Are the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) (CHIP) Regulations 2009 changing?

Yes. It's all about achieving a uniform approach to classification and labelling of chemical products within the EU. CHIP came into force on 6 April last year and the regulations are commonly referred to as CHIP4. They deal with the law applying to suppliers of dangerous chemicals, requiring them to be packaged safely, hazards identified and the product supplied with information about the dangers.

Suppliers can be manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers and CHIP applies to most chemicals. The regulations will gradually be replaced by the European Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures Regulations (CLP Regulations).

CLP Regulations actually entered into legal effect in all EU member states in January last year and in Great Britain were implemented as CHIP4. But it will be 1 June 2015 before CLP Regulations are fully in force.

From a user perspective, you see new hazard pictograms used but you should still recognise them. They are not changing radically but will fall under the globally harmonised system. So, instead of skull and crossbones on a yellow square, you will find the skull and crossbones on a white diamond with a red border.

In addition, there will be new harmonised warning and precautionary statements for labels. These will replace the existing risk and safety statements. "Toxic to aquatic life" is an example of a hazard statement, while "Protect from sunlight" is a precautionary statement.

Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 27 years and has spent more than five years testing machinery for HW and What Kit? The advice in this helpline is independent.


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