GHS is a programme at UN level, that aims to achieve global harmonization in the classification and labelling of chemicals, and thus to improve the protection of human health and the environment during their transport and use. It creates a common regulatory framework and determines the information that must be included on product labels and in safety data sheets, in order to ensure effective management of chemicals, particularly in the area of hazard prevention.


In Europe, GHS is implemented through Regulation (EC) Nr. 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (GHS-EU = CLP).

The CLP Regulation entered into force on the 20th January, 2009. It replaces Directives 67/548/EWG (Dangerous Substances Directive, DSD) and 1999/45/EG (Dangerous Preparations Directive, DPD).

GHS (and CLP)

  • Determines harmonized criteria for the classification of substances and mixtures according to hazard, based on their physical-chemical characteristics and the risk to human health and the environment
  • Provides harmonized communication of hazard for various user groups (e.g. workers, consumers, transport workers and first-aid staff) through guidelines on the packaging and labelling as dangerous goods (substances and mixtures)
  • Replaces the hazard symbols and R- and S-phrases familiar from hazard communication according to the Substances/Preparations Directive with new hazard pictograms and H- and P-phrases (hazard statements; precautionary statements)

Since the 1st December, 2010, safety data sheets for substances must state the classification and labelling required by CLP. The transition period for mixtures requiring classification ended on the 31st May, 2015. Beyond this date, classification and labelling according to CLP is also obligatory for mixtures. We can support you in determining the classification of your substances and mixtures according to CLP and GHS criteria.

Dr. Michael Cleuvers Managing Director
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