On Tuesday, Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on new rules to classify, label and package chemical substances and mixtures.
The updated regulation aims to better identify and classify hazardous chemicals, improve communication on chemical hazards and address legal gaps and high levels of non-compliance.
Clear, reliable and non-misleading information to consumers
To enable consumers to better understand information about the hazardousness of various chemicals (such as cleaning products), the agreed rules set minimum dimensions in millimetres of labels, pictograms and font size found on packaging. Suppliers will be given more flexibility as the new rules will allow for a broader use of fold-out labels.
To keep pace with digitalisation, the deal includes rules on voluntary digital labelling and related technical requirements, such as the information being searchable, accessible in less than two clicks to all users in the EU, free of charge and for a period of at least ten years.
At Parliament’s request, the agreement bans the use of ‘green claims’ for substances or mixtures classified as hazardous – advertisements must not contain statements such as ‘non-toxic’, ‘non-harmful’, ‘non-polluting’, ‘ecological’ or any other inconsistent with their classification.
Evaluation and classification of complex substances
Negotiators agreed that a substance containing more than one constituent (MOC) would be evaluated, in order to establish its classification according to hazard classes, using the available information on its known constituents as well as on the substance itself. MOCs extracted from plants or plant parts (essential oils) are exempted – the deal requires the Commission to present a scientific report regarding their classification, followed up by a legislative procedure if necessary, within five years after the entry into force of the new rules.
“With this deal, we made a significant step towards protecting our citizens and the environment. CLP is one of the two key pillars of EU’s chemical legislation and an essential component of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. Its revision significantly increases the level of consumer and environment protection, specifically enhancing children protection and consumer rights. With the introduction of new hazard classes, it provides better information for all products containing chemicals. We also address risks raising from online sales and introduce specific provisions for refill stations to minimise human exposure. Providing a derogation on some substances containing more than one constituent extracted from plants or plant parts we support agriculture and SMEs and secure the sustainability and competitiveness of the essential oil sector. Finally, we provide an adequate period for industry to adapt to the new requirements,” said rapporteur Maria Spyraki (EPP, Greece).
Parliament and Council need to formally approve the agreement before it can come into force.
This revision of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation ((EC) No 1272/2008) is part of the European Green Deal for the strengthening and simplification of the legal framework for chemicals to ensure a toxic-free environment and the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy adopted in October 2020. New hazard classes for chemicals and criteria for classifying substances and mixtures entered into force on 20 April 2023.