New European Rules on the Notification of Chemical Substances
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is highlighting the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) campaign to remind companies that new rules on classification, labelling, packaging and notification of chemical substances came into force on 1 December 2010. From December, within one-month of placing a chemical substance on the market, all companies involved in their manufacturer or import will need to notify the ECHA for their inclusion in the new Classification and Labelling Inventory.
In 2002, an international agreement established a harmonised approach to the labelling and packaging of chemicals and, through legislation, the European Union laid out how its member states would support the agreement. Phased in over a five-year period, the legislation will apply to chemical substances from December and to chemical mixtures from 1 June 2015.
Companies that carry out one or more of the following activities and place chemical substances on the market will need to notify: manufacture substances subject to REACH registration; import substances (e.g. dye stuffs) subject to REACH registration; manufacture or import substances which are classified as hazardous, irrespective of the quantity; import mixtures containing hazardous substances, irrespective of the quantity; import articles containing substances which are subject to REACH registration.
ECHA has published a Practical Guide which explains the role of the Inventory, the information needed in a notification involves, and how to submit it.
It is worth pointing out that the first working day in 2011 is 3 January. This means that the first notification deadline is 3 January, for all substances placed on the market on 1, 2 and 3 December 2010. To ensure companies do not miss the first deadline for notification, 3 January, the ECHA recommends that notifications are submitted from now on and well before 24 December 2010.