Ordinance on Hazardous Substances

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Basic data
Title: Ordinance on protection against hazardous substances
Short title: Ordinance on Hazardous Substances
Abbreviation: GefStoffV
Type: Federal Ordinance
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Occupational health and safety law ,
special administrative law
References : 8053-6-34
Original version from: October 26, 1993
( BGBl. I p. 1782 , ber.p. 2049 )
Entry into force on: November 1, 1993
Last revision from: November 26, 2010
( BGBl. I p. 1643 )
Entry into force of the
new version on:
December 1, 2010
Last change by: Art. 148 G of March 29, 2017
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 626, 648 )
Effective date of the
last change:
April 5, 2017
(Art. 183 G of March 29, 2017)
GESTA : B082
Weblink: Text of the GefStoffV
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Hazardous Substances Ordinance ( GefStoffV ) is a German ordinance for protection against hazardous substances in German occupational safety . The authorization to issue ordinances is contained in the Chemicals Act (ChemG). The Occupational Safety and Health Act has also been the legal basis for the GefStoffV since 2005 .


The Hazardous Substances Ordinance was drawn up in 1983 and first issued in 1986. Since then it has been changed several times:

  • 1993 through the enactment of an independent chemicals prohibition ordinance
  • 1999 through the introduction of the sliding reference technique for EC internal market directives.
  • In 2005, with the Hazardous Substances Ordinance of December 29, 2004, a fundamentally revised new version came into force, with which the EC Directive 98/24 / EC (Hazardous Substances Directive) was implemented.
  • 2010: On December 1, 2010, another new version of the GefStoffV came into force, with which it was adapted to the REACH and CLP regulations ; Many of the previous national regulations had become superfluous as a result of the regulations that have gradually come into force with direct effect on the EU. The terms provided for by the CLP Regulation such as " hazard class ", "hazard category" or "signal word" have not yet been referred to.
  • 2016: On November 18, 2016, the ordinance implementing Directive 2014/27 / EU and amending occupational health and safety ordinances was announced in the Federal Law Gazette. Article 1 changed the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances. This ordinance came into force on November 19, 2016.

In the risk assessment there are hazards

  • through physico-chemical properties (especially fire and explosion hazards)
  • by toxic properties and
  • through special characteristics in connection with certain activities

to be assessed independently.

The packages of measures

Sections 6 to 10 are at the heart of the ordinance. They describe the requirements for risk assessment, basic obligations and protective measures depending on the risk.

Paragraphs 7 to 10 describe specific packages of measures that are to be implemented depending on the hazards occurring during activities with hazardous substances.

These packages of measures build on each other:

  • § 7 Basic Obligations When Implementing Protective Measures
  • § 8 general protective measures for low risk and "normal" risk
  • § 9 additional protective measures in the event of "increased" risk.
  • § 10 special protective measures for activities with carcinogenic, mutagenic and fertility endangering hazardous substances of category 1 or 2.

Content of the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances

Section One - Scope and Definitions

Objectives of the GefStoffV - § 1 Abs. 1 GefStoffV

Protection of people and the environment from harmful substance-related effects

  • Occupational safety (employees)
  • Environmental protection (also: people other than employees)
  • Consumer protection ( placing on the market )

Scope of application - § 1 GefStoffV

  • for all dangerous substances and mixtures within the meaning of Section 3a (1) ChemG and for those that have other chronically damaging properties or that are explosive
  • Substances, mixtures and products that would have to be labeled according to directives 76/769 / EEC, 96/59 / EC or Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008
  • Biocidal products which do not have the hazard characteristics and biological agents, as biocide placed on the market
  • Restrictions must be checked on a case-by-case basis using Section 1, Paragraphs 2 to 5 GefStoffV: z. B. GefStoffV does not apply to biological agents, the prohibitions for certain chemicals and the rules for handling hazardous substances do not apply underground and in households.
  • In case of doubt, the following applies: an employee must work with a hazardous substance or a hazardous substance must be placed on the market for commercial purposes.
  • Exceptions : According to § 20 Abs. 1 GefStoffV by the competent authority upon written request for equally effective measures or for an unreasonable hardship. According to § 20 Abs. 2 GefStoffV no labeling for placing on the market with small amounts without risk and not highly flammable, explosive, corrosive, biocide or CMR substance.

Definition of terms - § 2 GefStoffV

  • Activities (formerly: handling) are regulated "all-round" (including operating and monitoring activities ); also transport (here: observe general protective measures).
  • Occupational exposure limit (OEL) time-weighted average concentration of a substance in the air in relation to a given reference period. It indicates the concentration of a substance up to which acute or chronic harmful effects on the health of employees are generally not to be expected.
  • Qualified is anyone who is qualified to perform a task specified in this ordinance.
  • Knowledgeable is someone who has expanded their existing specialist knowledge by taking part in an officially recognized specialist training course.
  • Employer is equal to the entrepreneur without employees.
  • Employees : They are equal to those who work from home ... as well as schoolchildren, students and other persons, especially those working at scientific institutions who carry out activities with hazardous substances.

Section two - information on hazardous substances

Hazard characteristics - § 3 GefStoffV

  • the term " hazardous substance " from § 19 ChemG (authorization basis)
  • dangerous substances according to § 3a of the ChemG; explosive substances and mixtures; Substances and mixtures which, when handled, can produce hazardous substances; other dangerous chemical agents; for substances, preparations and products that transmit pathogens.

Classification, labeling and packaging - §§ 4, 13, 15-17 ChemG, § 4 GefStoffV

  • Classification of substances and mixtures according to the CLP regulation , of biocidal products (biological agents) according to §§ 3 and 4 BiostoffV.
  • mandatory labeling (see GHS )
  • correct packaging,
  • if necessary, safety data sheet
  • Manufacture according to the state of the art
  • Observe manufacturing and usage prohibitions
  • Log In

Safety data sheet and other information requirements - § 5 GefStoffV

See main article safety data sheet

Third section - Risk assessment and basic obligations

  • § 6 Risk assessment
  • § 7 Basic Obligations When Implementing Protective Measures

Fourth section - protective measures

The protective measure packages become more extensive as the risk increases. In the case of low and normal risk, in addition to the basic obligations specified in Section 7, the general protective measures described in Section 8 must also be taken. In the case of increased risk, additional measures according to § 9 are added. In the case of activities with certain chronically harmful substances, special protective measures according to § 10 are also required

  • § 11 Special protective measures against physical and chemical effects, especially against fire and explosion hazards
  • § 12 Activities with explosive substances and organic peroxides
  • § 13 Operational disruptions, accidents and emergencies (safety exercises at regular intervals; restoration of normal conditions as quickly as possible; protective equipment; provision of warning and communication systems to indicate an increased risk; information for external accident and emergency services about internal emergency measures.)
  • Section 14 Informing and instructing employees. This includes the written operating instructions in a form and language that the employees understand. The instruction must be given orally prior to commencement of employment and afterwards at least annually on a job-related basis. It is supplemented by occupational medical and toxicological advice with reference to available examinations.
  • § 15 Cooperation between different companies. The employer is responsible for only using external companies that have the necessary specialist knowledge and experience.

Fifth section

Prohibitions and Restrictions

  • Section 16 Production and use restrictions by reference to the EU-wide according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (in Section 1), to further national restrictions according to Annex II (in Section 2) and in Section 3 for biocides , whereby use restrictions for biocides (unlike those of the GefStoffV) also apply to private households as an exception .
  • Section 17 National exceptions to restrictions according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (the so-called REACH Regulation ).

Sixth section

Enforcement regulations and committee for hazardous substances

  • § 18 Notification of the authority
  • § 19 Official exceptions, orders and powers
  • Section 20 Committee for Hazardous Substances (AGS). The AGS determines technical rules for hazardous substances (TRGS) and other scientific findings according to the state of the art, occupational medicine and occupational hygiene.

Seventh section

Administrative offenses and criminal offenses

each subject to a fine or (each paragraph 2 in § 22 and § 24) punishable under the Chemicals Act

  • Section 21 - notifications, for example incorrect or missing notification from the registration office according to ChemG or when working with asbestos, in pest control and fumigation, in activities with certain amounts of ammonium nitrate,
  • § 22 - Activities, e.g. no or an incorrect safety data sheet
  • § 23 (dropped out)
  • § 24 Violations of manufacturing and usage restrictions.

Special regulations for certain hazardous substances (Appendix II to Section 16 Paragraph 2)



  • Supplier (§ 5 GefstoffV)
  • Employer (§ 8 Abs. 4 GefStoffV)


  • clear and in the correct format
  • durable
  • in German
  • Completely

By which?

  • Designation (product identifier, trade name)
  • amount
  • possibly dangerous ingredients
  • Hazard pictograms and signal word
  • Hazard warnings
  • safety instructions
  • Name, address and telephone number of the supplier


  • Thomas Schendler: The new Ordinance on Hazardous Substances: Fire and Explosion Protection. Hazardous substances - keeping the air clean 65 (1/2), pp. 37–40 (2005), ISSN  0949-8036
  • Klaus Fröhlich, Ralf Oesterreicher: The concept of the four levels . wlb -Wasser Luft und Boden 49 (7-8), pp. 44-45 (2005), ISSN  0938-8303
  • R. Packroff, A. Kahl-Mentschel, M. Henn: The new Ordinance on Hazardous Substances. Practical tips - practical guides - backgrounds . Bundesanzeiger Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-89817-429-8
  • Gabriele Janssen, monothematic supplement "The new Hazardous Substances Ordinance", supplement to the 02/2011 edition of the information service "Hazardous Substances & Hazardous Goods", ISSN  1865-231X

Individual evidence

  1. BMAS : press release (2010).
  2. Ordinance on the new version of the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances and the amendment of the Ordinance on Explosives
  3. Heiner Wahl: Hazardous Substances Ordinance 2010. In: Hazardous substances - pure content. Air . 71, No. 4, 2011, ISSN  0949-8036 , pp. 121-122.

Web links