Are you aware of the European regulation governing the classification, labeling and packaging of hazardous chemicals, known as CLP? Did you know that as of 2015, it is required to classify and label all chemicals according to CLP? Have you noticed changes in your safety data sheets (SDS)? Staying informed about CLP is important. We’re here to help by answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Classification and labeling is key to identify and inform users about the hazards in chemicals such as solvents. CLP establishes standard symbols and phrases to ensure Europe-wide understanding and facilitate free trade globally.

CLP allows for the identification of hazardous chemicals and the communication of these hazards to users through labelling. It also provides the basis for safety data sheets (SDS) regulated under the REACH Regulation, and sets requirements for the packaging of hazardous chemicals.

CLP is Europe’s way of conforming to the international standard set by the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

Regulatory compliance is paramount for all those within the solvents industry. ESIG member companies of HSPA (the Hydrocarbon Solvents Producers Association) and OSPA (the Oxygenated Solvents Producers Association) are working to ensure that classifications remain consistent, accurate and available.

The classification and labelling for hydrocarbon solvents is based on substance definitions from the Hydrocarbon Solvents Producers Association (HSPA). This classification and labelling is only valid for products complying with the narrow definitions of HSPA substances.

The Hydrocarbon Solvents Producers Association (HSPA) have elaborated a category approach for hydrocarbon solvents to include similar physicochemical and toxicological properties for the dossier preparation of each category. A naming system has been developed to characterise hydrocarbon solvents as a substance in order to properly identify similar substances in accordance with the REACH regulation.

The category approach has enabled groups of similar hydrocarbon solvents which are mostly UVCB`s (Unknown, Variable, Complex or Biological substances) with similar physical/chemical properties and toxicology to be submitted within one dossier.

Glycol Ethers Online offers the best overview for classification of Glycol Ethers. Their explanation reflects classification harmonised at the EU level and self-classifications based on available data. Individual substance registrations should be verified through the ECHA substance registration.

The CLP replaced the Dangerous Substances Directive (67/548EEC) as well as the Dangerous Preparations Directive (1999/45/EC).

Visit ECHA online or contact your supplier for specific classification questions.


The CLP classifications are based on the entries in table 3.1 of annex VI of the CLP regulation (EC N°1272/2008), and are confirmed by the REACH substance information exchange forums (SIEFs) and the consortia compiling the registration dossiers for the substances.When necessary, a self-classification has been adopted.

This information is to the best of the ESIG/ESVOC’s knowledge and belief accurate and reliable as at the date indicated. However, no representation, warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy, reliability or completeness. It is the user’s responsibility to determine the suitability and completeness of information for their own particular use(s).

CLP Symbols

Physical Hazards

Corrosive to metals



Gas under pressure


Health Hazards

Environmental Hazards

Health hazard


Serious health hazard

Acute toxicity

Hazardous to the environment