Over the next few months, you will start to notice a change in the labelling of HMG Paints and other manufactures products, this is a result of a new labelling and classification system, known as GHS, implemented across Europe.
The European Regulation on Classification Labelling and Packaging of Substances and mixtures (CLP) Regulation (1272/2008 EC) has been introduced, aligning EU legislation with the UN Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The new scheme will affect inks and coatings as well as other chemicals and products supplied in the EU.
You may have already started to see some new symbols on materials as the CLP regulation applied to single substances from December 2010. Mixtures, such as paints and coatings, must be classified, labelled and packaged to the new criteria by June 2015.
The old-style orange/yellow squares will be replaced by red-bordered diamonds, though some pictograms will remain the same.
GHS represents the goal of a single worldwide system for classification and hazard communication in the transport, supply and use of chemicals. The differences in the classification criteria from the old CHIP system lead to more substances and mixtures classified as hazardous, with some carrying more severe hazard classifications under the CLP Regulation. For example, flammable liquids will have to carry the new flame symbol, rather than just the word ‘Flammable’, whilst new symbols will also be introduced. These are supported by Signal Words; ‘Danger’ being more severe than ‘Warning’.
The CLP hazard terminology and means for hazard communication also differs from CHIP: ‘Preparations’ are now ‘Mixtures’, ‘Risk Phrases’ are replaced by ‘Hazard Statements’ and ‘Safety Phrases’ with
‘Precautionary Statements’ e.g.
• Hazard Statement: Flammable liquid and vapour
• Precautionary Statement: Keep away from heat – no smoking
Labels (and safety data sheets) will therefore be visually very different and take some getting used to. Just because the label changes, it does not mean that the hazard of the product has changed.
If you have pre-existing stocks of labels that HMG print for you these can be continued to be used up until 29th May 2015. From 1st June 2015 you MUST use labels with the new GHS symbols. If you need stock of these labels then please contact Shannon Williams in the HMG Printroom who can assist, email: email@example.com or Tel: 0161 277 8178.
Products already in the supply chain by 1st June CLP Guidance states, “the manufacturer, importer, downstream user or distributor may postpone its re-labelling and repackaging according to the CLP rules until 1 June 2017.”
HMG and the rest of the UK coatings industry has worked alongside the British Coating Federation to develop a poster with more information on the changes, the poster goes into greater detail and introduces the new symbols and new terminology.
To download the poster visit
More information on CLP can be found on the BCF website