Tool for poison centres launched by EU Commission

Tool for poison centres launched by EU Commission
17 November 2016

As part of its recent updates to poison centre requirements in Europe, the European Commission has launched a new online tool for chemical companies to generate Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) alphanumeric codes to include on all products classified for their health or physical effect in Europe.

Find out how UFI will impact the requirements on your business by contacting NCEC poison centre expert Caroline Raine at

In September 2016, EU Member States voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposals to harmonise how companies submit product information to poison centres and other bodies appointed to receive information in the case of poisonings (see blog). The update to the requirements include the introduction of a UFI to be included on product packaging and/or labelling and safety data sheets. This will come into force for mixtures intended for consumer use in 2020 and for professional and industrial mixtures as of 2021 and 2024 respectively.

The web based UFI generator tool enables companies to create and validate codes for their products, which is determined by the company’s VAT number and an internal reference code. The UFI is designed to allow easy identification of the product in a medical emergency and would be recognised across Member States.

It is up to individual Member States to interpret poison centre requirements at a national level, meaning the demands on companies handling hazardous products can vary widely across Europe. This makes submission of products a costly and complex process, with companies risking fines or product removal in cases of non-compliance.

“The chemical industry is facing a number of changes from the update to poison centre requirements, but the launch of the new UFI tool so far in advance of when this comes into force shows that the Commission is giving businesses the time they need to adapt,” said Larissa Silver, Emergency Responder Supervisor and Chemical Regulatory Consulant. “Poison centre registration still presents a significant administrative challenge to businesses operating in markets across Europe. That’s why we are supporting companies to analyse and determine each particular countries’ poison centre requirements to help them to ease the burden of submitting their products and avoid the penalty of non- compliance.”

Without additional clarification on how to implement poison centre requirements, the level of information required by Member States on a product’s hazards, the registration process, the type of materials that need to be registered and the cost of compliance varies widely between Member States

NCEC’s regulatory experts support companies across the world in overcoming the complex requirements of poison centre registration and other regulations. It also provides a poison centre compliance pack covering the various regulatory demands in each country in Europe. Available as both a free download and a more comprehensive report, the pack provides clear, concise and easily applicable information for chemical companies to quickly identify their international obligations and avoid the risk of legal and financial repercussions from non-compliance.

Download the poison centre resources here.

For more information on the UFI tool, visit