Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP)

Regarding the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, hereinafter referred to as CLP, any Irish company currently buying or selling chemicals to or from the UK needs to plan ahead and be prepared for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.


The UKs withdrawal from the EU and the transitional period

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 will apply until 31 December 2020. Until that date, UK companies will continue to comply with EU chemicals legislation, including CLP, and will still remain in a single customs area with the Union.

After the end of the transition period, EU law on  CLP no longer applies to the UK with regard to Great Britain (GB), i.e. England, Scotland and Wales. Please see below for rules relating to Northern Ireland.

Any chemical product, subject to CLP, placed on the EU or UK market before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, can continue to be made available on the EU and UK markets until it reaches its end-user.


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

For any EU based company sourcing chemical products directly from Great Britain (GB), their role under CLP will change from that of a downstream user or distributor to that of an importer following the end of the transitional period.

From 1 Jan 2021, the GB supplier will be non-EU based, with no role under CLP. An Irish company sourcing chemical products from GB directly will then become the EU importer, with responsibility for ensuring that all hazardous chemicals products being placed on the EU and Irish market are compliant with CLP.


Responsibilities for importers of chemical products under CLP includes:

*To note that GB will implement GB CLP adopting the United Nations’ Global Harmonised System (GHS), therefore label elements such as pictograms will remain the same. However, there are differences in the EU CLP Regulation and UN GHS, therefore, EU importers must ensure that classification and labelling is assigned correctly for all hazardous chemicals received directly from GB.


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:

HSA Brexit Webinar recordings

Slides from Brexit webinar dealing with implications under CLP

ECHAs Q&As on the UKs withdrawal from the EU & CLP

ECHAs Q&As on the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol

ECHA advice for EU based companies

HSA webpages on CLP

ECHAs webpages on CLP

HSA Information sheet for Chemical Importers


Flowcharts outlining duties, including those under CLP, for Irish companies who will source chemicals from the UK from 2021 onwards

Flowchart of obligations under REACH and CLP Regulations for an Irish formulator of mixtures sourcing chemical substances from UK (Great Britain) after 1 Jan 2021

Flowchart of obligations under REACH, CLP & Detergents Regulations for an Irish distributor sourcing chemical products from UK (Great Britain) after 1 Jan 2021

Flowchart of obligations under REACH and CLP Regulations for an Irish end user of a chemical product sourced in the UK (Great Britain) after 1 Jan 2021

Flowchart of obligations for an Irish end user of a chemical product sourced in Northern Ireland after 1 Jan 2021