Obtaining a mixture recipe for CLP classification

It is not unusual to find that you do not have some or all of the mixture information you need to be able to classify it for CLP.

There are several situations where this may occur when you are importing a mixture from outside the EU:

  1. the SDS does not include any recipe because the format of the SDS does not require it, or because the supplier does not understand that you need this information
  2. the SDS does not include any recipe information (on confidentiality grounds)
  3. the SDS does not contain information on one or more component substances (on confidentiality grounds).  (This problem can also affect you if you are using a mixture from within the EU in a new mixture and the SDS does not contain information on one or more component substances (on confidentiality grounds)).

Problem 1 – no recipe information at all

The most obvious answer to the first problem is to go back to your supplier and insist that they give you the full formulation, with the names, identity numbers, and % w/w of each component substance.  This does not have to be on an SDS, and you can even make up a form for them to fill in, if that will help (e.g. an excel table).

If your supplier protests, you need to point out to them that:

  • you have to be able to classify the mixture for CLP to enable it to be sold in the EU.  No CLP classification = no market.
  • you need to have full disclosure to allow you to do that (although they can give you % bands for the substances if they like)
  • you also need to know the names of chemicals in case they need to be identified on the label, e.g. if they are toxic or are sensitisers (in fact if they have any health hazards)

If your supplier offers to have the CLP classification carried out by their own people or suppliers in a non-EU jurisdiction, we suggest that you check the quality of their work to ensure that they are classifying correctly (which will require full disclosure of at least one recipe).  If they are using a reputable consultant for classification, this may give you confidence that the classification is correct, but it does not harm to check these classifications as well occasionally, and demonstrates to the supplier that you are serious about this issue.

Problem 2 – no recipe information on confidentiality grounds

The same arguments apply as for Problem 1, with the additional information that:

  • confidentiality of a complete formulation can only be claimed for low-level hazards in the EU
  • it must be claimed via ECHA
  • there are charges for a confidentiality claim
  • if you are going to claim confidentiality on behalf of the supplier, you will still need to know the full details of the mixture recipe

Problem 3 – no information on one or more components on confidentiality grounds

If you have the CLP classification for the mixture as a whole, and are using it in a mixture of your own, you can simply treat the mixture as if it were a component substance.  This is not as accurate as classifying on the basis of its components, but is acceptable and will allow you to classify your own mixture.

If you don’t have the CLP classification of the mixture, and only partial information on the component substances, it can be possible to classify the mixture for health and environmental hazards using partial information (details are included in the relevant parts of the knowledgebase).  Any physical hazards would probably have to be tested for. However, this is not as accurate as obtaining information from your supplier, which is the best approach.

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