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Three years of the UFI Code: Important information, rapid medical advice

20/2023, 01.11.2023

Exchange of experience at the 14th User Conference for Product Notifications at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)

What should I do if my child has drunk drain cleaner? In order to be able to act quickly and correctly, the exact recipe must be available. Therefore, there is a notification obligation for products classified as hazardous. The UFI code (Unique Formula Identifier) on the label allows the poison centres of the German federal states ("Laender") to quickly and clearly identify the product and access the exact recipe, which, as a trade secret, cannot be found on the packaging. On 15 November 2023, the 14th User Conference on Product Notifications will take place at the BfR in Berlin. In addition to the BfR, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and poison centres (GIZ) from Belgium and Germany will present their experiences. "In an emergency, affected persons and medical facilities can quickly obtain information on the risk of poisoning and the best medical care with the help of the code," says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "In this way, the UFI code can save lives in an emergency." The User Conference will focus on the challenges associated with creating and transmitting the notification dossiers. Problems that arise in the process will be illustrated and discussed using practical examples.

14th BfR User Conference on Product Notifications:

When: Wednesday, 15 November 2023 | 10:00-17:00

Registration: Until Wednesday, 10 November 2023 at

Target group: Representatives of industry, authorities and poison centres (all presentations will be simultaneously translated into English).

To the programme:

Link to the BfR app " Vergiftungsunfälle bei Kindern" (in German only):

Chemical products such as detergents, paints and adhesives often contain ingredients that are classified as hazardous. Accidents with these can happen anytime and anywhere - especially with young children. The first contact in a poisoning accident is often a poison centre. Often, however, the product cannot be clearly assigned to a recipe there on the basis of the name. The 16-digit UFI code consisting of numbers and letters on the product label allows the poison centre to clearly identify the product. Important information on components and properties of the product is stored in the database, which then enables targeted medical advice.

All household products and commercially used products that are classified as hazardous must bear a UFI code in the European Economic Area (EEA). From 2025, the UFI code will also be mandatory for products that were already notified in the respective national procedure before the introduction of the UFI code in January 2021. Purely industrially used products must bear a UFI code from 1 January 2024. Alternatively, this can also be indicated only in the safety data sheet. Companies should also notify the BfR of products that are not classified as hazardous and label them with a UFI code. This voluntary communication helps the poisons centres to provide targeted and rapid advice in the event of accidents involving these products.

Companies can use the UFI generator on the ECHA website to generate a UFI code. The corresponding product notification is made in the European harmonised PCN format (PCN = Poison Centres Notification). The BfR User Conference will also address the clarification of open questions and the quality assurance of product notifications in PCN format. To help, BfR has described the PCN procedure in detail on its website and published answers to frequently asked questions on product notifications.

BfR is the competent body for Germany for the receipt of product notifications according to Article 45 and Annex VIII of the European CLP Regulation as well as § 10 of the national Detergents and Cleaning Agents Act. The submitted data are validated at BfR and subsequently made available to the seven poison centres of the Laender for emergency medical advice.


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