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Chemical industry in transition

New regulations for the labeling of chemicals products

The chemical industry plays an important role in many areas of our lives: from the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics to materials for the construction and automotive industries. However, because many chemicals can be potentially hazardous, it is important that they are properly labeled to ensure they are used safely and responsibly. There have been several changes in chemical labeling over the past two years. One of the most important concerns the introduction of new labeling requirements according to the CLP regulation (Classification, Labeling and Packaging of substances and mixtures).



The CLP regulation came into force on January 20, 2009 and has replaced the previous system for labeling chemical products. It ensures that all chemical products within the EU are labeled uniformly and clearly and that the labeling is based on the latest scientific knowledge.


The VEE series labels oval, round or rectangular plastic or metal containers such as buckets and cans. The labeling can be applied on several sides or all around. On request, a lid closing unit can be integrated, which presses on lids that have already been placed before the labeling process.

An important change concerns the introduction of new requirements for the labeling of mixtures. Mixtures must now be labeled with a hazard statement pictogram based on the substances contained and their hazard. In addition, the labels of the individual components must also be adjusted accordingly. These changes will take effect on December 1, 2023.


Our KEM-2S model is suitable for the GHS-compliant, fully automatic labeling of canisters on up to 4 sides.

In addition, on 17 January 2023 published the updated REACH Candidate List to improve the ECHA database and increase the availability of data on the chemicals. This makes it easier for companies to find out which chemicals are in their products and what information they need for correct labelling.

Below we list the existing regulations and rules in the EU that apply to the labeling of chemicals in the chemical industry.


GHS regulation


The GHS regulation (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) is a worldwide uniform system for the classification and labeling of chemicals with the aim of facilitating the communication of information about hazards and risks. It was developed by the United Nations and serves as the international basis for the classification and labeling of chemical substances.

The GHS regulation stipulates that all chemicals must be classified and labeled according to the GHS criteria. This also includes the indication of hazard pictograms, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements on the label of the packaging.


CLP regulation


The Classification, Labeling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) for substances and mixtures is another important regulation in the EU that regulates the labeling of chemicals. The CLP regulation serves to communicate the dangers of chemicals by prescribing a harmonized (= unified) classification and labeling of substances and mixtures.

It requires manufacturers and importers of chemicals to classify and label their products according to GHS criteria and includes additional requirements for the labeling of substances that may be hazardous to the environment. This includes the use of hazard pictograms, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements for greater clarity and transparency when labeling hazardous substances.


REACH regulation


The Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation is also of great importance for the chemical industry. REACH aims to better protect human health and the environment by assessing and regulating the risks of chemicals.

The REACH regulation stipulates that all chemicals that are manufactured or imported in quantities of at least 1 ton per year must be registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Manufacturers and importers must provide information about the chemical properties and possible risks of the chemicals.


IBC with product, dangerous goods and logistic labels
As a rule, several labels have to be attached to containers or drum pallets: product, dangerous goods and logistics labels. The marking with the IBLM model can be done either during the run or at a standstill.

The differences between GHS, CLP and REACH


GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) is a worldwide standardized system for the classification and labeling of chemicals. It was developed by the United Nations to improve communication about chemicals between countries and industries.


CLP (Classification, Labeling and Packaging) was developed by the EU and adopts the GHS criteria for the classification and labeling of chemical substances within the EU. The CLP regulation contains additional provisions for the labeling of substances that can be dangerous for the environment.


REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) is an EU-wide regulation that aims to improve the protection of humans and the environment from the risks posed by chemicals . It requires the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals to ensure their safe use.


The BLM-HC6-VCB1200 labeller offers the possibility to apply several labels according to the GHS directive on the perimeter of the drum, such as product label, dangerous goods label(s) and logistics label.

What do the CRISTAL standards cover?


The CRISTAL standards (Communicating Reliable Information and Standards to Agriculture and Logistics) were developed to ensure full transparency along the supply chain and to facilitate electronic trade of agrochemicals and other agricultural products via the Internet. By implementing serialization and aggregation methods, counterfeit products can be better identified, resulting in higher consumer protection and improved trust in the supply chain. Additionally, improved traceability allows for a more efficient response to recalls or safety concerns.

The goal is traceability in the chemical industry

Together, GHS, CLP, REACH and the CRISTAL standards are important tools that help ensure chemicals are handled safely and responsibly. By complying with these regulations and standards, companies can ensure that they meet their responsibilities towards people and the environment while achieving their business goals.

Adequate labeling of chemicals gives users the information they need to understand and minimize the potential risks when handling chemicals.


Professional support in fulfilling the labeling requirement


The company b+b Automations- und Steuerungstechnik GmbH supports companies in the chemical industry in complying with the existing and new requirements for the labeling of chemical products.

With its labeling and serialization systems, as well as the Track & Trace software solutions for the serialization and aggregation of the products, b+b offers tailor-made solutions for the individual requirements of each project.

The serialization software from b+b enables companies to guarantee complete traceability of their products and thus ensure compliance with legal regulations. The aggregation function supports the assignment of individual products to larger packaging units and facilitates the management of the production and supply chain.


The systems are easy to use and can be seamlessly integrated into existing production processes to minimize the amount of work.

Further information is available on our website or from your contact person!


You can find info videos on the labeling of chemical products on our YouTube channel:



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