What is Classification and Labelling

The Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation ((EC) No 1272/2008) is the European Union regulation entered into force on 20th January 2009. 

 Its purpose is to ensure a high level of protection of health and the environment, as well as the free movement of substances, mixtures and articles helps to determine whether a substance or mixture displays properties that lead to a hazardous classification.

The United Nations developed a Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemicals due to many different systems for classifying and labelling chemicals in the world causing confusion, potential errors and misunderstandings among workers and consumers. CLP aligns the European Union system of classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures to the GHS.  CLP is legally binding across the Member States and directly applicable to all industrial sectors. It requires manufacturers, importers or downstream users of substances or mixtures to classify, label and package their hazardous chemicals appropriately before placing them on the market.

When relevant information (e.g. toxicological data) on a substance or mixture meets the classification criteria in CLP, the hazards of a substance or mixture are identified by assigning a certain hazard class and category. The hazard classes in CLP cover physical, health, environmental and additional hazards. 

CLP sets detailed criteria for the labelling elements: pictograms, signal words and standard statements for hazard, prevention, response, storage and disposal, for every hazard class and category. It also sets general packaging standards to ensure the safe supply of hazardous substances and mixtures. In addition to the communication of hazards through labelling requirements, CLP is also the basis for many legislative provisions on the risk management of chemicals.

More information in the ECHA Website