UFI – time to include these codes on label and SDS.
We would like to inform you about the introduction of UFI on the label and the SDS. We will also explain in a nutshell what your obligations are.
All hazardous chemical products must be provided with a unique number, the Unique Formula Identifier, or UFI for short. The UFI must be uploaded in the PCN portal together with information about the product (which is included in the PCN file). The PCN portal is a so-called central European poison information centre. By submitting to the PCN portal, the EU Member States are informed that a certain product is sold in their country and that the information is accessible to them by means of the PCN portal.
The intention was to start the UFI system on January 1st of this year. The PCN portal was ready at that time, but a large number of EU countries were not able to retrieve the files intended for them from the PCN portal. As a result, the introduction of the UFIs was postponed to January 1st, 2021. Although rumour has it that a new postponement could occur, CARACAL* recently communicated that no postponement will take place. We therefore advise you not to wait any longer to request and apply UFIs.
* CARACAL is an expert group which advises the European Commission and ECHA on questions related to REACH and CLP.
For which products and when?
The UFIs are mandatory for all dangerous products, with the exception of products that only have an environmental hazard. For consumer and professional products the obligation applies as of 1 January 2021. For industrial products the obligation applies as of 1 January 2024. For products that have already been registered with a poison information centre a transition period until 2025 applies. After that, those products must be registered via the PCN portal as well.
Note: cosmetic products and non-hazardous products do not need to be registered.
What does the UFI look like?
The code is a unique combination of letters and numbers in the following format: N1QV-R02N-J00M-WQD5
How to obtain a UFI and PCN file:
You have at least two options, via the ECHA website or using our AMINCHI software.
The UFI can be created via the so-called UFI generator via the EU site: https://ufi.echa.europa.eu/#/create. AMINCHI users can generate this code themselves within AMINCHI or simply add an existing UFI.
The PCN file can be created via IUCLID but for AMINCHI users, creating the PCN file will soon be possible in AMINCHI. We are currently working on the final phase of a new functionality with which a PCN file can be automatically generated. If a SDS has been created within AMINCHI, a PCN file can be compiled and sent out “push-the-button”. Files that are sent out remain visible within the personal AMINCHI account.
The PCN file can be submitted through the Submission Portal: https://poisoncentres.echa.europa.eu/nl/echa-submission-portal. After creating a username and password, this portal is accessible for everyone.
Where should the UFI be stated?
The UFI for consumer products and for products for professional use must be stated on the label. It is advised to place the UFI near the EAN code. Listing on the SDS is not a strict obligation for the aforementioned products. Nevertheless it will be included in our SDSs by default.
For products for industrial use, the UFI must be stated on the SDS. Indication on the label is allowed, but is not mandatory.
What do we recommend?
We strongly recommend you to start creating and specifying UFI numbers for those products in your range where the UFI is mandatory. Currently it is not yet possible for all Member States to receive the information from the PCN registration, but this will be possible in the short term.
Do you want more information?
You can always contact us in case of any questions or doubts. If you want to read more, please visit: https://poisoncentres.echa.europa.eu/documents/22284544/22295820/ufi_what_it_means_en.pdf/576a9a82-c352-b5b3-df73-e763da37e559