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Chemicals regulation - classification and labelling (CLP) and REACH

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COWI offers your company an overview of the chemicals legislation and prepares the necessary documentation, including classification and labelling (CLP), and assesses any environmental and health risks.

We assist your company with:

  • Mapping chemicals in your company
  • Providing you with an overview of relevant legislation on chemicals for your business
  • Assessing and preparing documentation, including classification and labelling, environmental and health assessments, risk/safety assessment and socio-economic analyses, for example in relation to an application for authorisation
  • Complying with REACH requirements for chemical substances in articles
  • Dialogue with authorities regarding chemical legislation

When it comes to chemicals legislation and regulation, the list is long. Learn more about the requirements or contact us for more information.


A basic principle in the EU chemicals legislation, REACH, is that all parties in the supply chain are responsible for sharing knowledge about the safe use of chemicals and possible environmental and health risks.

REACH regulates manufacturing of chemical substances, as well as marketing and use of the substances on their own, in mixtures or in products/articles.

Thus, REACH concerns not only chemical companies but also companies that produce, distribute and market products/articles such as candles, textiles, furniture, nails and screws. The company's obligations under REACH depend on its role as either importer, producer, distributor or downstream user of chemicals.

Manufacturers and importers of chemical substances, including chemicals in mixtures in quantities above 1 ton per year per manufacturer/importer must register substances at the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA. There are specific requirements for the development of a chemical safety assessment (CSA) for volumes exceeding 10 tonnes per year. There are also certain requirements for registration and notification of chemical substances in articles.

Substances of very high concern (SVHC)

Under the REACH regulation a number of substances are classified 'Substances of very high concern (SVHC)' if the substances have properties that may cause serious effects on human health and the environment. These substances are added to the so-called Candidate List and are gradually prioritised for inclusion on the 'REACH Authorisation List' (REACH Annex XIV). When a substance is included on this list, the use must be discontinued within a specified 'sunset date'.

A company can apply for continued use of the substance in an authorisation application. This must be done within a specified application date. The application must be accompanied by well-documented and well-founded evidence in relation to the lack of direct substitution, risk/safety assessment and socio-economic considerations.

Classification and labelling - CLP

Manufacturers and importers are required to classify and label hazardous chemical substances and mixtures. Since 1 December 2010, pure substances have been required to be classified and labelled according to the CLP rules. For mixtures of substances this requirement was effective from 1 June 2015.

Manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemical substances and non-hazardous substances subject to REACH registration requirements must report information on hazard classification to the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, within one month of the marketing.

Requirements for information in the supply chain

According to REACH, companies must prepare safety data sheets (SDS) for substances and mixtures classified as hazardous according to CLP. Safety data sheets for hazardous substances manufactured or imported in quantities above 10 tons per year must be marketed with exposure scenarios that specify their safe use based on a risk/safety assessment.

Downstream users of substances/mixtures must use chemicals safely in accordance with the requirements specified in the received safety data sheets and exposure scenarios. If the downstream use is not covered by the safety data sheet exposure scenarios, downstream users themselves are responsible for preparing a chemical safety report and safety data sheets accordingly.

For articles containing particularly dangerous substances, there are requirements for communication throughout the product chain.

Other legislation

In addition to REACH and CLP, the handling of chemicals is regulated by various occupational health legislations.


REACH is the acronym for the EU chemicals regulation concerning Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals, which entered into force in 2007. CLP is the acronym the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging regulation, which entered into force in January 2009. This regulation implements the UN Global Harmonised System (GHS) for classifications of substances and mixtures, i.e. the globally agreed way for chemicals classification.

LAST UPDATED: 24.05.2017