Vote Harmonizes Poison Center Submissions For Chemical Products

EU Member States have voted in favor of the European Commission’s proposals to harmonize how chemical companies will submit product information to poison centers in Europe.

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EU legislation requires all Member States to set up an appointed body to receive information in the case of poisonings. However, it is up to individual Member States to interpret this law, meaning the demands on companies handling hazardous goods can vary widely across Europe. This often leads to a costly administrative burden for companies, which also risk fines or product removal in cases of noncompliance.

The Commission’s eagerly awaited proposals, which were first published as a draft for consultation in February 2016, include a number of changes intended to harmonize companies’ submissions of chemical information to poison centers. This includes the introduction of a new uniform product identifier on product packaging to make it quicker and easier to identify a product once it is registered with a poison center. The new regulation will come into force for mixtures intended for consumer use in 2020 and for professional and industrial mixtures as of 2021 and 2024 respectively.

Caroline Raine, principal consultant at the UK’s National Chemical Emergency Centre, said: “The Commission’s amendments will significantly change how chemical companies submit products to EU Member State poison centers. The changes will have the potential to accelerate submissions while reducing the huge variation in current poison center compliance. However, it is important to remember that these changes will not be introduced for a minimum of four years, meaning companies still face the risk of fines or product removal for not complying with the specific legislations in the individual EU countries that they operate in. Over the next few weeks we will be working closely with chemical companies around the world to interpret what these updates mean for their businesses, while supporting them to achieve short term compliance.”

NCECs regulatory experts support companies across the world to overcome the complex requirements of poison center registration. It also provides a poison center compliance pack covering the various regulatory demands in each country in Europe. Available as both a free download and a more comprehensive report, the pack provides clear, concise and easily applicable information for chemical companies to quickly identify their international obligations and avoid the risks of legal and financial repercussions from non-compliance. Download the poison center resources here.

It is also important for companies selling products globally to understand the wider regulatory requirements for countries in other regions, particularly Asia and South America. NCEC’s global emergency response guide highlights the regulations outside of Europe that require compliance for those transporting or supplying chemicals, and is free to download here.

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