Guidelines and Interpretation Aids to the Chemicals Legislation

The guide "Existing and new substances in Switzerland" describes how existing and new substances have been defined since 1 May 2022 and how it is possible to find out whether a particular substance is an existing or new substance. Existing substances may be placed on the market after self-regulation, whereas new substances must be notified before placing them on the market.
For substances that were already placed on the market before 1 May 2022 and are now subject to the notification requirement, the transitional arrangements are described.

Given the complexity of the legislation, certain provisions applicable to detailed, specific interpretations are explained in order to facilitate their implementation.

The interpretation of legal provisions in regard to certain, specific situations is described in information sheets.

Information Sheets

The Interpretation Aid to the Chemicals Ordinance (ChemO) explains the meaning of each Article.

The requirements for the classification, labelling and packaging are stipu-lated in ChemO by a series of references to the CLP Regulation. The “Swiss CLP” Guideline explains the application of the CLP Regulation in Switzerland and shows those regulations that have not been adopted by the CLP Regulation.

The requirements for the creation and for the contents of the safety data sheet (SDS) are stipulated in the ChemO by means of references to the REACH Regulation. The Guideline explains the contents of the SDS in Switzerland.

The ChemO defines the conditions for placing new substances on the market. A Guideline explains this procedure in detail.

The following guidance explains the procedure for the reporting of prepara-tions and existing substances according to ChemO.

Advertising for chemicals is linked with certain requirements that are stipulated in ChemO. Details on this are to be found in a Guideline.

There are various types of authorisation for biocidal products. The rules for this are stipulated in the OBP. Details on the types of authorisation and on the procedures are described in the Guidelines.

Biocidal products

The “Cassis-de-Dijon” principle is defined in the Federal Act on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBA). It is also applicable to the placing on the market of certain chemicals.


The use of alternative methods for determining the classification of irritant or corrosive properties of substances or preparations.

Alternative Test Methods

Washing and cleaning agents belong to the most widely used chemicals in the household. A correct classification, labelling and packaging of these products is therefore particularly important.

Washing and cleaning agents

Last modification 14.06.2022

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