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EU Chemical Classification and Labeling Update

Posted: December 3, 2007

The Portuguese Presidency of the European Union has warned that legislation harmonizing EU chemical classification and labeling rules with United Nations standards must be adopted during the first half of 2008 or risk jeopardizing the implementation of REACH.

The European Commission published a proposal for modernization of EU chemical labeling, classification and packaging rules in line with the U.N. Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Under the Commission's proposals, current EU chemical labeling standards, as defined by the 1967 Directive on Dangerous Substances and the 199 Dangerous Preparation Directive will be replaced by GHS on December 1, 2010 for substances and by June 1, 2015 for mixtures.

A separate proposal, published in October, 2007, outlined changes that would need to be made to six separate directives regulating products containing chemical substances to make them consistent with the GHS. A first hearing on the proposals took place November 27, 2007, in the Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. The Parliament will then finalize its position during a plenary session in Strasbourg in May, 2008.

The EU Presidency briefing note on the proposal for an EU regulation on classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures is available at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/07/st13894.en07.pdf. (Source: FEMA, FMA)