The revision of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (‘CLP Regulation’) was announced by the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability back in 2020. The CLP regulation contributes in creating an efficient single market for chemicals. However, since the CLP regulation came into force in 2008, the market has been evolving in a fast pace leading to new challenges. In order to help consumers, companies, and authorities to fully benefit from protection against the dangers posed by hazardous chemicals. Some weaknesses and gaps identified in the CLP Regulation needed to be addressed and modernised.
The revised CLP regulation comes into two changes to the core legal text and a delegated act. The delegated act contains the introduction of the new hazard classes and criteria for endocrine disruptors (ED); persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (‘PBT’) substances; very persistent and very bioaccumulative (‘vPvB’) substances, persistent, mobile and toxic (‘PMT’) substances, and very persistent and very mobile (‘vPvM’) substances. The delegated act follows a faster procedure. After a 3 months scrutiny period through Parliament and Council the delegated act is usually adopted.
Amendments introduced to the core legal text aims to make labelling more consumer friendly, less burdensome for suppliers and easier to enforce. A grasp of the changes contains clarification of the concept of refill sales; facilitating the use of fold-out labels; introducing minimum formatting rules to make labels more readable, introducing digitalisation and addressing specific cases for labelling exemptions. However, the major challenge unanimously recognised was to address imported chemicals and online sales. Many chemicals sold online in the EU, and especially those sold by actors established outside the EU, do not meet the legal requirements. Provisions and clear responsibilities for all relevant actors are now introduced. Suppliers will need to ensure that a substance or a mixture placed on the EU market through distance sales meets the requirements of CLP, in particular on classification, labelling and packaging. The changes to the core legal text will go through the ordinary legislative procedure. This will take longer as a trilogue is needed between Commission, Parliament and Council and unlike a delegated act, changes can still be introduced. Therefore, it is expected that adoption will likely not happen before summer 2023.