Our previous article has deeply interpreted the content, scope of application and updated requirements of the EU REACH regulations for our clients. Today we do a briefing about a regulation that is closely related to the REACH regulation, namely the European Union’s CLP regulation.
The full name of the EU CLP regulation is the “EU Substances and Mixtures Classification, Labeling and Packaging Regulations“, which is a one-step regulation that complements the EU REACH regulations. It has strengthened the REACH regulation and provided corresponding rules for the establishment of the classification and labeling database of registered substances maintained by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
What impact will EU CLP regulations have on non-EU-based cross-border e-commerce sellers? What issues should sellers pay attention to when importing these products to the EU? Our compliance consultants provide you up-to-date guidance.
What are the requirements of EU CLP regulations for product import into EU?
According to EU CLP regulations, before placing chemicals on the EU market, the industry must determine the potential risks of such substances and mixtures to human health and the environment, and classify them according to the identified hazards. Hazardous chemicals must also be labeled in accordance with a standardized system so that workers and consumers can understand their impact before operating.
In other words, non-EU based manufacturers must complete three steps before importing products to the EU market:
1. Update the classification, labeling and packaging of import products
The description of the hazards and preventive measures of the chemicals in the labels of the chemical packaging of your country are possibly different from those of the CLP. The details need to be changed in accordance with the requirements of the CLP.
Take the old and new labels of methanol as an example: the original classification is “highly flammable and toxic”, and the corresponding hazard description is “highly flammable; toxic if swallowed, in contact with the skin and inhaled; if inhaled, in contact with the skin and swallowed, serious irreversible danger”. Under the requirements of the CLP regulations, the classification needs to be changed to “flammable liquid type 2, acute toxicity type 3, specific target organ toxicity”, and the hazard description needs to be changed to “flammable liquid and vapor; toxic if inhaled; toxic if swallowed; causing organ damage damage”. On the other hand, the icons that mark hazards should also be changed.
2. Replace the chemical safety data sheet that complies with CLP regulations
3. Report to ECHA, the enforcement agency of CLP regulations
For non-EU based manufacturers, you can either notify through your own European branch or only representative (OR) to notify, or urge European importers to notify themselves. As long as one of them completes the notification, it will not affect the import. Without notification, even if the company makes changes to the classification, labeling, and packaging content that comply with the CLP regulations, it cannot be imported to EU.
Which products may be involved in CLP regulations?
Among the cross-border e-commerce platforms, the most easily product involved in CLP regulations is the cosmetic category. Some sellers may have received email notifications from e-commerce platform, requesting SDS (Safety Data Sheet).
In addition, the scope of regulatory control also includes:
- 1) Electronic and electrical products;
- 2) Chemical products;
- 3) Car;
- 4) Toys;
- 5) Furniture;
- 6) Textile products, etc.
What are the requirements of the SDS safety data sheet?
The SDS safety data sheet must comply with the following requirements:
- Created or updated in the past five years;
- Contains new GHS/CLP dangerous goods identification information;
Match your product information:
- 1) The product name (that is, the product name displayed on the detail page) must be the same as the product name displayed on the SDS;
- 2) The product manufacturer or brand owner on the SDS must be the same as the manufacturer or brand name displayed on the detail page;
- 3) Contains all 16 parts of the standard safety data sheet:
- Section 1: Chemical Product and Company Identification;
- Section 2: Information on ingredients;
- Section 3: Hazard identification information;
- Section 4: First Aid Measures;
- Section 5: Fire Fighting Measures;
- Section 6: Accidental Release Measures;
- Section 7: handling and storage;
- Section 8: Exposure Control and Personal Protection;
- Section 9: Physical and chemical properties;
- Section 10: Stability and reactivity;
- Section 11: Toxicology information;
- Section 12: Ecological information;
- Section 13: Disposal information;
- Section 14: Transportation information;
- Section 15: Regulatory information;
- Section 16: Other information.
What are the requirements for the CLP label?
The CLP label contains standard GHS label elements and supplementary hazard information (see special rules on packaging and labels).
For packages with different capacities, the CLP regulations also stipulate the minimum size of labels and pictograms under the CLP.
Other CLP labeling requirements include:
Six “p-sentence” rules: Unless necessary, no more than six precautionary statements should appear on the label;
Language: should be written in the official language of the destination Member State;
Concealed composition information: Requests for the use of alternative chemical names should be submitted to ECHA and approved by ECHA;
Small package (<=125mL): some GHS label elements can be omitted.
The EU customs inspections are gradually strengthened
Earlier, the ECHA official website released an enforcement report, which announced that the national law enforcement agencies and customs inspectors of the 16 member states in the pilot project inspected nearly 1,400 products. The inspection results showed that there were more than 300 products (23%) do not meet the requirements of REACH and CLP regulations. Relevant inspections are carried out at strategic entry points (such as airports and ports) and inland customs in these countries.
Most of the products are subject to the restriction obligations of Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation. The products have been checked for lead, cadmium, and nickel. At the same time, they have also checked the compliance of azo, hexavalent chromium, asbestos, phthalates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In the inspection of 1,225 products for restricted substances under REACH regulations, it was found that 17% of the products were non-compliant, of which 74% were from China.
Regarding the CLP regulations, 167 products were inspected and 64% were found to be non-compliant. Most non-compliances are related to labeling requirements. The most common reasons for non-compliance are that the official language of the destination country is not used on the label, the incorrect use or absence of hazard pictograms and signal words, etc., which may affect their safe use and market entry, and endanger the health of citizens.
According to EU regulations, since December 1, 2010, products imported to Europe must comply with CLP regulations. Cross-border sellers must consider this issue carefully. Due to the implementation of the EU market supervision regulations, all customs inspections related to product safety will be fiercely strengthened. At the same time, the big e-commerce platforms will also actively propose safety compliance verification to sellers.