NCEC Newsletter - April 2019

NCEC Newsletter - April 2019
25 April 2019



Welcome to the first edition of the NCEC newsletter for 2019. 
This is a bumper issue that starts by looking at the newly released ECHA submission portal for poison centres and then go on to look at some of the commonly asked questions about how poison centre regulations will be affected, if the UK leaves the European Union with a no-deal Brexit.

We also highlight the importance of mental health
 – especially in high-pressure, stressful job roles  – and discuss the importance of our chemical management training courses. We will also take a look at our forthcoming Hazmat conference along with our webinars and the company news. 
I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and if there is anything you would like us to feature in future issues, then please feel free to contact me.
Kind regards
Jon Gibbard

Practice Director


Regulatory compliance and emergency response news

ECHA releases submission portal for poison centres 

ECHA have now released the long-awaited submission portal for the harmonised method of submitting poison centre notifications – the tool went live on 24 April 2019 and is now useable.

The release of the ECHA submission portal now completes the IT tools expected in regard to Annex VIII of CLP, including the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) number generator and the European Product Categorisation System. The submission portal is now functioning and will allow those with an ECHA login to create notification ‘dossiers’ using the same software as REACH. NCEC are monitoring the uptake of the tool and currently there are countries, which have not opted in or out of the harmonised system including France and Belgium.

Read the full news here

Poison centre Brexit implications  – FAQs

Brexit and REACH update

Like everyone else, we at NCEC have been debating the potential implications of Brexit and what will happen if or when we have a deal with the European Union. Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to publish the questions we are frequently asked by businesses that are based in the UK with poison centre notifications. The answers provided are based on the best of our knowledge as at 22 March 2019 (9:00am GMT).

View the FAQs

Poison centre notification deadlines 

  • Mixtures intended for consumer use
Poison centre deadline

The poison centre notification deadline for mixtures intended for consumer use is 31 December 2019. Businesses operating in markets across Europe need to analyse and determine the particular requirements of each country. However, without clear guidance on how to fully comply in each region, many risk substantial fines or the removal of products from the market.

  • French notification deadline has now passed
French notification deadline

January was the deadline for all companies placing mixtures or products on the French market (manufacturer, importer or distributor) to notify some hazardous mixtures to the INRS (Institut national de recherche et de sécurité).

Notifications in France must be made by those holding an RGS** security certificate. NCEC holds these certificates and can notify your products on your behalf. 

If you missed the deadline, contact us for further advice on how to become compliant and reduce your trading risks. 

Read here to find out more about the notification deadlines

Upcoming poison centre event

NCEC is considering hosting a poison centre event covering the current and future poison centre legislation.

Draft agenda:

  • Notifications – current, country specific guidance for Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Norway.
  • Introduction  to Annex VIII.
  • How to make a UFI.
  • European product categorisation system.

Would you please take 2 minutes to fill the following survey and let us know if such an event would be of interest to you?

Event survey

Company news

NCEC celebrates 100th customer of Chinese partnership


NCEC is a global provider of chemical emergency response adviceline services. It recently celebrated its 100th customer going live in a landmark partnership with the Chinese National Registration Center for Chemicals (NRCC).

The relationship between NCEC and NRCC was formalised in 2013 with the implementation of the first joint customer. The collaboration ensures that chemical manufacturers can put in place a global emergency response helpline for chemical incidents, which not only provides best-in-class response, but supports compliance with the stringent regulations in China.

Read more about the partnership

Ricardo recognised by Financial Times as a leader in sustainability for second successive year 


In its second annual rating of the UK’s top management consultancies, the Financial Times has again identified Ricardo Energy & Environment as a leader in the area of ‘sustainability’ in its ‘UK’s Leading Management Consultants 2019’ listing.

'On behalf of the entire Ricardo Energy & Environment team I am delighted that our company has been recognized for the second successive year as a leader in the area of sustainability', commented Ricardo Energy & Environment MD Tim Curtis. 'I would like to extend our thanks to our clients involved in the Financial Times survey as well as to all of our customers worldwide, for their continued support and confidence in Ricardo.'

Read the full article here

Ricardo achieves certification to key international information security standard


Ricardo has received certification under ISO 27001, the international standard governing the management of information security risks.

The achievement of ISO 27001 represents a significant milestone, demonstrating Ricardo’s commitment to maintaining and improving information security to manage risk within the organisation and for the company’s clients, staff and other stakeholders.

What does this mean for your business?

Meet our new poison centre experts


With legislative requirements varying significantly across EU Member States, submitting data to poison centres is a complex process. By providing expert advice and technical resources, NCEC is able to assist organisations in complying with relevant legislation, and avoid the financial and legal costs of non-compliance. To continue doing that, two people have recently been recruited into our poison centre team – Emma Cunningham and Jon Curry. Read more about them below:

CunninghamEmma-BW.jpgEmma is an experienced regulatory professional, with a background in implementing global regulations for products developed for consumer and professional use. She has a broad working knowledge of CLP, detergent, cosmetic and biocide legislation in Europe. She also has experience of legislation in Canada, Australia, South Korea and the USA. Her previous roles covered global labelling, project management and regulatory and compliance specialisms.

CurryJon.jpgJon works alongside Emma. As well as bringing chemical regulation and portfolio management experience to the role, Jon also has a broader academic background in nanomaterial ecotoxicology and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guidelines. His combined skills and knowledge allow him to effectively manage poison centre notifications on behalf of NCEC’s clients and explore new business opportunities in ecotoxicological testing and data analysis.

From the first day they arrived, both Emma and Jon have been instrumental in the progress of the poison centre team. They have been doing some excellent work and we are very proud to welcome them into our team. 

Our eStore is now live

You can now purchase some of our products and services through the Ricardo eStore (you can find it on the top-right corner of your window). Not only does it allow you to store all your purchases in one account (no more hassle of going through an email chain), but also, it eliminates the need to wait for someone to respond to your request. All you have to do is go to the eStore, select the product or service you want to buy and then checkout. You can pay by credit card or request an invoice. It really is that simple!

Visit our eStore now

Customer feedback survey

NCEC aims to deliver the highest quality of service possible that is tailored to our clients' needs. Keep a lookout for our survey, coming soon to your inbox.

Useful resources

Action Code List 2019The Dangerous Goods Emergency

Dangerous Goods Emergency Action Code List 2019

Published by NCEC in cooperation with the UK Home office, the EAC list is effective immediately in connection with the use of ADR/RID 2019 edition and is mandatory from 1 July 2019.

Download now


Upcoming and on-demand webinars


Upcoming webinars

Poison centres: Why notify now? – a Brexit special

21 May, 2:00-3:00 BST
Register now

23 May, 14:00-15:00 CET
Jetzt anmelden

On-demand webinars

NCEC’s experts have been busy over the last few months presenting webinars on a variety of topics from mental health to sustainability of the chemical sector.  You can view recordings of some of our recent webinars by clicking on the links below:

Incident notification – support your employees and stakeholders when the worst happens
View on demand

Brexit and REACH – what should you be doing now? 
View on demand

Poison centre – why wouldn't you notify now?
View on demand

Emotional response – addressing mental health awareness in the workplace 

View on demand

Addressing the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable chemical sector

View on demand


Hazmat 2019 – registration closing soon


Hazmat 2019 takes place on 15-16 May at the Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon. Registration closes on 26 April. This annual event, now in its 12th year, is considered to be the centre of excellence by regular attendees. The conference brings together professionals from a broad spectrum of fire and rescue services, police and industry to discuss, network and share experiences of working on the front line of hazardous material response. 

Book your place

View the programme and workshop summaries here

We will also be awarding the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificate with 10 hours for the 2 day event. 


Emotional response training course

Emotional response training course

The purpose of our crisis management training and exercises is to develop employee capability and provide clients with assurance that their teams are equipped to respond effectively and appropriately to developing risk – including both mental and physical risks. While mental health issues are becoming more and more prevalent in society, the stigma associated with such issues is even more prevalent.

It is very important to identify the signs of stress overload and long term emotional response, especially during a crisis situation. Understanding this need, we have developed an emotional response course, which would be tailored to those who work in a high intensity job role and for whom emotional toll has become a part of their job. The course is dynamic, engaging and very interactive with an opportunity to share stories, undoubtedly bringing some of the theory to life.

People around us can be suffering in silence because they are too afraid to speak up or they have no one to speak too. Our crisis management consultant, Chris Scott, reflects on his own personal experience to help people open up.

Download the course overview

'Understanding the dynamics of emotional response' workshop

Due to popular demand, Chris Scott will be presenting a half-day workshop on 14 May 2019, the day before Hazmat 2019. The workshop 'Understanding the dynamics of emotional response' is sponsored by the Fire Service College. It is based on our emotional training course and has received overwhelmingly positive responses in the past. You do not have to be a Hazmat 2019 attendee to book this workshop. 

Find out more about this course by viewing this short video –

Reserve your place at the workshop

Chemical incident management training courses

Chemical incident management training course

For over 45 years, NCEC has been providing emergency response support to incidents involving hazardous chemicals, which includes a range of bespoke training courses. Our chemical incident management training courses are based on extensive chemical knowledge, enabling us to provide ‘best-in-class’ training on actual hazards and how to minimise any exposures. This means any incident is dealt with effectively and efficiently.

After completing our training courses, participants will have the information and procedures they require to help stay compliant with legislation and respond effectively to spills and exposures. Our diverse customer base, from agrochemicals to heavy industries, enables us to continually add to our knowledge about materials and their hazards. NCEC is also a member of the CPD certification service.

If you encounter hazardous materials in any form at work, then we can provide the training you need. 

Find out more about our courses

Diary of events

01-02 May, Harrogate, UK.
More details

CFOA Annual Conference
08-09 May, Monaghan, Ireland.
More details

AgChem Summit 2019
11-13 June, North Carolina, USA.
More details

ChemCon Asia
17-21 June, Seoul, South Korea.
More details

Interesting stories

Pepper spray mix up

Wrong product delivered

Receiving the wrong package is a common issue, but it becomes a hassle when the unintended parcel turns into a chemical hazard.

A woman had been awaiting the delivery of a phone case, but received what appeared to be a lipstick with a spray cap. She was suspicious about the item and called the police. The police discovered that the packaging matched a product on the internet, which was sold as a personal protection device. Subsequently the fire and rescue service (FRS) was called. A member of the FRS crew called NCEC to discuss the item and to try and identify what the item was and what it might contain. An internet search revealed that the packaging matched a product on the internet that was sold as a personal protection device.

We advised that from the information provided, the substance could either be tear gas or a synthetic form of pepper spray. However, providing a definitive identity on the product would require sampling. We gave advice about the personal protective equipment (PPE) that the crew would need to wear while collecting samples and investigating the product. Products with similar packaging and designs were found for sale as a discreet personal defence agent, but these are illegal in the UK. We recommended that the room be ventilated and the samples taken for analysis. The FRS agreed with the advice provided and began the process of bringing the situation to a close. We were later informed that the substance was indeed a pepper spray packaged to look like a harmless cosmetic product.

Phosphoric acid leak



Phosphoric acid is a fairly common chemical reagent and is an ingredient in many soft drinks. However, at high concentrations it is a corrosive chemical and can cause substantial injury to people, and damage to the environment and assets.

NCEC received a call from an FRS crew that had been called to a dockside waiting area where a lorry driver had reported a release of phosphoric acid from a jerrycan. The can was located near the middle of the road and appeared to be leaking quite slowly with only 2 or 3 litres having escaped. The crew at the scene did not have much information on the hazards of the product and wished to know if gas-tight suits were necessary or if breathing apparatus and fire kit would be sufficient.

The crew was keen to resolve the incident quickly to prevent it from escalating and to enable the lorry driver to continue his journey as the ferry was refusing it entry.

We advised that gas-tight suits were likely to be unnecessary for the size of the spillage described and explained the hazards associated with phosphoric acid. We recommended that the best course of action would be to place the damaged jerrycan in an over-drum that contained absorbent granules, which could then be disposed of along with the damaged jerrycan. We cautioned the caller about the possibility of the jerrycan falling as it was removed and that operators would still need goggles, gloves, boots, coveralls and breathing apparatus to protect themselves. The situation was quickly resolved and the lorry driver caught the ferry later that evening.

Major warehouse fire



Fire-water run-off is a serious concern in many chemical incidents. While it is important to bring fires under control, chemicals being washed away in the water used to fight a fire can pose long-standing hazards to the environment.

We were contacted by an FRS crew member who was attending a warehouse fire where a number of chemicals were being stored. Initially, we were asked what UN 3265 was (corrosive liquid, acidic, organic, N.O.S). However, over time, the situation developed drastically leading to fire water run-off entering drains, along with unknown types and quantities of chemicals that had been in the warehouse.

We interpreted the UN number along with the inventory of chemicals on site provided to us. We then described the hazards of such substances, explaining that, in a fire, the elevated temperatures would increase the hazard of corrosive vapours. We advised that, because of the fire, gas-tight suits would be unsuitable and a defensive approach may be the safest course of action since there were no people in the warehouse. We provided advice on the various other chemicals that were stored in the warehouse including oxidisers, toxic chemicals and environmentally hazardous materials. We recommended controlling fire-water run-off and later advised that one of the products of concern in the warehouse was readily soluble in water, an additional concern. The fire was finally extinguished after several days. After this, the local water company and Environment Agency took over the management of the situation.

Get in touch

If you would like further information on any of the topics covered, or have any questions on wider chemical emergency response, regulatory compliance matters or crisis management, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Jon Gibbard
Practice Director