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European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP Regulation), adopting in the EU the Globally Harmonised System (GHS)

New - CLP Regulation Live Issues

Check the CLP ‘Live issues’ page for updates.


Notification is a new and very important duty in the CLP Regulation. More information can be found on our CLP Live Issues page. If you already know about notification, you can click on the CLP/Notify banner on this page and submit the relevant information.

If you are still unsure about notification or want to know more please go to CLP Live Issues.

New European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP Regulation)

Following international agreement on a Globally Harmonised System on the classification and labelling of chemicals (‘GHS’), countries were invited to adopt the GHS criteria into national legislation. European Union (EU), Member States asked the European Commission to prepare a proposal for a Regulation which would adopt the UN GHS criteria in all EU Member States.

The European Commission proposed the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures[1] (known as the CLP Regulation). The CLP Regulation was considered in detail during negotiations between Member States, the Council and the European Parliament, between July 2007 and June 2008. The UK was represented by the HSE throughout the negotiations.

On 3 September 2008, the European Parliament voted to secure a First Reading deal with the Council on the CLP Regulation. The CLP Regulation was published in the European Commission’s Official Journal on 31 December 2008 and entered into legal effect in all EU Member States on 20 January 2009, subject to a lengthy transitional period (see below).

The CLP Regulation can be downloaded from here: (NOTE: It is a very large file - 1,355 pages!)

The CLP Regulation is directly-acting in all EU Member States, requiring no national transposition. Its provisions will be phased in over a period of years until 1 June 2015 when the Regulation will be fully in force. This is intended to help suppliers and users of chemicals change from the current EU classification and labelling system to the new GHS-based system.

Guidance on CLP Regulation

CLP Regulation - transitional arrangements

The Regulation provides a transitional period to allow a gradual migration from the existing system to the new regime. The transitional period ran to 1 December 2010 for substances, and continues until 1 June 2015 for mixtures (preparations).

The transitional period will end on 1 June 2015 when the CLP Regulation enters fully into force. On 1 June 2015 the CLP Regulation will replace fully the:

The Table below provides a summary of the obligations on chemical suppliers throughout the transitional period:


1st December 2010 – 1st June 2015 Suppliers must classify substances according to both CHIP and CLP. They must label and package according to CLP.
1st June 2015 onwards Suppliers must classify, label and package according to CLP.

Preparations [mixtures]

20th January 2009 – 1st June 2015 Suppliers must classify preparations according to CHIP, and may continue to label and package them according to regulations 6 to 11 of CHIP. However they may as an alternative choose to classify, label and package mixtures according to CLP. In this case, they must continue to classify in addition under regulation 4 of CHIP, but the requirements on labelling and packaging in regulations 6 to 11 of CHIP no longer apply.
1st June 2015 onwardsSuppliers must classify, label and package according to CLP. There are certain limited circumstances where these transitional arrangements for substances and preparations can be extended. The re-labelling and re-packaging of substances and mixtures which are already in the supply chain (‘on the shelves’) on the above compliance dates, may be postponed until 1 December 2012 and 1 June 2017 respectively.

Impact on the CHIP 4 regulations

The Dangerous Substances Directive and the Dangerous Preparations Directive have been implemented in Great Britain as the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 (known as CHIP 4 or CHIP). The CHIP regulations have been amended to ensure that national law is aligned with the transitional arrangements in the CLP Regulation, and to include the necessary enforcement provisions where chemical suppliers choose to apply the CLP provisions as an alternative to CHIP ahead of the mandatory compliance dates.