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The Philippines Adds 52 Chemicals to PICCS List and Sets out the Definition of Chemical Mixtures (Updated)

Update:On May 27, 2021, Philippine DENR-EMB published a memorandum circular titled Guidelines in the Implementation of Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Classification and Labelling Requirements for Chemical Mixture (hereinafter referred to as the Guideline), setting out the definition of chemical mixtures with implementing guidelines. This Guideline is already in effect.

According to the Guidelines, the mixtures is defined as “a combination of two or more chemical substances if the combination does not occur in nature and is not, in whole or in the past”. It should be noted that this applies “if none of the chemicals comprising the combination is a new chemical, and if the combination could have been manufactured for commercial purposes without a chemical reaction at the time the chemical substances comprising the combination were combined”. The definition includes non-biodegradable mixture.

The Guideline stipulates that all chemical mixtures shall be properly labelled, having the SDS complying with the requirements of GHS as stipulated in DAO 2015-09 or any revisions made thereafter, through the entire life cycle of the chemical substances. The following chemicals are excluded:

  • chemical substances used solely in the preparation/production of pharmaceuticals,

  •  cosmetics,

  • foods, and

  •  pesticides.

* For those with dual uses, SDS should indicate the actual use(s) of such chemical substances.

On May 24, 2021, the Philippine Environmental Management Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-EMB) published a memorandum circular titled 2021 Updated Philippine Inventory of Chemicals and Chemical Substances (PICCS) [1], expanding the present number of chemicals listed in the PICCS to 22, 277 with the addition of 52 new chemicals.

The PICCS is a list of all existing chemicals and chemical substances used, sold, distributed, imported, processed, manufactured, stored, exported, treated, or transported in the Philippines. It was first published by the DENR-EMB in 1995 and later updated in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Businesses can check whether their chemicals are listed therein via the online search tool [2] launched by the government.

Chemicals which are not listed in the PICCS will be deemed as new chemicals in the Philippines, and their manufacturers or importers are required to submit a Pre-Manufacturer and Pre-Importation Notification (PMPIN) to the DENR-EMB, so as to get a new chemical notification and secure clearance.

In contrast, for chemicals listed in the PICCS, their manufacturers or importers will be exempt from notification requirements as long as such chemicals are not subject to the Priority Chemical List (PCL) or Chemical Control Orders (CCO) (see ChemLinked expert article on chemical management in the Philippines [3]).

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