Generate your UFIs
The unique formula identifier (UFI) is a unique code that will be required both in the submission of information and on the label or packaging of the products that contain a hazardous mixture.
Together with a product’s trade name, the UFI allows the poison centre possessing this information to precisely identify both the product involved in a poisoning incident and the composition of the mixture contained in that product.
The UFI on the label or packaging must be preceded by the acronym ‘UFI’ to help distinguish the code from other identifiers. In cases where products are not packaged – such as with certain products used on industrial sites – the UFI needs to be available in section 15 of the safety data sheet.
UFIs can be assigned in a number of ways. Mixture-centric and product-centric approaches are commonly used, but it is possible to use other approaches, for example, ones based on market, language or labelling aspects.
1. Mixture-centric approach, where you can assign a UFI per mixture, regardless how many products contain that mixture. Note that all products containing the same mixture will be labelled with the same UFI.
2. Product-centric approach, where you can assign a UFI per product, even if they share the same mixture composition. Note that the same mixture will have several UFIs.
The management of UFIs
The management of UFIs is the responsibility of the company. Most likely your company already uses internal formulation codes. If they are numerical only – between 0 and 268 435 255 – you can use them directly to generate UFIs. In other cases, you will need to first assign a new formulation number to your mixtures. It is essential that you do not re-use the same formulation number when the mixtures have different compositions.
The UFI Generator tool is already available in your language. To create a UFI you need:
- your company’s VAT number; and
- a mixture-specific formulation number.
If you manage a large product portfolio, you may want to develop your own generator in your company’s IT system for a more efficient bulk creation of UFIs. For that, you will need to consult the UFI developer’s manual.
A new UFI and a new label are needed every time:
- a mixture component is added, substituted or deleted;
- component concentrations change beyond the allowed variations;
- the supplier changes the UFI of a ‘mixture in mixture’.
For further information on how changes in composition may affect the UFI of a mixture, see “Declaring concentrations under Annex VIII to CLP Regulation”.
Plan the relabelling of your products. You need to be ready to assign UFIs and include them on the product labels (or packaging) shortly before the applicable deadline to be able to submit the product information. Printing the UFI should be carefully planned into your company’s schedule and can be carried out in advance of relevant deadlines.
If you decide to include the UFI on your product label before the applicability of the new legislation, that is before submitting it to the appointed bodies, clear communication in the supply chain is strongly recommended. The downstream user may use your mixture as a MiM and must be informed that the information on that MiM has not been submitted yet.