Change is coming for GB CLP

Enviresearch recently attended UK Chemicals Regulations 2023, hosted by Chemical Watch, in June and took in updates from a variety of presentations delivered by government and industry representatives. Important take home messages arising from this meeting include, poison centre notifications, DEFRA chemical strategy and divergence between GB and the EU. 

Poison centre notifications (PCN), Annex VIII of EU CLP  was inadvertently brought into UK law after Brexit.  Currently a pragmatic approach is being taken on the submission of PCN’s however it is likely to be removed from legislation under the EU reform bill. For Northern Ireland (NI), PCN submissions in IUCLID format remains mandatory. 

In other news, DEFRA has set out a chemical strategy which identifies endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) as a priority to manage. 

Divergence between GB and the EU 

New hazard classes covering endocrine disruption in human health and for the environment, and persistent and mobile toxic substances have come into force under CLP regulations for products in the EU market, Reg. (EU) 2023/707. Products for the NI market follow EU rules but what about the situation in GB?  

Currently GB CLP guidelines follow that of the global harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS). Whilst the GHS may evolve to include the new hazard classes, the UK is unlikely to see the same changes any time soon. If you wish to classify a new substance or revise an existing classification, then a submission of a GB mandatory classification list (MCL) proposal must be made to the HSE. The GB MCL is a continually updated register of substances that will be put out to public consultation, for all interested parties (industry, stakeholders, members of the public) to comment on. A concluding document will be produced taking into consideration all scientific data and opinion which will inform the basis of the recommendation for the new or revised GB MCL.  

The outcomes of any GB MCL may lead to divergence, with the same substance having different CLP requirements for GB and the EU. This could potentially lead to situations where GB businesses may have two classification streams for the same substance therefore requiring separate labelling, SDS and monitoring.