Last reviewed 2 September 2021

Since 1 June 2015, one of the main strands of chemical safety legislation in the EU has been Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (the CLP Regulation) and its numerous amendments.

When the UK left the EU, it was clear that it could not ignore this significant body of legislation and lacked the time to come up with an alternative.

As with the REACH legislation, the other strand of EU rules on chemical safety, the Government solved the problem by adopting the EU laws with only minor changes such as replacing EU regulators mentioned in the regulations with equivalent UK bodies.

Rebranded as UK Reach and GB CLP, the regimes are now central to the safe manufacture and use of chemicals.

It is interesting to note, therefore, that the European Commission has launched a consultation process seeking views on a proposed “targeted revision” of the CLP Regulation.

This is needed, it argues, to support a sustainable chemicals strategy as part of the EU’s Green Deal, a set of policy initiatives by the Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050.

“The CLP Regulation aims at ensuring both a well-functioning single market for chemicals and a high level of protection of human health and of the environment,” the Commission states. “However, in a number of aspects, the regulation has not kept up with scientific or technological progress, or with (on-line) market developments. In other aspects, the regulation is ambiguous and allows for diverging interpretations.”

It intends to present legislative proposals for a revision of the regulation by the end of 2021. For more details, see ec.europa.eu.