The SCIP Glossary

From CLP to REACH to SVHC: The most important terms for SCIP notification.

CLP

The CLP (Classification Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures) Regulation aligns EU legislation with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Legally binding in all EU member states, it requires manufacturers, importers and downstream users of substances or mixtures to properly classify, label and package their hazardous chemicals before placing them on the market. The CLP Regulation determines whether a substance or mixture has properties that lead to its classification as hazardous. The CLP Regulation provides detailed criteria for the labelling elements: Pictograms, signal words and standard texts relating to hazard, prevention, countermeasures, storage and disposal for each hazard class and category.

CMR

According to the REACH Regulation, CMR substances (Carcinogen, Mutagen, Toxic to Reproduction) are substances that are potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction.

ECHA

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) ensures a uniform procedure for the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances within the EU. The agency, based in Helsinki, was established in 2006 in the wake of the REACH Regulation.

Product

According to the REACH Regulation, an article is an object which, during manufacture, is given a specific shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater extent than its chemical composition.  The chemical composition is certainly a criterion for an article, but it is not the determining factor. Examples of articles are clothing, flooring, furniture, jewellery, newspapers and plastic packaging. The distinction from substances or mixtures is not always clear.

Product with intended release

This is understood by REACH to mean the release of a chemical substance that is not the main function of the article. An example would be a children's toy that releases a fragrance.

Exposure

In the context of the REACH Regulation, exposure means the expected contact of a human being or the environment with a substance, including the expected intensity, frequency and duration of the contact.

Exposure scenario

Exposure scenarios are a central element of the REACH Regulation and the core of the implementation of a chemical safety assessment. It is always the responsibility of the manufacturer or importer of substances to prepare them. The scenarios contain the description of the

  • processes used by which the substance is manufactured, processed and used;
  • the activities of workers in relation to the processes and the duration and frequency of their exposure to the substance;
  • activities of consumers and the duration and frequency of their exposure to the substance;
  • duration and frequency of emission of the substance to the different environmental compartments and to wastewater treatment plants, and dilution in the receiving environmental compartment.
  • Risk management measures to reduce or prevent direct or indirect exposure of humans (especially workers and consumers) and the various environmental compartments to the substance;
  • Waste treatment measures to reduce or prevent exposure of humans and the environment to the substance during waste disposal and/or recovery.

Hazard classes

Derived from the CLP Regulation, potentially hazardous substances are classified into different hazard classes: Physico-chemical hazards, Health hazards, Environmental hazards and Other hazards - each with specified subcategories and the degree of danger as a "hazard category". The list of hazard classes is continuously revised in line with updates of CLP and GHS.

Mixture

Mixtures are mixtures or solutions consisting of two or more pure chemical substances.

GHS

The GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals) is a globally harmonised system of the United Nations for the classification of chemicals and for their labelling on packaging and in safety data sheets. The EU CLP Regulation is an adapted implementation of this system.

Dealers

For the purposes of the REACH Regulation, distributors are natural or legal persons who have a registered office in the EU and store and place on the market a substance or a mixture of substances. Retailers and wholesalers are equally meant.

Manufacturer

For the purposes of the REACH Regulation, a manufacturer is defined as a natural or legal person who has a registered office in the EU and manufactures a substance in the EU.

Importer

For the purposes of the REACH Regulation, importers are natural or legal persons who have a registered office in the EU and are responsible for the import of a substance.

Placing on the market

Very different activities are subsumed under "placing on the market". For the purposes of the REACH Regulation, it is the supply or making available to third parties, whether in return for payment or free of charge. The definition includes importing, selling, giving away or making available. Importation is also considered to be placing on the market.

Complex object

The REACH Regulation defines complex articles as articles composed of several articles or complex products.   Examples can be furniture, vehicles or articles of clothing.

Complex product

A complex product is a product that is composed of several individual products.

PBT/vPvB

The REACH regulation defines PBT substances as substances that are persistent (difficult to break down), bioaccumulative (can accumulate in organisms) and toxic. vPvB stands for very persistent and very bioaccumulative. The definition only applies if all two or three criteria are met.

REACH

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is an EU regulation that came into force on 1 June 2007. The REACH regulation means that only previously registered chemical substances may be placed on the market in the European Union. The regulation applies to both manufacturers and importers who produce substances in the EU or import them into the EU in quantities of more than one tonne per year. The scope includes substances, constituents of a mixture and releasable ingredients of an article. In principle, the data to be submitted to ECHA as part of the registration process are also available to the public.

The central goal of the REACH regulation is to better protect people and the environment from the potential risks posed by chemicals. Above all, substances of particular concern are to be successively replaced by less harmful alternatives. 

The REACH Regulation follows the principle of "No Data, No Market": Within the EU and EEA, substances covered by the REACH Regulation may only be placed on the market if they have been registered with the EU chemicals authority ECHA.

Registration

Manufacturers or importers who produce more than one tonne per year of a substance within the scope of REACH or are the first to import it into the EU must register. This registration includes detailed information on the basic properties, their classification and labelling as well as the use and guidance on safe handling. Substances that are not registered cannot be manufactured or imported.

SCIP

SCIP (Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products)) is a database of the European Chemicals Agency ECHA. It collects information on substances of very high concern (SVHC) contained in articles or complex objects in a concentration of more than 0.1% by weight. Since January 2021, all companies supplying relevant articles to the EU market have to provide the corresponding information. The SCIP database is intended to help make the presence of hazardous substances and substances of very high concern transparent throughout the entire product life cycle.

SVHC

According to the REACH Regulation, substances of very high concern (SVHC) are chemical substances that may lead to serious effects on human health or the environment. If the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identifies a substance as an SVHC, this can lead either to certain restrictions or to an authorisation requirement under the REACH Regulation. Once a substance is identified as an SVHC, it is subject to strict information obligations within the supply chain.

Fabric

Substances are chemical elements or compounds thereof, in the natural state or obtained by a manufacturing process, including additives necessary to preserve its stability and impurities resulting from the process used, but excluding solvents, which may be separated from the substance without affecting its stability and without altering its composition.

Environmental compartment

In ecology, environmental compartments are homogeneous areas of the environment, such as air, soil or water. The term is particularly important in connection with the distribution of a substance in the environment.