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The Directive on Dangerous Substances

Overview of the directive's annexes and unofficial consolidated version

Annex I contains the harmonised classification and labelling of chemicals which are legally binding within the EU. This list is regularly updated through Adaptations to Technical Progress (ATP) such as most recently the 30th ATP. Revised and new classifications inserted to the list are proposed by the Commission and agreed by a Member State vote. The Commission proposal is based on advice from the Technical Committee for Classification and Labelling (TC C&L) with participation of experts from the Member States. Their meetings are prepared, chaired and followed-up by the European Chemical Bureau (ECB), whose website includes a working database of Annex 1.

Annex II explains the fifteen classes of danger symbols which are used to label dangerous substances, such as “explosive”, “very toxic”, “carcinogenic” or “dangerous for the environment”.

Annex III provides the standard phrases on the nature of special risks from substances, the so-called R-phrases.

Annex IV provides the wording of safety precaution phrases, the co-called S-phrases related to the handling and use of dangerous substances.

Annex V contains testing methods to determine the dangerous properties of substances but has been updated and replaced by the Test Methods Regulation

Annex VI provides detailed criteria on the proper choice of the class of danger and on how to assign the danger symbols, R- and S-phrases to a classified substance.

Annex VII and Annex VIII do not relate to the classification or labelling of substances, but to the notification of “new” substances. They give the information required for the notification dossiers. These have been replaced by Directive 2006/121/EC.

Annex IX includes provisions on child-proof fastenings and tactile warning devices as special packaging and labelling elements.

The consolidated directive                   

Until now, the directive covering dangerous substances (67/548/EEC) has been amended nine times and adapted to technical progress 30 times. The services of the European Commission have prepared an unofficial consolidated version of the directive which takes into account changes up to 1 August 2008. This document is for information purposes only.

Please note that only European legislation published in the Official Journal is deemed authentic.

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