Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP)

Irish companies importing hazardous chemicals from Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland and Wales, from 1 January 2021, should be aware of their new obligations under the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, hereinafter referred to as CLP.

The UKs withdrawal from the EU

The UK withdrew from the European Union on the 31 January 2020. However, with the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol, a transitional period applied until 31 December 2020 meaning that UK companies were required to continue to comply with EU chemicals legislation until that date. The transitional period finished at 23:00 on 31 Dec 2020. From 1 Jan 2021, CLP no longer applies to the UK with regard to Great Britain (GB). Please see below for rules relating to Northern Ireland.

Implications for EU based companies sourcing hazardous chemicals subject CLP directly from Great Britain from 1 January 2021

From 1 Jan 2021, an Irish company sourcing chemical products from Great Britain directly is an EU importer, with responsibility for ensuring that all hazardous chemicals products being placed on the EU (including the Irish) market are compliant with CLP.

Responsibilities for importers of chemical products under CLP include:

  • ensuring that chemical products are classified according to CLP criteria * 
  • ensuring that chemical products are labelled according to CLP rules and that the EU supplier details are provided on the hazard label
  • ensuring that chemical products are packaged in accordance with CLP rules 
  • notifying, where relevant, information on the classification and labelling of imported substances, on their own or in a mixture, to the classification & labelling inventory at ECHA within one month of placing on the EU market as per Art 40 of CLP, regardless of tonnage imported
  • notifying information on imported chemical products, classified for physical or health hazards, and placed on the Irish market to the National Poison Information Centre (NPIC) at Beaumont Hospital as per Art 45 and Annex VIII of CLP and that the NPIC emergency number is included in Section 1.4 of the SDS.

*To note from 1 January 2021, the EU CLP Regulation will be replaced in Great Britain by the GB CLP Regulation, which also adopts the United Nations Global Harmonised System (GHS). Therefore, most label elements such as pictograms and hazard statements will remain the same. However, there may be some differences in the EU CLP Regulation and the GB CLP Regulation, therefore, EU importers must ensure that classification and labelling is assigned correctly for all hazardous chemical products received directly from GB before placing those products onto the EU market.

Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol and the implications under the CLP Regulation

Under the Protocol, CLP applies in respect of Northern Ireland meaning that chemicals traded between Northern Ireland and Ireland must comply with all the rules set out in CLP.

Further information: