value Chain & products

Globally Harmonized System 

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)
EU-Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances (CLP)

One of the objectives agreed at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 was the development of a globally harmonized system of classifying and labeling hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods. In 2003 the UN published the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), commonly known as the Purple Book. The seventh revised edition was issued in 2017. Countries around the world are required to adopt national regulations based on the GHS. This building block approach was chosen to accommodate the ideas of different countries, which can vary considerably. This ensures that identical global criteria are used for the classification building blocks.

The criteria for classifying and labeling chemicals set out in the GHS have not direct legal status. They first have to be transposed into national law by individual countries or international communities. The legal basis for this in the EU is the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances (CLP), which came into force in January 2009. The CLP introduced the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) in the EU.

A total of nine newly designed pictograms are now used to warn of hazards, together with terms such as "Danger" or "Warning," depending on the level of risk. The previous R and S phrases have been replaced by hazard phrases (H phrases) and precautionary phrases (P phrases).

For substances, the CLP Regulation had to be implemented by December 1, 2010. That involved altering the classification of all hazardous goods, re-labeling substances and revising safety data sheets. In addition, standard operating procedures had to be revised and joint storage bans checked. Moreover, customers had to be informed of the changes. An e-learning module aligned to Evonik's requirements was used to familiarize relevant employees with the CLP Regulation.

In addition, Evonik ensured that all necessary notifications were available in the ECHA's classification and labeling inventory by the deadline.

For mixtures, the transition period ended on June 1, 2015. Evonik implemented all necessary changes for classified mixtures by this deadline.

A further two-year transition period until 2017 was granted for stock items and those already in use, so most substances and mixtures in circulation in the EU should now be CLP-compliant (see note on stock goods)

Note on stock goods:

Article 61 (4) of the CLP Regulation contains the following exception for substances classified, labeled and packaged in accordance with Directive 67/548/EEC (Dangerous Substances Directive, DSD) and mixtures classified in accordance with Directive 1999/45/EC (Dangerous Preparations Directive, DPD) that had been placed on the market before December 1, 2010 (substances) or June 1, 2015 (mixtures):

Suppliers were not required to relabel and repackage substances and mixtures still in stock to comply with the CLP rules before December 1, 2012 (substances) or June 1, 2017 (mixtures).

"Placing on the market" here means "supplying or making available, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to a third party. Import shall be deemed to be placing on the market." “Making available to a third party” means that substances are considered to be placed on the market when they are held in readiness for sale, i.e., are already packaged and labelled. Availability to a third party also exists if it is possible for a customer to acquire goods directly, simply by filling out a form or making a telephone call. (Source: FAQ, BAuA Help-Desk)