Commenting on the publication by the European Commission of a Delegated Act under the EU’s Classification, Packaging and Labelling Regulation (CLP), Cefic has issued the following statement:
Introducing new hazard classes under CLP without amending the UN GHS framework first is like putting the cart before the horse. It is a missed opportunity for the EU to improve trust in the international system of classification and labelling. This potentially permanent deviation of the EU framework from the global rules can lead to a disjointed system of classification and labelling at the global level. Several other countries and associations have already voiced concerns about the impact of this move outside of the EU.
The changes proposed in this draft delegated act are more than a technical matter. They will have far-reaching consequences on the use of chemicals in many value chains, from plant protection products to cosmetics. Assigning new hazard classes to substances will trigger automatic restrictions and bans under REACH due to the future extension of Generic Approach to Risk Management, as well as under product legislation. The potential impact of all these bans once new CLP classifications kick in has not been fully examined.
Furthermore, the Delegated Act introduces new hazard classes for complex endpoints, such as endocrine disruption and mobility.
Unfortunately, clarification on how to use scientific evidence to classify substances for some of these endpoints still needs to be developed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). For example, for mobility, if refined scientific information reflecting chemical behaviour in the environment is available, it should override screening information in the classification process. In the area of endocrine disruption, we call on all parties to work together to reduce animal testing by using the latest science to implement fit-for-purpose New Assessment Methods (NAMs) in the assessment of endocrine disrupting properties of chemicals. Therefore, clear and timely development of guidance will be critical to help companies reclassify and relabel their products.