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 in some cases the packaging, of the products that contain a hazardous mixture.

Together with a product’s trade name, the UFI allows the poison centre 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, or  as an alternative to the label for products used on industrial sites, the UFI needs to be available in Section 1.1 of the safety data sheet.

The condition for assigning a UFI is that all products labelled with the same UFI need to share the same mixture composition.

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, based on market, language or labelling aspects.

Mixture-centric approach, where you can assign a UFI per mixture, regardless of how many products contain that mixture.

Note that all products containing the same mixture will be labelled with the same UFI.
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’.

The timing for UFI inclusion on the label needs some planning to fit in with the company’s schedule. In all cases, the UFI needs to be included as part of the product labelling (or SDS in certain cases), to coincide with the submission of information. This ensures that there will always be a link to the mixture information in the event of an emergency incident.

For products that have been notified under national legislation and are already on the market, the re-labelling of products with the UFI needs to be planned ahead. If there is no change in your mixture before the end of the transition period, you may choose to notify under the new rules at any point until 2025 and you are strongly recommended to re-label your product with the UFI accordingly, to coincide with the submission of information.

It is not recommended to include the UFI on your product label without an accompanying submission to the appointed bodies as this creates an ‘empty’ UFI. Empty UFIs may create problems, for example, with your downstream user who may use your mixture as a mixture in mixture (MiM) and must be informed that the information on that MiM has not been submitted yet. Additionally, if a UFI is ‘empty’, poison centres will not be able to establish a link to the mixture information in the event of an emergency.

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