Classification, labelling and packaging (CLP): what GB-based businesses, supplying the GB market, need to do after the Transition Period ends

When the Transition Period ends on the 31st December 2020, the European Union Regulation for the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (EU CLP) will cease to apply in Great Britain (GB). From the 1st January 2021, the EU CLP Regulation will be replaced by the standalone GB Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures Regulation (GB CLP).  GB CLP will adopt the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of the classification and labelling of chemicals (UN GHS) in a similar way to EU CLP.  Once the Transition Period has ended, those CLP functions now carried out by ECHA and the European Commission will be carried out by HSE, with support from other government departments/agencies and the Welsh and Scottish Governments. Decisions will be taken by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Scottish and Welsh ministers. This means that GB-based businesses that supply the GB market with substances and mixtures will deal with HSE as the GB CLP Agency instead of ECHA.

 

The duties and obligations of GB-based businesses supplying the GB market include the following:

  • GB-based manufacturers, importers and downstream users must classify substances and mixtures in line with GB CLP before they place them on the GB market;
  • GB-based suppliers (i.e. manufacturers, importers, downstream users and distributors) must label substances and mixtures before they place them on the GB market to reflect the hazard classification; and
  • GB-based suppliers (i.e. manufacturers, importers, downstream users and distributors) must package the substances and mixtures they place on the GB market safely and securely.  

 

In addition, as under EU CLP, there are obligations on GB-based suppliers to identify, examine and evaluate available scientific and information on substances and mixtures where it relates to the possible physical, health or environmental hazardous properties of those chemicals to ensure all the requirements of classification, labeling and packaging are fulfilled. From the 1st January 2021, suppliers must also comply with GB mandatory classification and labelling which replaces the EU harmonised classification and labelling (CLH) system in GB.

 

There are no changes to the requirements where CLP labelling may appear alongside those for transport. More information about transporting dangerous goods, including the transport  labelling requirements is available on GOV.UK

 

There are no changes to the packaging requirements. The requirements for child resistant closures and tactile warning devices will remain in place.

 

Testing arrangements, including the prohibition of testing on humans or primates for the purposes of GB CLP, will still apply.

 

The duty to notify substances placed directly on the GB market, either on their own or in a mixture, will apply to GB-based manufacturers and importers supplying the GB market. Notification will be made to HSE as the GB CLP Agency, rather than ECHA. Notification of certain substances will be exempt; further guidance on such exemptions is provided in the CLP scenario table (PDF)- Portable Document Format.

 

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This page tells you what you will need to do for when the Transition Period ends. It will be updated if anything changes. Last updated 18/09/2020.

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Implications for business

A new website is currently under construction that will provide in-depth guidance on the new GB CLP regime. In the meantime, the following bullet points highlight the main changes under GB CLP:

  • GB-based downstream users and distributors supplying the GB market that are currently supplied from the EU/EEA will become importers under GB CLP and will be obliged to undertake the full duties of an importer if these supply arrangements continue after 31 December 2020;
  • GB-based businesses placing chemicals on the GB market will deal with HSE for specified GB CLP functions e.g.  notifying classification and labelling of substances;
  • HSE will undertake certain GB CLP competent authority functions, on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Scottish ministers and the Welsh ministers;
  • Existing EU harmonised classification and labelling (CLH) for the named substances or groups of substances that appear in Part 3 of Annex VI of EU CLP, will continue to have legal effect in GB. From 1 January 2021, HSE will put in place new arrangements for GB mandatory classification and labelling (GB MCL). These arrangements will allow future new and revised classification and labelling to be proposed, considered in collaboration with the devolved administrations and given effect on the GB market. GB MCLs will be listed in the GB mandatory classification and labelling list;
  • From 1 January 2021, GB will be free to make its own decisions about mandatory hazard classification and labelling, including whether or not to align with decisions made in the EU or other countries.  Such decisions will be made by the Secretary of State with the consent of the Scottish and Welsh ministers.
  • GB-based businesses will be required to use the new GB arrangements. This includes submitting information to the new GB notification database and referencing the GB mandatory classification and labelling list hosted and managed by HSE. Further information is provided in the CLP scenario table (PDF)- Portable Document Format.
  • Responsibility for the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals being exported to the EU from the GB will rest with the EU-based importer. The EU importer may therefore request details of the GB exported chemicals involved from the GB-based business.

More information

If you require further information, please contact the CLP helpdesk:

UK CLP Helpdesk - ukreachca@hse.gov.uk

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