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Document 32008R1272

Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (Text with EEA relevance)

OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1–1355 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 13 Volume 020 P. 3 - 1357

In force




Official Journal of the European Union

L 353/1


of 16 December 2008

on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 95 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty (2),



This Regulation should ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment as well as the free movement of chemical substances, mixtures and certain specific articles, while enhancing competitiveness and innovation.


The efficient functioning of the internal market for substances, mixtures and those articles can be achieved only if the requirements applicable to them do not differ significantly between Member States.


A high level of human health and environmental protection should be ensured in the approximation of legislation on the criteria for classification and labelling of substances and mixtures, with the goal of achieving sustainable development.


Trade in substances and mixtures is an issue relating not only to the internal market, but also to the global market. Enterprises should therefore benefit from the global harmonisation of rules for classification and labelling and from consistency between, on the one hand, the rules for classification and labelling for supply and use and, on the other hand, those for transport.


With a view to facilitating worldwide trade while protecting human health and the environment, harmonised criteria for classification and labelling have been carefully developed over a period of 12 years within the United Nations (UN) structure, resulting in the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (hereinafter referred to as ‘the GHS’).


This Regulation follows various declarations whereby the Community confirmed its intention to contribute to the global harmonisation of criteria for classification and labelling, not only at UN level, but also through the incorporation of the internationally agreed GHS criteria into Community law.


The benefits for enterprises will increase as more countries in the world adopt the GHS criteria in their legislation. The Community should be at the forefront of this process to encourage other countries to follow and with the aim of providing a competitive advantage to industry in the Community.


Therefore it is essential to harmonise the provisions and criteria for the classification and labelling of substances, mixtures and certain specific articles within the Community, taking into account the classification criteria and labelling rules of the GHS, but also by building on the 40 years of experience obtained through implementation of existing Community chemicals legislation and maintaining the level of protection achieved through the system of harmonisation of classification and labelling, through Community hazard classes not yet part of the GHS as well as through current labelling and packaging rules.


This Regulation should be without prejudice to the full and complete application of Community competition rules.


The objective of this Regulation should be to determine which properties of substances and mixtures should lead to a classification as hazardous, in order for the hazards of substances and mixtures to be properly identified and communicated. Such properties should include physical hazards as well as hazards to human health and to the environment, including hazards to the ozone layer.


This Regulation should, as a general principle, apply to all substances and mixtures supplied in the Community, except where other Community legislation lays down more specific rules on classification and labelling, such as Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products (3), Council Directive 82/471/EEC of 30 June 1982 concerning certain products used in animal nutrition (4), Council Directive 88/388/EEC of 22 June 1988 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to flavourings for use in foodstuffs and