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What does UFI code mean?

When you’re working with dangerous substances, you have to be careful and strictly follow safety guide instructions. While working with these hazardous substances, you will see the ufi code often. UFI stands for ‘Unique Formula Identifier’, and it’s a 16 character long alphanumeric code. The ufi code is used to define compositions of hazardous mixtures. In the EU, it’s mandatory that the ufi code is mentioned on the label of hazardous mixtures, so that in a case of a work accident, it can be quickly determined what mixtures was involved. A lot in the workplace has been put to place to ensure a safer work environment. Nowadays, safety precautions are way better than they were 50 years ago.

When do you create an UFI code?

You must create a UFI code if you are introducing a mixture on the market that is classified for physical or health hazards. Every time the composition of the mixture changes, beyond the allowable differences, the aim is to create a new UFI and to complete and update the Poison Centre Notification (PCN). For example, if an ingredient is added, changed or omitted. The new UFI code must also be used on all labels from that moment onwards.

The UFI is mandatory for consumer mixtures from January 1st 2020; for mixtures for professional use from January 1st 2021 and for industrial use from January 1st 2024. Mixtures already on the market and notified under the current procedure have a transitional period until January 1st 2025.

A lot of new information

Creating UFI codes and putting it into all systems seems simple, but it requires a lot of administrative work. This is because lots of processes need to be set up, systems adapted to keep track of the correct information and labels adapted with the correct UFI’s. Compared to REACH, which also brought about the necessary changes, this change applies to many more companies, especially SME’s. Lots of companies will have to get involved and make changes to processes and labelling. Hiding is not an option, as no UFI code on the label, means not registered and therefore not complying with regulation! It’s also very conspicuous if it is not done properly.