Toll manufactured products

There is some debate within the chemical industry about who is responsible for classifying, labelling and providing SDSs for toll-manufactured products.

Strictly speaking, if the toll manufacturing company is placing a hazardous product on the market by selling it to their customer, then the toll company is responsible for this information being generated and supplied.

However, if the customer is hiring the equipment and staff of the toll company to produce the product, and retains ownership of the product at all times, then they would be responsible for the hazard communication, that is classification, labelling and SDS authoring.

This means that the legal liability comes down to what is in each individual toll manufacturing contract between the parties involved.

There is also a third option, where the toll manufacturer undertakes to provide this information, either as part of the toll service, or for an additional fee.  Again, the contract should specify this.

Note that there is a parallel argument about who is responsible for carrying out a REACH registration, and if this has already been agreed in a contract, it could be argued that classification, labelling and SDS responsibility lies with the same party.

The liability for producing hazard communication information for a toll manufactured product is as much as legal problem as a technical one around classification and SDS authoring, and it is advisable to seek specialist legal advice.  The HSE Competent Authority helpdesk may also be able to provide support for your individual situation.

ECHA have provided a guidance document on this complex issue, factsheet_toll_manufacturer_en, but it is advisable to check any queries you have with the HSE helpdesk and/or UK lawyers in case the situation in the UK is different to that in other jurisdictions.

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