Changes to Hazardous Substances regulations – here’s what you need to know

There have been recent changes to the hazardous substances regulations that come into effect April 30th 2021 that you need to be aware of. You will have a 4 year transition period, but we recommend you start making the changes to labelling, SDS, and packaging as soon as possible.


You can find out more about the changes below so you can make sure you are up to date with the latest info.


There have been changes to the Hazard Classifications, and you will no longer use the following classes for your hazardous substances:

  • Class 1 Explosives
  • Class 2 Flammability gases
  • Class 3 Flammability liquids
  • Class 4 Flammability solids
  • Class 5 Oxidising
  • Class 6 Toxic
  • Class 8 Corrosive
  • Class 9 Ecotoxic


The new Hazard Classes for hazardous substances will be classed as a physical hazard, a health hazard, or an environmental hazard, detailed below:

Physical hazards

  • Explosives
  • Flammable gases
  • Aerosols
  • Oxidising gases
  • Gases under pressure
  • Flammable liquids
  • Flammable solids
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures
  • Pyrophoric liquids
  • Pyrophoric solids
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases 
  • Oxidising liquids
  • Oxidising solids
  • Organic peroxides
  • Corrosive to metals
  • Desensitised explosives

Health hazards

  • Acute toxicity
  • Skin corrosion/irritation
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation
  • Respiratory or skin sensitisation
  • Germ cell mutagenicity
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Specific target organ – toxicity single exposure
  • Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure
  • Aspiration hazard

Environmental hazards

  • Hazardous to the aquatic environment
  • Hazardous to the terrestrial environment. (This hazard class is not part of the GHS 7 classification system, but was added to ensure risks to the terrestrial environment continue to be managed.

What this means for you

You will need to ensure that your SDS, packaging, and labelling of substances have been updated to reflect the new classes or you are in the process of updating. This can be done by reaching out to the supplier or manufacturer of substances.


If you have any questions about these changes, you can give our Advisory Team a call on 0800 555 339.