CLP is an abbreviation for Classification, Labelling and Packaging and is enforced by Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16th December 2008. This regulation ensures communication of hazards posed by chemicals and chemical products in the European Union through classification and labelling. This applies to both workers and the general consumer.
Before chemical products are allowed onto the market they must be correctly classified and labelled according to set criteria within the CLP regulation. Any hazards resulting from this classification must be clearly displayed on product labels according to the standard format. CLP will eventually replace, by June 2015, two pieces of previous legislation covering classification. These being the Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC and the Dangerous Preparations Directive 1999/45/EC, also it amends the REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006. Manufacturers who place substances on the market must, for the first time, inform the European Chemical Association within one month of its classification and labelling.
Information displayed on product labels is entirely different to that shown under previous legislation. The Chemicals Hazard Information and Packaging (CHiP) Regulation implemented classification and labelling prior to CLP and will continue to until June 2015 when CLP will take over completely. Under CHiP, the hazard symbols were displayed in black on an orange background, usually a square or a rectangle. The text on labels was displayed as Risk (R) and Safety (S) Phrases. Under CLP this is totally changed.
Previous hazard symbols are replaced by hazard pictograms which take the form of while diamonds with red borders including a black pictogram set in the middle. Under CLP there are more categories of hazard than under CHiP.
Label size can vary dependant upon the pack size of the product. There are minimum dimensions that labels must comply with including the hazard pictograms. These must be at least 1/15 of the minimum label area for a certain pack size, but shall not be less than 10mm per side. Hazard (H) and Precautionary (P) statements have replaced the previous Risk and Safety phrases, also a signal word has been introduced; Danger or Warning.
ReAgent has implemented CLP for its’ products. Initially this applies (as from 1st December 2010) to pure substances, which are being classified and labelled with the new pictograms and statements. Regarding chemical mixtures the changed are being gradually phased in over a period until June 2015. This has meant a lot of time, effort and finance to comply with CLP and introduce the changes. And although the CLP regulation is relatively new it has already been amended twice through ATP’s (Adoption for Technical Progress) and a third ATP is now proposed.
Within the European Community, CLP implements the GHS (Globally Harmonised System) of classifying chemicals.