An updated Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV) has been available since November. This update provides continuity with the European Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 (CLP) and its designations. The regulation for the implementation of Directive 2014/27/EU and the amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations describes, among other things, these amendments to the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances. But what, in practice, is going to change about working with hazardous substances?

Overview of amendments

Most amendments are based on harmonisation with the CLP Regulation and give rise to changes as a result of these amendments. Generally, the term “preparations” has been replaced by the standard CLP term “mixtures”. However, specific amendments have also been made which offer higher clarity in terms of the application of the GHS classification in connection with the Regulation. The hazard characteristics have given way to hazard categories. The CLP Regulation is directly referenced in the category definitions. The term “hazardous substance” is now also modelled exclusively on CLP Regulation terms.

For information gathering and risk assessment (Article 6 of the Hazardous Substances Ordinance), there is a more precise wording regarding the course of action for the risk assessment of substances and mixtures where no test data is available for certain hazard areas (Article 6 (14)). Hazard categories and classes are specified for the corresponding hazards and shall be used in case of doubt. Here too, the course of action based on the CLP Regulation has become directly applicable.

In addition to the references to the CLP Regulation, other legal source have been updated or replaced to keep the Hazardous Substances Ordinance up to date.

Implications

In practice, the new Hazardous Substances Ordinance is more compatible with the statutory and predominantly used classification on the basis of the CLP Regulation. At this point in time, CLP classification is already mandatory for all safety data sheets. What is more, only remainders with the old designation are still in circulation.

 

Sources: Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (Gefahrstoffverordnung – GefStoffV), November 2016 version

Regulation for the implementation of Directive 2014/27/EU and the amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 (CLP), consolidated version, dated 01/04/2016