Chemical Check - European Office for Safety and Health

Definition of CLP/GHS

In Hazardous Substances Law, several key words are present at the moment

  • CLP - "Classification Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures" / Regulation (EU) 1272/2008
  • GHS - "Global Harmonized System" / UN-GHS


What do these terms stand for? How do they differ?

CLP - "Classification Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures" / Regulation (EU) 1272/2008

CLP is the European implementation of the UN-GHS. On the one hand, not all parts of the UN-GHS have been adopted; on the other hand there are additional European specifications which are not part of the UN-GHS. With CLP, the previous symbols on orange background and the associated hazard codes as for instance “irritant” are replaced.
New are the pictograms in diamond shape with a red frame. All pictograms can be downloaded in different formats under The previous R-phrases will be replaced by so-called H-phrases (Hazard Statements) and the previous S-phrases by P-phrases (Precautionary Statements). There are only two signal words – “warning” and “danger”.

GHS - "Global Harmonized System"

GHS stands for the classification and labelling system of the UN. It is the worldwide standard for the classification and labelling of mixtures and substances. Depending on the particular country or region, certain parts of the UN-GHS have been extended or left out. This means there is a worldwide basis – but with particular national or regional characteristics.

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