The CLP Regulation (EC) 1272/2008


The other main driver in the EU Chemicals legislation is the CLP Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures. This Regulation aligns previous EU legislation on classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals to the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. This replaces the existing EU labels with symbols, Risk (R-) phrases and Safety (S-) phrases into new hazard pictograms, Hazard (H-) statements and Precautionary (P-) statements. The main objectives of CLP / GHS are to facilitate international trade in chemicals and to maintain the existing level of protection of human health and environment.

The CLP Regulation entered into force in January 2009, and ensures that the hazards presented by chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers in the European Union through classification and labelling of chemicals.


Before placing chemicals on the market, suppliers of substances or mixtures must establish the potential risks to human health and the environment of such substances and mixtures, classifying them in line with the identified hazards.

Labelling & packaging

Suppliers must label a substance or mixture contained in packaging according to CLP before placing it on the market either when:

  • A substance or mixture is classified as hazardous;
  • A non-hazardous mixture contains one or more substances classified as hazardous above a certain threshold.

Thanks to this process, the hazards of chemicals are communicated through standard statements and pictograms on the two main information carriers, the hazard label and safety data sheet in a globally standardized way.

CLP Notification to the C&L Inventory

Suppliers of substances as such or in mixtures which are subject to Registration under REACH (as Manufacturer or Importer) and/or classified as hazardous, need to submit a CLP Notification to the C&L Inventory. For existing substances the CLP Notification should have been completed before January 3th 2010. Any new substance should be notified within one month from being placed on the market.

Transition time frame

The CLP Regulation replaces over time two previous pieces of legislation, the Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD; 67/548/EEC) and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (DPD; 1999/45/EC). There is a transition period until 2015. Classification and labelling by the CLP criteria is required for substances since December 2010 and will be required for mixtures from June 2015 onwards.

More details on the CLP Regulation: