Chemicals law

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The chemicals law regulates the handling of chemical substances .

Legal regulation


The core area of ​​chemicals law is regulated in the European Economic Area or, in the European Union, in the REACH regulation from 2007, the CLP regulation from 2009 and the EU POP regulation from 2004.

The German and Austrian chemicals law primarily contain regulations that implement the REACH regulation, in Germany in the Chemicals Act (ChemG) and the Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance , the Hazardous Substances Ordinance , the Chemicals Sanctions Ordinance and the Poison Information Ordinance, in Austria in the Chemicals Act 1996 (ChemG 1996) and various implementing ordinances for the classification and labeling of chemicals or prohibition and restriction measures for individual particularly dangerous chemicals. The purpose of the law is to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of hazardous substances and mixtures ( Section 1 of the ChemG) that may arise from the manufacture and marketing, acquisition, use or waste treatment (Section 1 (1) of the ChemG 1996 ).

The chemical law of Switzerland is based since 2005 in legislation in the EU.


In US chemical law , the Chemical Safety Act of 2016 is the most important norm of chemicals regulation, in Japan the Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL) of 1973.



Manufacturers, importers, traders and other registrants must have the European Agency for Chemicals checked whether the substances, mixtures or products they manufacture, market or use can lead to harmful effects and which measures are effective in terms of these effects the highest possible protection can be encountered. In accordance with this chemical registration , Switzerland kept a so-called poison list.


There are additional chemical inventories in North America, Asia and New Zealand.

The United States continues to follow the principle of the harmlessness of chemicals when assessing substances. In contrast to the EU, there is no classification of substances in certain categories in the USA. In the USA, the substance only needs to be notified to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by means of a Pre-Manufacture Notice (PMN) 30 days prior to manufacture or import . From this point on, the authority has 90 days to check whether there is a possibility of an unreasonable risk . The notification does not need to contain any information on health and safety data relating to the effects of the substance. From a legal point of view, it is a permit subject to prohibition, while in the European Union a preventive risk assessment takes place and the placing on the market of the substance in question requires express permission . If necessary, a substance ban is issued .

The Japanese system occupies a middle position between the European and US systems.


  • Wolfram Klöber: Risk management in chemicals law: a legal comparison of the US Toxic Substances Control Act and the German Chemicals Act . Kovač, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-8300-0936-4 .
  • Andrea Kuhn: REACH - the new European regulation system for chemicals (=  Berlin materials law writings . Volume 9 ). Lexxion Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86965-131-6 .
  • B. Neven and R. Schubert: Comparison of Regulatory Requirements for the Notification of New Chemical Substances in the European Union, the USA and Japan . In: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (Ed.): Technical Report Series EUR 18119EN . Seville 1998 ( [PDF; 2.2 MB ]).
  • Environmental research plan of the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Ed.): Law of Hazardous Substances: Comparative law overview . Schmidt, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-503-02652-5 .

Individual evidence

  1. Chemical law website of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), accessed on September 24, 2018
  2. Legal regulations on the website of the Federal Environment Agency , accessed on May 22, 2017.
  3. Federal Act on the Protection of Humans and the Environment from Chemicals (Chemicals Act 1996 - ChemG 1996) RIS , accessed on September 24, 2018
  4. ^ Chemical law website of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism , accessed on September 24, 2018
  5. ↑ Legal provisions on chemicals law List of all Austrian and EU regulations including links to the full legal text. Austrian Chamber of Commerce , as of August 22, 2018
  6. The Swiss Chemicals Law , Cantonal Specialized Offices for Chemicals, accessed on May 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Heike Wipperfürth: Consumer protection: USA discussing stricter chemical laws Deutschlandfunk , August 26, 2015
  8. Authorization of chemicals - differences between the EU and the USA Scientific services of the German Bundestag , documentation from March 12, 2014
  9. Andrea Kuhn: REACH - the new European regulatory system for chemicals . Lexxion Verlag, Berlin 2010, p. 54-58 .