Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are the primary means of communicating information on the hazards of chemicals and the risks they pose to human health and the environment, as well as on measures to control the risks. Article 31 of REACH requires that the supplier of a chemical, whether a manufacturer, importer, downstream user, distributor or an only representative, must provide customers with a SDS complying with REACH, if the chemical they supply is hazardous. The SDS supplied must be in the language of the country in which it is placed on the market, including online sales,  and must contain the 16 headings as set out in Article 31(6) of the REACH Regulation.

Annex II of REACH, which lays out the requirements for compiling a SDS has been revised by Regulation (EU) 2020/878 and applies from 1st January 2021. The ECHA guidance on the compilation of safety data sheets has been updated to reflect the changes from this revision and is available at the following link https://echa.europa.eu/-/guidance-on-the-compilation-of-safety-data-sheets

  • It aligns  Annex II with the provisions of the 6th and  7th edition of the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
  • Introduces requirements associated with Annex VIII to CLP and is to include the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) for hazardous mixtures supplied for use at industrial sites and for certain mixtures which are not packaged
  • Updates information on the nanoforms of substances to align with those introduced by Regulation (EU) 2018/1881
  • Includes information on endocrine disruptors (ED) based on the scientific criteria set out in the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/2100 or (EU) 2018/605 to improve the communication of ED through the supply chain
  • Makes changes to physical and chemical properties in Section 9 and transport provisions in Section 14

Transitional period : In accordance with Article 2 of (EU) 2020/878, all safety data sheets compiled in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2015/830 can continue to be provided  until 31 December 2022. This includes all new SDSs and any existing SDSs that requires updating after 1st January 2021 in accordance with Article 31(9) of REACH or requires the addition of a Unique Formula Identifier (UFI)  in accordance with section 5 of Part A of Annex VIII to CLP. The new format set out in Regulation (EU) 2020/878 will apply to all SDSs from 31st December 2022 but can be applied voluntarily before then. Further information on the changes are available at the following link

Brexit note:  Since 1st January 2021, these aforementioned SDS transitional provisions do not apply to suppliers from Great Britain ( England, Scotland, Wales) as the duty to comply with Annex II of REACH applies only to EU suppliers, including Northern Ireland, who have established an EU legal entity within the EU/EEA and who are placing substances and/or mixtures on the market.  Consequently, from the 1st January 2021, where Irish companies continue to source chemical products directly from Great Britain (GB), and where no other legal entity exists within the EU, then, as EU importers, they must take on full responsibility for the compilation and communication of the SDS and include their supplier details ( name, address and telephone number) in section 1.3 of the SDS.

Reference & General Guidance Information

For further information on safety data sheets, please see our information sheet publication.