Focused on Classification, ECHA Publishes Results of the 6th Enforcement Forum

Posted on: January 6, 2020

by Alexis Sumner

Glassware-in-science-chemistry-laboratory-call-for-contributors-to-help-revise-the-NRCCs-Guidance-for-Hazardous-Chemical-ClassificationsOn December 17, 2019, ECHA published a report on the results of the Enforcement Forum project known as REF-6. The purpose of the Enforcement Forums is to check compliance and increase awareness of the major chemical control regulations in the EU. Comparing results to previous reports, non-compliance issues have been reduced.

ECHA inspectors from twenty-nine countries evaluated over 3300 mixtures from over 1600 companies and reported their compliance findings when reviewing information required by REACH Annex II, for safety data sheet (SDS) completion. The main module focused on the classification of mixtures and the data listed within the SDS. Data within Sections 2, 3, 9, 11 and 12 directly connect to a mixture’s classification and the information communicated down the supply chain for safe use. Local authorities could also choose to review additional modules, including the appropriate use of rules for Liquid Laundry Detergent Capsules and products regulated under the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR).

Of the 3391 mixtures that were checked, ECHA released a summary on their findings online and noted that 43% of all reported companies were found to have at least one non-compliance and 44% of reported mixtures were non-compliant in some way.

Findings additionally indicated that one-third of all products reviewed were found to have incorrect labeling. This was identified as a difference between Section 2 of the SDS and the product labeling that was not supported with special provisions or exemptions to labeling. Twenty-two percent of the products with incorrect labels had issues with the hazard statements and fifteen percent of the products had incorrect precautionary phrases. The majority of labeling issues were linked back to an incorrect mixture classification. Fifteen percent of all SDS reviewed that were found to be non-compliant had issues noted in Section 3.2, relating to the classification of the substances within the mixture. Common issues included missing M factors for Acute and Chronic Aquatic 1 classifications, missing or incorrect use of a substance’s harmonized classification or classifications that were not consistent with C&L Notifications.

Recommended Action Items:

  • Review the most current harmonized classifications (14th ATP) against your European product line
  • Review classification process and any applicable labeling exemptions
  • Update SDSs and labels accordingly
  • Participate in classification and/or SDS authoring training

Related Blog Articles:

ECHA Enforcement to Target Mixture Classifications:

New ECHA Project on Enforcement of Classification and Labeling of Mixtures:


ECHA summary:

Enforcement Forum REF-6 Report:


European SDS Authoring Training

If you sell products containing chemicals into Europe you have a legal responsibility with compliant SDSs as a means of communicating important hazard information and advice on safety, precautions, and to ensure the safe handling, storage, usage and disposal of products. This can be a complicated task requiring knowledge in a variety of technical areas, and despite the SDS being a well-recognized and important document, there are many common compliance issues.

Our popular EU SDS Authoring Training Courses involves a detailed study of the SDS according to the REACH Annex II, relating to the preparation and provision of SDSs.

Book Now

 Never Miss an Update:

UL’s global Regulatory Assurance Team contains more than 50 regulatory analysts worldwide, serving customers in six continents, with multi-lingual support in more than 30 languages. Our team can help you navigate the complex, ever changing regulatory landscape to understand and execute your compliance obligations.

For all of the latest regulatory news and the most important industry updates, sign up for our monthly Regulatory Round-Up Newsletter.


The views, opinions and technical analyses presented here are those of the author, and are not necessarily those of UL LLC. All content is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without prior authorization from UL. While the editors of this site may verify the accuracy of its content from time to time, we assume no responsibility for errors made by the author, editorial staff or any other contributor.