Why IS A UFI NUMBER MANDATORY?
We have already briefly mentioned that a UFI code is indispensable when applying for a Poison Center Notification. But why is that? It is because, in the past, poison centres have found it difficult to identify the composition of a hazardous product in the event of a calamity involving exposure to that specific product. In order to facilitate and speed up this process, poison centres decided to assign an alphanumeric code to each different composition of hazardous substances. This code, the UFI number, is printed on the product that contains the composition in question or placed on the label of the product. The UFI number is not a substitute method of identification, but is used in conjunction with the other methods of poison centres to identify the hazardous substances in a product.
Can I create a UFI number myself?
Every company or organisation that imports or manufactures products with a hazardous substance composition can actually create their own UFI number. In fact, they are obliged to do so. If you want to create a UFI code for a mixture, you will need two separate numbers. The first number is the VAT number and in some cases a company key. The second number is the specific formulation number of the mixture. These two numbers should be entered into the UFI generator on the ECHA web application. The web application will then automatically generate your unique UFI code. You may wonder why a VAT number is necessary for the creation of a UFI number. This is to prevent overlap between UFI codes created by different companies.
HOW LONG DOES A UFI CODE REMAIN VALID?
In principle a UFI number remains valid for ever, even if the product is given a new packaging or trade name. The only time that the validity of a UFI code changes is when the composition of the mixture in the product changes. Is an extra ingredient added, removed and/or replaced, or is there a change in the concentrations of the ingredients? Then a new UFI number must be created, poison centres must be informed and the product must be relabelled with the new UFI code.
CAN ONE UFI NUMBER BE USED FOR MULTIPLE PRODUCTS?
In principle one UFI number can be used for identical mixture compositions. It is therefore possible to market several products with different trade names that have the same UFI code. This is because the norm is to only create a new UFI code when the composition of the mixture changes. The same UFI number format is valid within all countries of the EEA, which are all EU countries plus Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.
CAN I USE MULTIPLE UFI CODES FOR ONE PRODUCT?
For data management and commercial reasons, it is also possible to assign several UFI codes to the same product. Whatever you choose, please note that it is very important that you always pass on the correct UFI codes to poison centres. After all, the purpose of a UFI number is and remains simplifying the identification of hazardous mixtures, as a result of which emergency responders can take quicker and more effective action in the event of a calamity.
WHICH PRODUCTS REQUIRE A UFI NUMBER?
Hopefully it is now a lot clearer what a UFI number and the importance of this number is. To give you a an even clearer idea of the UFI code, we have listed some of the products that require one:
- Ink and toner for printers;
- Fuels, such as lighter fluids and lamp oil;
- Paints and coatings;
- Construction products, such as mortar and concrete;
- Garden chemicals, such as pesticides and plant fertilizers;
- Mixtures for electronic cigarettes;
- Detergents for laundry and washing machine, dishwasher products and fabric softeners;
- Cleaning and maintenance products for indoors and outdoors;
- Specific cleaning products, e.g. cleaning products for cars or shoes;
- Arts and crafts materials, for example finger paints and hobby paints;
- Air fresheners, from scented candles to room deodorants;
- Adhesives, from ordinary glue sticks to adhesives for wall and/or floor coverings.