The European Commission has issued a consultation on the adoption of new hazard classes in the EU CLP Regulation, (EC) No.1272/2008 on the classification, labelling, and packaging of substances and mixtures.
The incorporation of the new CLP hazard classes covering substances and mixtures with endocrine disrupting properties, persistent and bioaccumulative properties, and persistent and mobile properties has already been written into a Delegated Act published with the consultation.
According to the Commission, the new hazard classes and associated classification criteria are in keeping with one of the primary commitments of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which itself is a ‘building block’ of the European Green Deal ‘for the protection of consumers, vulnerable groups and workers from the most harmful chemicals and for the target of zero chemical pollution in the environment’.
The Commission previously issued a publication consultation on the impact assessment to introduce new hazard classes to CLP (closed November 2021), along with a targeted stakeholder consultation. ESMA responded to the consultation on behalf of members.
The Commission received 625 responses to the consultation from four types of stakeholders: Companies and business associations; EU and non-EU citizens; Public authorities; and Civil society (all other stakeholders). Responses were mainly received from companies and business associations (45%) and from EU and non-EU citizens (39%).
Almost 69% of business responses were from SMEs and in terms of geographical distribution, most responses were received from France (28%), followed by Germany (20%).
Opinions on the introduction of new hazard classes varied significantly between different stakeholder groups, but the Commission analysis determined that all stakeholders agreed that it was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to know if a chemical is classified as:
- an endocrine disruptor with adverse effects on human health;
- an endocrine disruptor with adverse effects on the environment;
- persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic;
- persistent, mobile and toxic.
“Business associations and companies were the least likely to rate the need for knowledge of adverse effects as ‘very important,’ but they still on average rated these aspects as ‘important’.”
Companies and business associations expressed repeated support that the new hazard classes should only be introduced in Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 as an implementation measure of the United Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UN GHS), but the Commission has forged ahead with publication of the Delegated Act.
It remains to be seen whether any adjustments are made to the contents of Delegated Act following closure of the consultation on 18th October. The regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.