Chemicals Act (Germany)

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The Chemicals Act ( ChemG ) is a law for protection against dangerous substances in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is fundamentally part of the chemicals law and was passed by the German Bundestag on June 25, 1980 unanimously by all parliamentary groups “as a first step towards protecting people and the environment”.

Basic data
Title: Law on protection against dangerous substances
Short title: Chemicals Act
Abbreviation: ChemG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Occupational health and safety law , environmental law
References : 8053-6
Original version from: September 16, 1980
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1718 )
Entry into force on: predominantly January 1, 1982
New announcement from: August 28, 2013
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 3498 )
Last change by: Art. 296 Regulation of June 19, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1328, 1363 )
Effective date of the
last change:
June 27, 2020
(Art. 361 of June 19, 2020)
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.
The precise details of the protective measures are specified in ordinances (e.g. Ordinance on Hazardous Substances ) and technical rules . Many EC directives are implemented in German law in the ChemG . In particular, regulations accompanying the REACH regulation are implemented in the ChemG.


The Chemicals Act defines the following terms in § 3 and § 3a:

Additional definitions can be found in the REACH regulation.

The knowledge of these terms plays an important role for the hazard classification and for the obligation to register new chemical substances. In the EU there is a notification and authorization requirement for chemical substances. This means that chemical substances may only be manufactured, imported, used etc. if they are included in special lists:

  • ELINCS = European List of Notified Chemical Substances (new substances),
  • EINECS = European Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances (old substances),
  • NLP = no-longer-polymers.

If a substance is not included in these lists, it has not been adequately tested and / or insufficient empirical data is available. The same applies to the individual components of preparations. The new substance then has to be registered and undergoes a series of very complex tests, e.g. B. toxicological tests etc.

There are reliefs for small quantities or for exclusive use in research and development.

In various other countries (e.g. USA: TSCA list) there are similar regulations ( chemicals registration ).

Name of the substances

In order to clearly differentiate the large number of chemical substances from one another, the so-called CAS number is often used . used. CAS stands for "Chemical Abstracts Service". This service is a division of the American Chemical Society and provides, among other things, the registration service for chemical substances (registry). This service currently has over 21 million individual substances, substance groups and product descriptions in its databases, each of which has its own CAS registry number. (CAS no.).

Ancillary criminal law

Offenses relevant to criminal law can be found in Sections 27-27c of the ChemG.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Meyers Großes Jahreslexikon 1981: Reporting period 1980. Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut 1981. S. 14

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