GB Legislation

There is also interaction between the supply regulations and other legislation; an example is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No 2677 as amended – COSHH) where the safety data sheet is the primary source of information when carrying out a workplace risk assessment where chemicals are involved.

Globally Harmonised System (GHS)

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), has been the subject of more than a decade of work; its aim is to provide a framework to bring together the various national and regional hazard communication systems which control the supply of hazardous chemicals in much the same way that the ‘Orange Book’ offers a global framework for the transport of dangerous goods.

The purpose of GHS is to provide a single, globally harmonized system to address classification of chemicals, labels, and safety data sheets. The first edition of GHS was published in July 2003 as the ‘Purple Book’. The files comprising the latest version of the Purple Book can be downloaded from the UNECE website. The GHS is ‘implemented’ for supply in the EU via the CPL, see above, and for transport is being ‘implemented’ via changes to the UN Orange Book, and then in turn via ADR, IMDG Code etc.

(EC) CLP Regulation

The European Union (EU) is harmonising its provisions with the GHS. For supply this is via a new directly acting Regulation, made under the European Community (EC) Treaty’s Article 95.

This Regulation is titled "REGULATION (EC) No 1272/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006".

The Regulation was originally published in the Official Journal on 31st December 2008. The text can be found on the EU website. It has since been adapted to technical progress, details of which can be found on the European Commission CLP website pages.

A useful Table of Contents for the Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 is available to CHCS Members in the "Members Pages" section of this website.

Chemical Hazards Communication Society

The Chemical Hazards Communication Society provides a number of services to assist those who need to stay up-to-date with this diversity of national and international regulations. CHCS organises training courses for Safety Data Sheet writers, symposia and webinars on a broad range of chemical hazard related topics and provides an e-mail Forum where information can be exchanged and questions asked and answered.


Latest Consolidated Version Of CLP

The latest consolidated version of CLP (Number 11, dated 01/12/2018) is now available. 

CHCS Members can read more on the CHCS News Briefings page.

EU Withdrawal Stakeholders Meeting (held October 2018)

This in-depth review of the topics discussed at this important meeting, includes sections on HSE, Defra, REACH, REACH-IT, CLP, BPR & Plant Protection Products.

CHCS Members can read more on the CHCS News Briefings page.

13th ATP for CLP Published

The 13th ATP (Adaptation to Technical and scientific Progress) to the CLP Regulation (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures) was published last week as Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/1480.

CHCS Members can read more on the CHCS News Briefings page.

Regulating chemicals (REACH) if there’s no Brexit deal
The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has published a Guidance Note.

CHCS Members can read more on the CHCS News Briefings page.

News Briefings Summary
  • 25 September 2018: Microplastics and the current situation

  • 4 September 208: IATA publishes significant changes to the 60th Edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations

  • 26 July 2018: REACH or CLP regulatory measures proposed for persistent, mobile and toxic (PMT/vPvM) substances

  • 26 July 2018 - REACH or CLP regulatory measures proposed for persistent, mobile and toxic (PMT/vPvM) substances

  • 6 July 2018 - HSE provide a "Chemicals" EU Exit web page.

    CHCS Members can read more on the CHCS News Briefings page.

    26 July 2018 - CHCS Labelling Competition

    Have you overcome a tricky labelling problem? Are you labelling a small or awkwardly shaped package, printing on a difficult surface, or have overcome another problem?

    Are you proud of your label designs that make it easier for customers to read and understand your labels?

    CHCS Members can enter our new competition. For more details please visit: CHCS Labelling Competition.

    9  July 2018 - CHCS Needs Your Help!

    CHCS has a number of vacancies on our committees and are looking for volunteers to fill them. For more information please see: CHCS Vacancies.

    Next 3 CHCS Training Courses:

    For a full list of our CHCS Training Courses, please visit our Training page. 


    • Other events are in preparation. Please visit again soon.


    CHCS Membership is open to any person with an interest in chemical hazard communications. You can join by completing the simple on-line form at Join CHCS. Membership is currently £85.00 (+ £17.00 VAT where applicable; a total of £102.00). 

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