What is a UFI, and where and when is it needed?
A hot topic in the chemicals industry right now is the new Annex VIII to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (revised in 2017) on the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures. The new annex requires the use of a new unique formula identifier (UFI) on labelling. In response to numerous requests from our customers, we will try to shed some light on this issue. Specifically, what is a UFI and what needs to be done?
A UFI is a “Unique Formula Identifier” comprising a 16-character code that enables rapid and unambiguous identification of the information submitted on the mixture by any poison centre called upon to provide advice on dealing with a poisoning incident.
Submitting information to poison centres is mandatory for companies importing mixtures into the EU and making mixtures in the EU in all EU countries where the mixture is placed on the market. In addition, a distributor within the European Union, such as Algol Chemicals, must verify that the supplier of the product has submitted the required information. This information includes the identity of the mixture and the notifier, the product classification, warning label elements and product identifiers for the toxicity and components of the mixture.
The notification obligation applies to new mixtures placed on the market for consumer use as of January 2020, to new mixtures intended for professional use as of January 2021 and to new mixtures intended for industrial use as of January 2024.
The EU Commission has proposed a one-year postponement of the obligation for importers and downstream users to send information to poison centres when placing mixtures on the market for consumer use. This would mean that the regulation would apply to consumer products as of January 2021. A decision on the proposed suspension has not yet been taken, but we will update our readers as soon as it is announced.
Mixtures already on the market are subject to a transition period, according to which the UFI be included on labels for all relevant products on the market by 1 January 2025.
Guidelines and tools for generating a UFI can be found on the Poison Centres website of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
We at Algol Chemicals have taken steps to obtain the required information from our suppliers, and we have already generated the first UFI codes for our own products. Information on the UFI codes of our products will be included in the safety data sheets as they become available.
Päivi Autiovuori, HSEQ Team Leader, Algol Chemicals Oy
+358 50 588 0488