Have you ever wondered what is on the packaging of the products you use daily? On this journey through the world of chemical product labels, the following information will be your guide. Together, we’ll discover why proper labeling is so crucial. You will also learn how to verify if a product label truly meets all formal and legal requirements, making you more aware of existing regulations.

 

Chemical Product Labels: legal and aesthetic requirements

In addition to eye-catching graphics, a label must meet a range of legal requirements. Suppliers of mixtures are subject to internal national regulations as well as regulations and directives applicable throughout the European Union. For companies producing and marketing a variety of products, this is quite a challenge.

 

From directive to CLP regulation

These changes date back to the beginnings of Directive 67/548/EEC, which was a milestone in the history of chemical mixture labeling regulations. The directive established a framework for classification and labeling, marking the start of changes in the rules for proper classification and labeling on chemical product labels.

Since December 2012, a new rule has applied to substances, and since June 2015, also to mixtures. This is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), introduced in the European Union by Regulation No. 1272/2008/EC. This regulation replaced older laws and introduced new, more uniform rules for labeling chemicals.

The most significant changes occurred in the appearance of the pictograms themselves. Yellow-orange squares were replaced by white diamonds with red borders.

Etykiety produktów chemicznych - piktogramy. Chemical Product Labels

Key principles of chemical product labels

According to the CLP Regulation, every chemical product classified as hazardous must be properly labeled. The label must mandatorily include:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the supplier,
  • The quantity of the substance or mixture,
  • The product identifier,
  • Pictograms indicating the type of hazard,
  • Warning words and precautionary statements.

But that’s not all. The regulations also specify other details, such as the minimum dimensions of the label (52×74 mm) and pictograms (10×10 mm). Additionally, there is a requirement to provide the nominal mass or volume of the product.

Furthermore, some products must have a special “e” symbol next to the weight or volume, ensuring that the amount stated on the packaging matches the actual content. Interestingly, even the appearance of this “e” symbol is strictly defined by legal regulations, and its pattern is shown below:

Etykiety produktów chemicznych - znak "e". Chemical Product Labels

New requirements: UFI and mixture notification

As of January 2021, manufacturers and importers of mixtures intended for consumers must comply with new requirements. According to Annex VIII to the CLP Regulation, these market participants had to adapt their products to these new standards.

This involves the necessity of notifying mixtures in the form of a harmonized format for poison centers (PCN) to convey the required information to poison centers. Thus, every hazardous mixture (except those legally exempt from registration) must have a 16-character alphanumeric code on the label – the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI).

The year 2025 brings further changes that will affect our company through the above regulations. However, we are not passive observers of what is to come. We have taken action well in advance, implementing new regulations and adapting to legal requirements.

 

The importance of the UFI code

The UFI code facilitates the identification of the product and its composition. This is particularly important in the event of poisoning by a given mixture. It will be possible throughout the European Union to check and understand the dangers a mixture may pose. It will also provide guidance on how to proceed in case of exposure. This ensures better safety measures when in contact with that mixture.

 

Conclusions

Considering all these complex legal regulations, it becomes clear that having extensive knowledge of these regulations is essential. Therefore, our team of experts demonstrates excellent qualifications in complying with all the aforementioned legal requirements. Additionally, we offer support to our clients in preparing labels for their own brands. This ensures that each label complies with current regulations. You can learn more on our service page.