The regulation of the classification and labeling standards of chemicals differs in Europe, USA and Eastern Asia. To simplify trading around the world, a global classification system has been created and implemented. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), created by the United Nations, is an internationally agreed-upon system for the classification of chemicals, the GHS standardises labeling, packaging and the extended material safety data sheet.
The Regulation (EG) No. 1272/2008, January 20th 2009, is effective as of 1st Dec 2010 for the classification of substances. The deadline for the implementation of mixtures is June 1st, 2015.
The regulation introduces new hazard symbols (pictograms). In addition, the R-and S-phrases are replaced by H- and P-phrases. For a transition period both systems can be used parallel to each other.
We recommend you visit the EU website http://www.europa.eu to learn more about both regulations.
The regulation (EG) No. 1907/2006 (REACH Regulation) is a European Union regulation, effective from 1st June 2007. Within REACH the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals are determined. The regulation focuses on quantity-dependent examinations of chemicals and their potential impacts on living organisms, air, water and soil.
Manufacturers and importers of chemical substances have a duty to register. Chemicals are defined as pure chemicals, not as mixtures, polymers etc. Under REACH all substances produced in quantities greater than 1.000 tons per year, all carcinogenic, mutagens and reproductive toxic substances produced in quantities greater than 1 ton per year and all environmental hazardous substances in quantities greater than 100 tons per year had to be registered, effective 1st December 2010. All substances with quantities in the range of 100 and 1.000 tons per year have to be registered before 1st June 2013 with all other substances having a quantity greater than 1 ton per year per being registered before 1st June 2018.
If examinations of chemicals have been carried out, the results are incorporated into the material safety data sheet. Consequently the material safety data sheet is now more comprehensive due to the increased amount of information with a material safety data sheet possibly consisting of 20 or more pages.
Due to the extensive nature of this regulation, an authority named ECHA (European Chemical Agency) was established in Helsinki, Finland, especially for the implementation of the REACH.
More details about REACH are here: