December Regulatory Updates


Safer chemicals: Council and Parliament strike deal on the regulation for classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances.

The European Union has taken a significant step in enhancing chemical safety with the provisional agreement on the updated regulation for the classification, labelling, and packaging of chemicals (CLP regulation). This new regulation, which revises the existing 2008 EU legislation, focuses on providing clearer information on chemical substances, including those sold online.

Jordi Hereu i Boher, the Spanish Minister for Industry and Tourism, highlights that this revision integrates the principles of the digital and circular economy into the chemical sector. The aim is to ensure that consumers receive comprehensive information in both digital and physical formats, regardless of their purchasing method.

The need for this update was driven by the rise of online shopping, the growing trend of buying in bulk, and the emergence of new chemical hazards, such as endocrine disruptors. The regulation strives to improve the protection of human health and the environment. It simplifies labelling rules and enhances accessibility to information on chemical hazards.

Key features of the new regulation include:

  • Improved and expedited processes for communicating chemical hazards, with an emphasis on clearer labelling and advertising.
  • New powers granted to the European Commission to identify and classify hazardous substances swiftly.
  • Specific guidelines for refillable chemical products, enhancing consumer safety in bulk purchasing.

The agreement also covers substances with more-than-one constituent (MOCS), providing a five-year derogation for certain plant-based MOCS. After this period, the Commission may propose new legislation based on scientific findings.

The regulation extends to all forms of sales, including online transactions, ensuring that most chemical products have a physical label, with digital labelling as an additional option. Special measures have been introduced to make labels more accessible, especially for people with sight difficulties, and to manage risks associated with refill stations.

This update is part of the EU’s broader Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and contributes to the goals of the European Green Deal. The proposal for this regulation was initially presented in December 2022, and negotiations began in June 2023 following the Council’s mandate.

This significant development represents a vital step in ensuring a more sustainable and toxic-free environment in the EU.


European Parliament Rejects Commission’s Proposal on Sustainable Plant Protection.

In a significant move, the European Parliament has rejected a proposal from the European Commission regarding the sustainable use of plant protection products. This decision, which unfolded after a debate on 21 November, culminated in a vote on the following day. Of the members of the European Parliament (MEPs), 299 voted against the Commission’s proposal, 207 supported it, and 121 abstained.

This vote effectively dismisses the Commission’s proposal and concludes the Parliament’s first reading. The next step lies with the Council, which needs to establish its position on the proposal. This decision will determine whether the proposal is definitively rejected or if it returns to the Parliament for a second reading.

The background of this development is rooted in the European Green Deal. As part of this initiative, on 22 June 2022, the Commission had proposed a regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products. This proposal was part of a broader package aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the EU’s food system.

The Parliament’s rejection of this proposal marks a critical juncture in the EU’s efforts to balance agricultural needs with environmental sustainability.



EU Commission proposes ‘one substance, one assessment’ chemicals assessment reform for faster, simplified and transparent processes.

The European Commission has taken a significant step towards revolutionizing chemical safety assessments with the introduction of the ‘one substance, one assessment’ legislative package. This initiative, a key component of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, is designed to streamline and enhance transparency in the assessment of chemicals across the EU.

The reform proposes a reassignment of responsibilities among four key EU agencies – the European Chemicals Agency, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Environment Agency, and the European Medicines Agency. This reallocation aims to ensure coherent and transparent safety evaluations for chemicals used in a range of products, including medical devices, toys, food, pesticides, and biocides.

Key Benefits:

  • Simplified and transparent access to chemical information for citizens, companies, and authorities.
  • More harmonized and predictable processes across different legislations.
  • Strengthened reliability in assessments, leading to faster and more effective protection of public health and the environment.

Primary Objectives:

  • Strengthen inter-agency cooperation and consolidate scientific work on chemicals.
  • Introduce a Common Data Platform for ‘one-stop shop’ access to comprehensive chemical data.
  • Systematize the collection of human biomonitoring data across the EU.
  • Implement a monitoring and outlook framework for early detection of chemical risks, such as PFAS.
  • Empower the European Chemicals Agency to generate data when necessary.
  • Enhance transparency in scientific studies related to chemicals.

Next Steps: The legislative proposals will now undergo scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure.