If you’re in the coating business then you’re likely aware of the approaching CLP regulation compliance deadline for mixtures on June 1, 2015. The CLP regulation, based on the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS), seeks to harmonize classifying, labeling and packaging to protect workers, consumers and the environment by requiring universal labelling for hazardous properties in substances and mixtures. In addition, the regulations are meant to promote competiveness and innovation. But meeting the new requirements will take time and resources.

What companies must do.

The first step suppliers must take is to identify and reclassify any hazardous properties to meet the CLP requirements. This mainly involves a self-classification process which is then used to create a CLP compliant label as well as a safety sheet.

In addition, a recent amendment to the legislation particularly concerns the biocides industry. A supplemental tighter labeling provision was included to protect people who are already sensitized to chemicals with high sensitizing potential. Now suppliers will need to add the name of such chemicals on their labels, even if present at very low concentration in a mixture which may require adopting new in-can regimens.

“Many biocides are skin sensitizers and they have to be labelled with an ‘H317’ warning phrase. Obviously the EU Commission saw the necessity to give even better protection to people who have been sensitized already by a certain chemical by lowering the threshold for strong sensitizers to trigger the allergen warning phrase ‘EUH208,” Dr. Helmut Peters, Technical Marketing Manager for Lonza Cologne says.

For many companies of all sizes, meeting the regulations may be a lengthy process so Peters recommends getting started sooner rather than later.

“I would say now. We are just one and a half years away from the deadline. Whenever you change, costs are involved and if companies have to review a preservation scheme for instance, they need to look for alternatives which means they need to be tested for compatibility of the substrate they want to preserve,” Peters says.

Although products already on the shelf won’t be affected until 2017, any new shipments must meet the new European Union (EU) standards in order to gain European Union market access. While all EU companies must meet the requirements, non-EU companies will be affected if they wish to export to an EU country. And companies based in countries near EU countries will likely want to consider complying with the regulations as well.

For more information and assistance:

Each Member State in the European Union has a national helpdesk.  Details can be found at: http://echa.europa.eu/help/nationalhelp_en.asp  

Links that will also offer more aid in complying with the regulations include: The European Commission websites:  http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/reach/ghs/index_en.htm  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/ghs/index_en.htm  The ECHA site: http://echa.europa.eu/classification/clp_guidance_en.asp   Lonza contact: Email Dr. Helmut Peters at helmut.peters@lonza.com