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Switzerland Amends Chemical Ordinance to Align with EU Regulations

The revision takes into account the new developments in the EU, OECD and UN.

Switzerland has notified the WTO on May 27, 2024 of its intention to modify Annexes 2 and 3 of the Chemical Ordinance (ChemO), with the objective of enhancing the protection of the environment and human health and safety, as well as reducing trade barriers and facilitating trade. The proposed revision is expected to be adopted on August 2, 2024, and will come into effect on September 1, 2024.

The major changes are outlined in brief as follows:

Annex 2

  • 28 substances or groups of substances are listed in the List of harmonized classifications and labeling of dangerous substances, and 24 existing entries are modified to align with 21st ATP of the EU CLP regulation;

  • Introduce new EU hazard classes of endocrine disruptors, persistent chemicals, bioaccumulative chemicals, which will become mandatory in stages, first for substances, then for preparations;

  • Incoporate latest developments in test methods (OECD, UN Manual of Test and Criteria) into Swiss legislation.

Annex 3

  • Add 7 entries to Annex 3 ChemO (List of Candidate Substances). In addition, one entry is updated.

Click here to see current version of ChemO.


Switzerland's chemical regulation system is based on the Federal Law on Chemicals and Their Products (Chemical Act) and the Ordinance on Protection Against Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Chemical Ordinance), which has adopted EU REACH and CLP Regulations to ensure access to the EU's single market. Switzerland has regulations on the classification, labeling, and packaging of chemicals (CLP), which are similar to the EU's regulations. In addition, it also has a system for identifying and controlling substances of very high concern (SVHCs). The SVHCs are listed in the Chemicals Register, and their use is restricted or prohibited in certain applications.

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