CHemical Hazards Legislation - International
SupplyThe principal legislation currently in the European Union (EU) is the Classification, Packaging and Labelling of substances and mixtures regulation (CLP). CLP is the European implementation of GHS.
REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaced a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system.
REACH applies to substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year. Generally, it applies to all individual chemical substances on their own, in mixtures or in articles (if the substance is intended to be released during normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use from an article).
Import & Export (PIC)
In the European Union Regulation (EU) No 649/2012, concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals implements the Rotterdam Convention and is the latest in a series of such regulations on international chemicals trade dating back to 1992. In 1999, the United Kingdom signed the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC), which allows signatories to monitor and control the international trade of certain dangerous chemicals.
The Regulation aims to protect human health, of both consumers and workers, and the environment against potentially harmful impacts from certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides.
Each mode of transport (road, rail, sea, air and inland waterways) has its own requirements – these are known as modal requirements. They are updated every two years with new editions coming effective 1st January of odd-numbered years, with the exception of air that is updated annually.
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’, it is revised every December of even numbered years (and usually published in the following summer).
Further details about the publication status, its ‘adoption’ throughout the world, and often access to electronic versions (when these are eventually made available), can be found on the UNECE website:
The EU Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP) harmonises the EU supply provisions with the GHS. See the Legislation page of this website for further information. Further information is also available for CHCS members in our Member’s Only section.