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.

For mixtures which are not classified as hazardous but which contain certain hazardous substances, a SDS should be provided if requested by downstream users or distributors. When safety data sheets are not required, the supplier must still provide sufficient information for safe use, for example, information on any restrictions for use. 

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 transitional period ended on 31st December 2022, all SDSs must be updated to be in compliance with Annex II as amended by Regulation (EU) 2020/878.

The ECHA guidance on the compilation of safety data sheets has been updated to reflect the changes included in this revision and is available at the following link.

The main revisions include:

  • aligning  Annex II of REACH with the provisions of the 6th and  7th edition of the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
  • the requirement to include the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) for hazardous mixtures supplied for use at industrial sites and for certain mixtures which are not packaged
  • the requirement to add details for the most recent supplier in section 1.3
  • information on the nanoforms of substances must be included in the SDS to align with Regulation (EU) 2018/1881
  • information on endocrine disruptors (ED) must be included in the SDS 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
  • Acute Toxicity Estimates, Specific Concentration Limits and M-factor’s must be listed in section 3 for each substance where applicable

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.