The GB CLP Regulation
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, the EU CLP Regulation has been retained into GB law. Duties such as ensuring that chemicals are correctly classified, packaged and labelled, will for most companies will remain largely the same, however some companies who were Downstream Users under the EU CLP Regulation have become importers under GB CLP and therefore assume the legal responsibilities for compliance with GB CLP.
Northern Ireland remains subject to the EU CLP Regulation and chemicals placed on the market there will need to comply with this regulation.
The GB CLP Regulation is, unfortunately, not yet all set out in one clear document. The GB CLP Regulation was created by the Chemicals (Health and Safety) and Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 720, and amended by The Chemicals (Health and Safety) and Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. These regulations also refer to the text of the EU CLP Regulation for most of the actual detail on classification, labelling, etc.
These regulations created the new GB CLP Agency, which is part of the HSE. Activities that were previously undertaken by ECHA are now undertaken by the GB CLP Agency, including notification of new substances that are placed on the GB market, applications for use of an altenative name, and managing the new GB Mandatory Classification List (GB MCL).
The GB Mandatory Classification List (GB MCL)
The EU list of Harmonised Classifications, given in Annex VI of the EU CLP Regulation, has been carried over into GB CLP as the GB Mandatory Classification List (GB MCL). The GB MCL can be downloaded from the HSE website here. The GB MCL includes all EU harmonised classifications that were in force at the end of the implementation period. This includes all entries up to and including the 13th ATP. The 14th and 15th ATPs are also adopted and will become mandatory at the same time as they do in the EU, i.e. the 1st October 2021 for the 14th ATP entries and 1st March 2022 for the 15th ATP entries.
The 17th ATP, which is still in draft, and has not yet been implemented in the EU, is not included in the GB MCL. The GB MCL Agency is expected to review these classifications in future and make a recommendation to ministers as to whether they should be included in the GB MCL or not.
Future updates to the GB MCL will be managed in a similar process to that run by ECHA for updates to Annex VI of CLP, including developmemt of a technical dossier, public consultation on the proposed classification, and the development of an opinion which will be passed to ministers for a decision on whether to adopt it or not. Further details of the procedure can be found here.
Notification of new substances
As with the EU CLP Regulation, new substances placed on the GB market need to be notified to the GB CLP Agency within one month of being placed on the market. Details of how to submit a notification can be found here.
Substances that were already notified to ECHA, however, before 31st December 2020, and included in the Classification and Labelling Inventory, do not need to be re-notified. This includes notifications to ECHA by GB based manufacturers and importers, and also by EU based companies who were placing substances on the GB market before this date.
This means that GB companies who were part of an EU based supply chain before 31st December 2020 will not need to re-submit notifications to the GB CLP Agency that were submitted to ECHA by their upstream suppliers, as long as they believe the EU supplier's classification to be accurate. If establishing new supply chains, or, if a substance classification changes, new GB CLP notifications will be needed.