Are you ready for the UFI?
As of 2025, all companies, which place a mixture on the market classified for physical and health hazards, need to label their product with a Unique Formula Identifier: UFI. Veronika Karlsson, EHS Manager at Brenntag Nordic, explains the background for the 16-character code and what companies should look out for.
“The UFI is actually the result of a new, joint Poison Center Notification (PCN) decided on and formulated by the European Chemical Association (ECHA)” explains Veronika Karlsson, EHS Manager at Brenntag Nordic. “Many EEA member states have different requirements when it comes to registration for mixtures classified for physical and health hazards. In example, during a number a of years, companies in Denmark have not been required to submit information on hazardous mixtures to the Danish poison center. And this is exactly the purpose of a joint European Poison Center Notification. The PCN makes it possible for poison centers across the EEA to find information on hazardous substances in all the member states.
With the PCN going live, companies are required to register mixtures before the products can be sold on the market. Companies will be required to notify information such as composition, color and toxicology. The result of the registration is the UFI code made up by 16 characters. The UFI will be required on the product labelling and possibly also on safety data sheets. Should an accident happen, the UFI is the piece of information from which poison centers can identify the mixture and advise healthcare personnel”.
By 2025, all hazardous mixtures need to be registered and labelled with a UFI code. Different deadlines apply depending on who the mixture is intended. “Mixtures that are sold to consumers already need to be registered and labelled with a UFI by January 1, 2020”, says Veronika. “For mixtures that are sold to professional users, such as plumbers or cleaning companies, the deadline is January 1, 2021, while mixtures intended for industrial usage have until January 1, 2024. However, in several countries there is a transitional period running until 2025”, Veronika continues, and further explains that in Denmark the transition period only applies to mixtures which has a Danish product registration number before December 31, 2019.
If a mixture is not registered and labelled with a UFI before the deadline, it can no longer be sold on the market. This can potentially affect both producers and users of the product.
“Companies, who produce or import hazardous mixtures, should first of all be aware of the different deadlines and which deadlines that apply for their products”, she explains. “Secondly, companies which purchase raw materials used in own production, should pay attention to if the purchased material is registered with a UFI before the deadline, if the raw material is a mixture. This mostly concerns mixtures that are imported from outside the EEA”.
In Brenntag Nordic we are working hard to prepare for the new requirements. During the autumn of 2019, the first products, Brenntag Nordic is liable for, will be labelled with a UFI code and already during the first half of 2020 many of our mixtures will bear a UFI.
You can find more information about the UFI on our Sustainability page.