European Union Amends CLP to Revisions 6 and 7 of GHS

The European Union (EU) has amended its Classification, Labelling, and Packaging (CLP) Regulation to align with the changes in the United Nations’ 6th and 7th biannual revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS). It has done so via publishing the 12th adaptation to technical progress (ATP) to the Regulation.

The 12th ATP

ATP is the process by which classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals is updated by the European Commission. Adopted each year, the ATP typically follows the opinion of the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA’s) Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC).

The 11th ATP was published on May 4, 2018. This was followed, on October 4th, 2018, by the publishing of the 13th ATP. The reason for the apparent “skipping over” of the 12th ATP was that until its recent publication, it had existed primarily in draft form.

Changes with the 6th and 7th revisions of GHS and alignment of CLP criteria are a central focus of the 12th ATP.

Revision 6 of GHS

Published in June 2015, the 6th revision of GHS reflects several amendments. Items addressed include:

  • new hazard class and category for desensitized explosives and pyrophoric gases, respectively
  • provisions to clarify hazard class criteria, such as for explosives, single-exposure target organ toxicity, aspiration hazard, and hazardous to the aquatic environment
  • added information for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
  • new example focused on labelling of small packaging

Revision 7 of GHS

Published in July 2017, the 7th revision of GHS also reflects several significant amendments, including:

  • tabular addition of the relevance limit for aspiration hazard (defined in Revision 6) at >=1%
  • revised criteria for flammable gas classification
  • health hazard class definition clarifications
  • guidance provision regarding bulk cargo
  • revision regarding use of precautionary statements
  • new example focused on labelling using fold-out labels

Those impacted by the 12th ATP should be familiar with the changes it entails. The deadline by which the amendments within its various Annexes go into effect is October 17, 2020. SDSs and EU Labels should be updated in accordance with the deadline. In addition, the prospect of reclassifying chemical substances based on newly-introduced hazard classifications should be considered.

Accessing Essential Information

The EU’s CLP Regulation is important for many companies and professionals that deal with hazardous chemicals. Equally important is having a thorough understanding of these harmful substances.

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