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UFI AND LABELLING OF HAZARDOUS MIXTURES
All you need to know about the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) | 16.04.2020 | EU Chemicals Regulation CLP
A new labelling requirement for chemicals comes into operation on the CLP Regulation - the clocks are ticking! Inform yourself now, so that the implementation of the new requirements in your company is carried out in due time.
A new labelling element will be found on products in 2020: the 16-digit UFI, a unique recipe identifier - this is ensured by the adaptation of the so-called CLP Regulation (EU Chemicals Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008). The transitional period will end on January 1, 2025: The application of the UFI on the labels of products that may pose health or physical hazards is mandatory. The UFI code enables the poison control centre to clearly identify the product in the event of an emergency call and thus ensure adequate medical advice.
CLP Regulation at a glance
Manufacturers, importers and end-users in the supply chain of products filled with hazardous mixtures must add a 16-digit alphanumeric UFI code to their product identification. This is a unique recipe identifier and must be applied to the product label.
The CLP Regulation is valid throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). This includes all 28 member states as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. In Switzerland, special regulations apply in addition to the CLP Regulation.
What is UFI (Unique Formula Identifier)?
The UFI is a unique, 16-digit alphanumeric formula identifier. From now on it must be applied to all product labels of hazardous mixtures. The UFI code establishes a link between the mixture and the associated safety information.
In addition to the UFI, the poison control centre must be informed of further information: Composition, trade name, colour, packaging, product category and toxicological information. In this way a clear link can be established between the submitted product information and the product placed on the market. Therefore all products bearing the same UFI have the same mixture composition. The UFI code is an encoded information. This ensures that mixture formulations cannot be viewed by external parties within and outside the supply chain (e.g. competitors).
This code is linked to a central database. It contains safety information for each hazardous mixture. To ensure the flexibility of your production, it is practical to print the code online in the production line directly.
What is the purpose of UFI?
UFI is primarily used in case of an emergency call. UFI enables a unique identification of the mixture. For example, an employee of a poison control centre can use the UFI in combination with the product name to clearly identify the mixture - thus ensuring adequate medical advice. The caller will find all relevant information on the label of the product
Which products must be labelled with UFI code?
If the product is labelled with one of the following hazard pictograms for human exposure, the UFI code must be included on the label or in the safety data sheet. The UFI code always refers to the containing mixture. So if a product or brand name changes, the UFI can be retained.
How can the UFI be generated?
To generate a product-specific UFI, you need your VAT ID number and a mixture-specific formulation number. By using the VAT ID, the uniqueness of the UFI is achieved and overlaps of different manufacturers are excluded. To create the UFI code manually, the VAT ID and the formulation number are entered into the ECHA‘s online tool UFI Generator, which then provides you with the UFI code.
For companies with an extensive product range, it may be useful to purchase a UFI generator with an interface to your IT system. The b+b UFI Manager with generator function is available as an add-on module in our label design software LabelsPlatform 4 as well as with complete order, article, reporting and label management as an independent b+b site server solution. In addition to CLP-compliance, the latter also enables optional marking of your products and containers with a unique serial number. This lays the foundation for the prevention of product piracy and transparency of your complete supply chain.
need not be unique
VAD registration number
= UFI code clear attribution
If you already use internal recipe codes, you can use them as formulation numbers - provided they are exclusively numerical. In all other cases, you must first assign a new formulation number to your mixtures. The combination of formulation number and VAT registration number is only allowed to be used for the same composition of mixtures. The UFI codes must be communicated to the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) together with the assigned mixture.
When must the UFI code be adapted?
If the composition of the mixture or a supplied mixture changes, a new UFI code must be assigned to the product. The new UFI as well as the changes must be passed on to ECHA.
In principle, a mixture can have several UFI codes, if desired. This may be the case, for example, if the same mixture is traded under different brand names - and should not carry the same UFI.
The same UFI code is not allowed to be used for different mixtures.
Does UFI have to be applied on a label?
If a product is marked with a label, the UFI must be applied to the label. Only in exceptional cases may the UFI be stated in the safety data sheet. This is the case if a product does not receive a label.
What are the regulations regarding the application of UFI on a label?
„UFI“ is an acronym in all official EU languages. UFI must always be used in capital letters and preceded by a 16-digit alphanumeric code - which is divided into four sections by hyphens. There are no specifications regarding font and font size. Labels often vary in size or format, but the UFI must still be placed prominently on the label. Preferably close to the barcode or hazard pictograms. It is up to the company to decide how the UFI is printed or applied to the label - it is important that the UFI can be used as effectively as possible at poison control centre.
Which technologies are suitable for applying UFI to the label?
In general, there are many ways to code your product labels. The choice of the right technology depends, among other things, on: the production environment, production speed, product variety, product formats and the number of products. In the following we will inform you about available solutions.
Use of label printers
By the use of label printers the UFI code can be printed on the label. As a partner of well-known manufacturers of label printers, thermal transfer printers and inkjet printers, b+b offers you the right solution for your requirements - depending on the production speed, the number of products to be marked and the production environment. With multi-colour printing systems the hazard symbols can be printed directly onto the label.
Use of print and apply systems
The use of label printing dispensers is usually possible. Here the UFI code is printed on the label and then applied to the product. The new label print dispenser EDS 420i | EDS 620i from b+b is suitable for implementation of the CLP regulation. It is compact, robust and can be flexibly integrated into your production line. Multi-colour print dispenser systems allow the printing of the corresponding hazard symbols directly.
Use of label design and automation software
A label software allows you to design and print your labels directly with UFI code. The label software Labelsplatform 4 from b+b allows you to easily implement the requirements with the help of the add-on module b+b UFI-Manager with generator function.
Use of a UFI generator
For companies with an extensive product range, the purchase of a UFI generator with an interface to your IT system can be useful. In addition to the LP4 UFI Manager, b+b also offers a separate b+b site server solution with complete order, article, reporting and label management. In addition to CLP-compliance, this solution also allows you to optionally label your products and containers with a unique serial number. This is the foundation for the prevention of product piracy and for transparency of your complete supply chain.
Which technology is the best economic solution for your company?
The question of the right technology to implement the new UFI regulation always requires a differentiated assessment of the possibilities and the consideration of your production and requirements. b+b will gladly help you to find the best economic solution for your company to meet the new legal requirements.
The deadlines of the CLP Regulation at a glance
Indication of the UFI and other product information in the harmonised format:
01 January 2020: for new mixtures intended for consumer use
01 January 2021: for new mixtures intended for professional use
01 January 2024: for new mixtures intended for industrial use
01 January 2025: for existing mixtures already on the market
From 01 January 2025, the transitional period ends for products already on the market - from this date, all mixtures must contain a UFI on the label.
The product information as well as the UFI code must be communicated to the poison control centre before the deadline, therefore companies should put a UFI code on their label well in advance and before the deadline. In concrete terms this means: companies should plan and implement the creation and printing of the UFI on their labels and corresponding company processes at an early stage - so that the implementation of the new regulation can take place in due time. b+b offers you the turnkey solution for the implementation of the new regulation. With pleasure we consult you - contact us.