One of the elements used by the ECHA to unify information about chemical products, is the European Product Categorisation System, referred to as the EuPCS.
The EuPCS is used to describe the intended use of a mixture for which a PCN notification must be submitted. Every product which will be subject to PCN notification will have to be attributed exactly one category that will be recorded in the PCN file.
If you are using the ISK system for registering chemicals at the Slovenian Chemicals Office, then this might seem familiar – when making a notification at the Office, a customs tariff number, category and NACE usage classification must be determined for each chemical. The EuPCS has a similar role.
What categories are available?
The document is currently available only in English. The EuPCS enables the mixture manufacturer to systematically, i.e. by selecting more specific sub-categories, establish the appropriate category of their product.
Let’s take, for example, the categorisation of a scented candle: a scented candle is a product (category P), which is not a biocidal product (category PC). Its purpose is to change the quality of air – air care (category PC-AIR), and the product is further sub-categorised as a candle (category PC-AIR-7). This category does not have any further sub-categories; therefore, a manufacturer can attribute it to their product.
At the following link, you'll find a flowchart that illustrates the decision tree made by the manufacturer in our example.
Let’s have a look at another example: a manufacturer of lighter fuel. This is a product (P), which is not a biocidal product (PC). It is a fuel (PC-FUE) and from the description of the PC-FUE-3 category we can see that ligther fuels are categorised in it. The manufacturer can assign their product the PC-FUE-3 category.
A chemical product can be categorised in several categories – for instance, a washing detergent that is sold to consumers (PC-DET-1.2) as well as to professional and industrial users (PC-DET-1.3). In such case the manufacturer decides which category is the main one – nothing prevents the manufacturer from selling the product to all types of users.
If you are a company with an obligation to submit PCN files, the EuPCS is something that you will have to know how to use for categorising your chemicals. Most products can immediately be categorised while for others, you will have to decide among various possibilities.
We can offer our help and advice in the process of product categorisation. If you have any questions regarding the UFI code, PCN submission procedure or the EuPCS, we are always happy to help.