The European Parliament and EU Council reached a provisional agreement Tuesday on an updating of a regulation for the classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals sold online. The updated regulation aims to better identify and classify hazardous chemicals, improve communication on chemical hazards and address legal gaps and high levels of non-compliance.
To enable consumers to better understand information about the hazardousness of various chemicals (such as cleaning products), the agreed rules set minimum dimensions in millimetres of labels, pictograms and font size found on packaging. uppliers will be given more flexibility as the new rules will allow for a broader use of fold-out labels. To keep pace with digitalisation, the deal includes rules on voluntary digital labelling and related technical requirements, such as the information being searchable, accessible in less than two clicks to all users in the EU, free of charge and for a period of at least ten years.
The agreement bans the use of ‘green claims’ for substances or mixtures classified as hazardous – advertisements must not contain statements such as ‘non-toxic’, ‘non-harmful’, ‘non-polluting’, ‘ecological’ or any other inconsistent with their classification.
Negotiators agreed that a substance containing more than one constituent (MOC) would be evaluated, in order to establish its classification according to hazard classes, using the available information on its known constituents as well as on the substance itself. MOCs extracted from plants or plant parts (essential oils) are exempted – the deal requires the Commission to present a scientific report regarding their classification, followed up by a legislative procedure if necessary, within five years after the entry into force of the new rules. Parliament and Council will now need to formally approve the agreement before it can come into force.
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