EU directives on packaging and labelling of dangerous substances date back over 50 years. Under the first directive substances means chemical elements and their compounds in their natural state or as produced in industry. Preparations mean mixtures or solutions of substances.
Dangerous substances are classified in categories, defined in the directive according to the degree of hazard and risk and the nature of the risks. Their categorisation is based on explosive toxic , harmful characteristics of substances etc.
The annexes to the directive list dangerous substances,
- classify them
- make provision for labelling,
- make provision for symbols,
- provide standard phrases in respect of risks and phrases giving advice on safety procedures where applicable.
Packaging must comply with the following requirements. It must prevent any loss of contents, except where special safety devices are prescribed. Materials containing packaging and fastenings must not be liable to attack by the contents or liable to form dangerous compounds.
Packaging and fastenings must be resistant and solid.
- Labelling must include
- name of the substance,
- origin including particulars of manufacture, distributor or importer,
- danger symbols,
- indication of dangers involved in use
- reference to special risks.
The information must presented in accordance with the annex to the directive. The labelling must meet certain criteria in relation to size. States may require their own language to be used on labelling of dangerous substances. Where packaging is too small, labelling may be affixed in some other manner.
States may allow dangerous substances which are not toxic or explosive to derogate from the general rules on labelling.
In the case of international transport of dangerous substances or national transport, labelling must comply with the national or international rules. States may not impede the free movement within the EU of dangerous substances complying with the directive unless they establish that the substance constitutes a hazard to health or the environment.
In this case they must inform the Commission and launch a consultation procedure to assess the hazard and take requisite action. The Commission must be advised of measures taken.
Regulation harmonises rules regarding classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures in accordance with international system approved by the UN.
Miscellaneous goods standards EU.
The directive on appliances burning gaseous fuels applies to appliances used for cooking, heating, hot water production, refrigeration, lighting, washing and having a normal wash temperature less than 105° C. It also applies to certain safety equipment such as controlling and regulating devices.
Appliances must be designed and built in a way that ensures safety and presents no danger to persons, animals or property. Appliances must be accompanied by technical instructions for installers which give details of the requisite conditions, types of gas, supply pressures, fresh air required and conditions for dispersal of combustion products.
There must be instructions for use when servicing by the user which give minimum safety information. There must be warnings indicating the type of gas, supply pressure and any restrictions.
Manufacturers must guarantee the safety of the properties of materials. They must lodge an application for type examination with the standards body, including details of the manufacturer’s name and address, written declaration and design documentation. Where the application is approved as complying with criteria, the standards body issues a EU-type examination certificate.
Surveillance is to ensure the manufacturer fulfils its obligations under the relevant quality system. The manufacturer may make a declaration of conformity as to type.
The appliance and installations include the following inscriptions:
- Manufacturer’s name and identification symbol;
- type of electrical supply;
- applicable category;
- trade name;
- digit of the year the CE Mark was affixed.
EU directive deals with explosives intended for civilian use. It does not apply to military or police ammunition or explosives or pyrotechnic articles which are the subject of a separate direcetive.
Explosives for civilian use may only be placed on the market if they comply with the essential safety requirements in the directive. They must comply with the directive and have been assessed regarding conformity with essential safety requirements. They must bear the CE Mark.
Even if they bear the CE Mark measures may be taken if they compromise safety. They may be prohibited or withdrawn from the market.
Explosives must be designed, manufactured and supplied in a way that presents minimum risk to health, lives, safety and the environment.
Approval to transfer explosives must be obtained by the consignee from the relevant authority. The competent authority must vouch the consignee as authorised to acquire the explosives and has the necessary license and authorisation. The persons responsible for the transfer must notify the authority of movements of explosives.
Explosives must comply with the EU standards for essential safety. The directive provides a number of procedures for accessing conformity.
An EU Directive deals with pyrotechnic articles. These comprise fireworks, theatrical, pyrotechnic articles and other pyrotechnical articles. Each must be categorised in accordance with use and noise levels. Pyrotechnic articles must not be sold or made available to consumers below certain age levels.
States must ensure that pyrotechnic articles cannot be placed in the market unless they have the CE Mark and comply with conformity assessment requirements. They may not prohibit or restrict placing on the market of articles which conform with the directive. States may take measures justified on public health or safety grounds to restrict the use or sale of high-risk fireworks for the general public.
Upon completion of conformity assessment a CE marking must be affixed on the pyrotechnical article by the manufacturer. Pyrotechnical articles must be labelled in the country in which they are sold. The labelling must include names and addresses of the manufacturer/importer who are not established in the EU, designation and type of pyrotechnic article, relevant category, age limits, instructions for use, safety distance to be observed, quantity of explosive material.
States must take steps to ensure that articles placed in the market do not endanger people’s health and safety. They may undertake inspections of articles on entry into the EU. If a state believes a product presents a serious risk, it must quickly inform the Commission and perform an evaluation. A safeguard provision allows the state to contest provisional measures taken by another state to withdraw an article.
Manufacturers must follow conformity assessment procedures, harmonised standards for pyrotechnic articles developed by European standardisation bodies.
Manufacturers must ensure that the articles meet the essential safety requirements. They must submit the articles to standard bodies who perform conformity test. If it meets the requirements, the standards body will issue a certificate of conformity to the manufacturer who may affix the CE Mark to the article.
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