When new regulations appear or one learns about the already existing ones, manufacturers often ask what they are for. As a matter of fact, the reason behind many laws is safety, just like in the case of UFI – a Unique Formula Identifier. What exactly is UFI and how does it apply to the e-liquid industry? Let’s find out!
What is UFI code?
As the definition says, the UFI acronym goes for the Unique Formula Identifier. It is a unique number that is present on the packaging of dangerous substances. UFI code consists of 23 or 24 characters, including spaces and dashes.
Each substance has to be registered in the destination country, before being placed on the market. As a result of a positive registration, the product receives a unique code. Thanks to that, it is later easily searchable in National Toxicology Centres’ data bases which gather such data in case of poisonings or accidents.
To clarify the above definition, “placed on the market“, according to article 3.12 of Tobacco Product Directive, which includes e-liquids, it means: “supplying or making available, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to a third party. Import shall be deemed to be placing on the market“.
Let’s also state what a dangerous substance is – according to the definition of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, it is: “any liquid, gas or solid that poses a risk to workers’ health or safety“.
Dangerous substances are also subject to the CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) regulation. Thanks to that, they are easily recognized as the regulation states, they have to be marked with CLP pictograms on the packaging.
If you want to learn more, read what CLP is and how it influences nicotine bases and e-liquid packaging.
How does the UFI code look like?
UFI code is present on the label of consumer products and there 3 possible variants of his looks:
- UFI:AUY1-C0WM-K005-3HF3 – 23 characters, including spaces and dashes
- UFI: AUY1-C0WM-K005-3HF3 – 24 characters, including spaces and dashes
- UFI: AUY1-C0WM K005-3HF3 – 23 characters in 2 lines, including spaces and dashes
What areas and products does UFI apply to?
Unique formula identifiers apply to the European Economic Area (EEA). Aside from that, it also includes Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein.
Products that have to be UFI-notified are the ones placed on the European market. However, when manufactured in the EEA and exported abroad, this obligation does not apply unless one transfers them to a third party for storage before the products leave the EEA.
Moreover, repackaged or re-labeled products are also subject to UFI registration. The one to do it is the company responsible for the mentioned processes or the manufacturer if given the necessary data.
Are there any exceptions regarding UFI?
As mentioned earlier, UFI regards dangerous substances. However, there are exceptions to it. Unique Formula Identifier does not require registration of gases under pressure, explosives, and those classified as hazardous to the environment.
Moreover, UFI does not include products used for scientific research and development, product and process-oriented research and development, and other mixtures exempted from the CLP classification obligations.
Although mixtures that fit the above criteria do not have to be UFI-registered, they may be reported to the authorities voluntarily.
If any questions arose up to this point, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
UFI Registration process
Who has to notify the product?
The obligation to register the products from the EEA, accordingly to UFI requirements, rests on the importers and formulators. The second group is units that create the final products, which are mixtures.
The distributors, who only store the UFI-subjected products and do not change the products’ composition, also have some obligations. They must provide information about which market they place products on, so the party that handles the registration can include this data. If the distributors do not do so, they will be obliged to register the products on their own.
Important aspects of UFI
UFI registrations can be done only by companies with verified VAT numbers. When succeeded, the acquired UFI code has to be placed on the labels of consumer and professional products. As for the products for industrial use, the code can be present only in MSDS. Additionally, keep in mind, that one product may have multiple UFI codes assigned to it.
What is required to conduct a UFI registration?
To correctly register a product, according to UFI requirements, one has to provide the necessary data. Let’s check some of the required information. Among them, there are:
- the list of countries, where the products will be placed on the market
- toxicological data
- intended use of the product in a given country
- colour and state of matter
As mentioned above, these are just exemplary requirements needed to acquire a UFI code. Aside from that, UFI registration may be paid for. For example, in Hungary, the price is 50 Euros per product, and in Italy, it’s 50 Euros per distributor, regardless of a number of products.
If you wonder what are the rest, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UFI is an essential element of placing products on the markets, as it allows quick identification of their composition. Thanks to that, one can get fast medical help in case poisoning or accidents happen.
However, keep in mind, that aside from UFI, there are multiple regulations concerning the vape industry. It may be:
- REACH – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
- CLP – Classification, Labeling and Packaging
- TPD – Tobacco Product Directive
Although some of their aspects may be complicated, they all serve a greater purpose – to bring the highest safety to the manufacturer, customer, and intermediate units, i.e., couriers.
UFI registration service
Complicated as UFI registration may be, we have conducted it multiple times. That’s why that matter is nothing new for the Chemnovatic Legal Regulations Department. We have the know-how on who, where, and when, shall register their product.
That’s why, if you need any regulatory consultations, UFI registration service, help with TPD registration, or other services concerning the vape industry, contact us at email@example.com.