Selling chemical products online

If selling hazardous chemicals products on a company website or on a marketplace platform (e.g. eBay) it is essential that the advert for those products complies with the requirements of the REACH and CLP Regulations. Such chemical products include glues, sealants, cement, paint, arts & crafts, car care products, cleaning products, scented candles or jewellery.

Under Article 48 of the CLP Regulation, the advertisement for any hazardous chemical product must include relevant hazard information. For example, if a product is classified as irritating or sensitising to skin, then the advert should either include a copy of the hazard label (hazard pictograms/hazard statements) or include the hazard information in the product description. This allows the consumer see and understand what the potential hazards of the products are before they buy it online.

The easiest way to comply with this legal requirement is for sellers to include an image of the product container/packaging (front and back) with a zoom function. If that is not possible, the information from the hazard label or from Section 2.2 of the safety data sheet (SDS) for that same product should be copied and pasted into the online product description. The requirement to include hazard information in online adverts only applies when a purchase can be concluded online so does not apply when a website/platform only offers a reserve/collect-in-store option, as the sale is not concluded online.  

Under Article 31 of the REACH Regulation, there is a requirement to provide a safety data sheet (SDS) when selling chemical products to industrial and professional users, e.g. builders, cleaners, mechanics. This obligation extends to online sales also. The SDS can be added to the advert either as an attachment or as a direct link. If it is not possible to distinguish whether buyers are industrial/professional users or general consumers, then a SDS must be provided in the advert to ensure that workers who require the SDS have access to the most up to date version for safe use of the product.

Under Article 67 of the REACH Regulation, certain very hazardous substances are restricted either entirely (banned) or partially, meaning that certain conditions apply to their use or placing on the market, to ensure safe use for general consumers and workers, for example, nickel in jewellery, isocyanate in foam fillers, lead in solder wire or cancer causing chemicals used in consumer products. Compliance with these restrictions is the same regardless whether being sold online or in a retail store, therefore, all chemical products being sold online must be compliant. 

If you have any questions please contact our chemicals helpdesk chemicals@hsa.ie