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Chemicals legislation

What legislation applies to my products? What obligations does my company have? Which laws regulate the chemical content of goods? The Swedish Centre for Chemical Substitution can help you find your way!

All types of products, both goods and chemical products, are subject to chemicals legislation and it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, importer or distributor of the products to ensure compliance. The rules apply whether you sell the products in shops or via e-commerce, and whether they are made from virgin or recycled materials.

General chemicals legislation

Most regulations apply throughout the EU/EEA, but there are also regulations that only apply in Sweden. An EU regulation applies directly in all Member States without having to be transposed into national legislation. An EU directive, on the other hand, does not automatically apply in the Member States, but must be transposed into Swedish laws, regulations or provisions. Swedish legislation on chemicals is contained in the Swedish Environmental Code and is supplemented by regulations that clarify the law in various areas.

An example of EU chemicals legislation is the REACH Regulation, which contains rules on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It covers both articles and chemical products and includes rules on informing customers about the content of hazardous substances.  Other examples include the CLP Regulation (which contains rules on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical products), the POPs Regulation and the Biocides Regulation.

The Waste Directive also contains rules on reporting the content of substances of very high concern to ECHA's SCIP database.

More about the SCIP database

Legislation for a specific product type

At EU level, there is also legislation that applies only to a specific product group, known as product-specific legislation. Examples of product groups where specific legislation exists are: toys, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, detergents, plant protection products, food contact materials, cosmetics and medical devices.

It is your responsibility to know which legislation applies to your products

A product may be subject to several pieces of legislation that apply in parallel, so it is important that you know which legislation applies to your products and which requirements are imposed based on your role in the supply chain.
In order to meet the requirements imposed by legislation, you must also actively work to control the chemical content of your products; this is also a prerequisite for systematically working to phase out particularly hazardous chemicals.

More information

The Swedish Chemicals Agency is the authority in Sweden responsible for most of the chemicals legislation. Read more about rules and legislation here

Feel free to contact us if you need help navigating the legislation!

Contact us 

Anna S Strid

Contact person

Anna S Strid

Rådgivare Substitutionscentrum

+46 10 228 48 37

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