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Chemical classification, labelling and packaging requirements in post-Brexit GB

NextGenChem

Jodie Kershaw, marketing and knowledge transfer lead at Yordas Group outlines what she learnt from a recent seminar on what businesses need to do to comply with chemical classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) and safety data sheet (SDS) requirements in a post Brexit Britain.

Many businesses, particularly start-ups and SMEs, are innovative and creative when developing new products. They put a lot of time and money into research and development, but are they aware of the regulatory requirements to be met to sell these products?

And what about the consequences of non-compliance? Do they understand the differences in placing their products on the UK market post-Brexit? I am realising that the answer to those questions, in many cases, is no. When I began working for Yordas Group and the NextGenChem project, I became aware of a whole new world. I had 'seen' the details on a bottle of kitchen antibacterial spray and, 'noticed' the label on my favourite wax melts.

However, I hadn’t read them in any detail or even realised that the information on that kitchen spray and the packaging of my wax melts had to comply with specific regulations. I had no idea what a pictogram was or how important they were.

In early February 2022, I organised an event through the NextGenChem project, which was fully funded for eligible Lancashire SMEs. Fiona Moir, Head of Hazard Communication at Yordas Group, provided an engaging informative presentation to the businesses that attended.

The attendees learnt that if chemical substances or mixtures that they are placing on the market are classified as hazardous, they must comply with requirements for the classification, labelling and packaging regulation, known as CLP. Does this include my products I hear you ask?

In short, any chemical product or mixture of chemicals, such as cleaning products, room sprays, wax melts, fragrance diffusers, require assessment and potentially specific labelling.

I found it very interesting that the labels must be clearly and indelibly marked, therefore the ink must not easily smudge or wipe off. An air ambience products company, who thought they were fully CLP compliant, asked if they “only need one label on a box containing mixed wax melts”. Fiona explained that you cannot use the same CLP label for all your different wax melts or candles if they contain different fragrance oils.

Through NextGenChem, Fiona will work with this eligible business to provide an assessment of their current CLP label and give advice on how they can improve their labels to meet regulatory requirements.

It was interesting to hear about the challenges of the businesses that attended the event. It was great to hear their shared experiences, and see that although their products were different, they still share the same requirement to comply with the CLP regulations.

Failing to label your product correctly results in non-compliance with the law, rendering your insurance invalid and could cause your customers to lose faith in your business. As for safety data sheets …. I’ll save those for next time! 

If you want to find out how NextGenChem could help your business with CLP support get in touch by emailing: info@nextgenchemhub.org.

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