European Product Categorisation System

The European product categorisation system (EuPCS) is used to describe ‘the intended use of a mixture’ for which a submission has to be made according to Article 45 and Annex VIII of the CLP Regulation. Examples of intended uses include the use as an adhesive, as a decorative paint, or as a dishwashing detergent.

The EuPCS for mixtures in the scope of Article 45 is maintained by ECHA and subject to change – version 1.0 is currently available (in English) at:

  • EuPCS (v.1.0.) for mixtures within the scope of Article 45 of CLP Regulation  [PDF] [XLS] [EN]

The development of a harmonised product categorisation system was initiated in 2013 as a result of the review of the Commission services according to Article 45 of the CLP Regulation. The Commission also conducted a study in 2016 to review and analyse existing product categorisation systems and work with stakeholders to develop a draft proposal for the harmonisation of this information for poison centres. Following on from this, in 2017 ECHA established an EuPCS focus group to review and further develop the proposed draft product categories. The focus group is comprised of Member State appointed bodies, poison centres and industry associations.

Purpose and principles of the EuPCS

As part of the Annex VIII harmonisation of information requirements for Member States’ appointed bodies and poison centres, a hazardous mixture must be assigned a single product category by the importer or downstream user to describe its intended us. The product categorisation system may also be used by Member State appointed bodies or poison centres to facilitate comparable reporting and monitoring of poisoning incidents at EU level. 

As a general rule, the product category should not reflect other elements of the information on the mixture, such as user type, packaging or mixture composition, as this is already part of the submission made according to the poison centre notification (PCN) format - for example, ‘liquid caps’ dishwashing detergent would be categorised as a dishwashing detergent and the water soluble capsule would be reflected in the packaging.

In the case of mixtures which may have dual or multiple uses, only the main intended use is selected - for example, a laundry detergent containing textile freshener would have a main intended use as a laundry detergent and be categorised accordingly. However, where one of the uses is considered a biocidal or plant protection product, the main intended use is always reported as such - for example, cleaning products containing a disinfectant are considered as the corresponding biocidal product.

Scope and structure of the system

The EuPCS covers only those categories for mixtures that are within the scope of Article 45 of CLP – namely, mixtures classified as hazardous based on their health effects or physical properties. The categorisation system is also implemented in the PCN format defining the information requirements for industry submissions. Other product categories, including ‘Cosmetics, food and tobacco products’, ‘Medicinal products and medical devices’ and ‘Drugs of abuse’, are out of scope and not included.

The system is a five-level hierarchical tree containing approximately 250 product categories. Selection of a product category can only be made at the ‘leaf level’, though this level may vary. For example the corresponding categorisation system for cleaning, care and maintainence products has been developed to contain 5 levels, while mixtures used for further formulation contains only 1 level.

Support

An EuPCS practical guide is available to assist industry with the categorisation of mixtures according to the intended use e.g. in possible cases where overlapping categories may occur. Further support from ECHA’s Helpdesk is available through the Agency’s website.

Further information 

Study on a product categorisation system for information to be submitted to poison centres

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