The UFI is mandated in the European Economic Area for consumer, professional and industrial products containing hazardous mixtures. Use in new consumer products will start on 1 January 2021 and will be required for industrial products on 1 January 2024. From 1 January 2025, existing products must include the UFI. The UFI is controlled by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
The UFI takes the form of a prefix acronym
UFI:, followed by a 16-digit alphanumeric code, separated in 4 blocks with dashes. All letters are upper case and letters that are hard to discern from numerals are omitted. The UFI contains a checksum. An UFI (with prefix) looks like:
The UFI must be printed on the packaging where it is easy to find, near the hazard labels or bar code, or if it is an unpackaged product, on the data sheet.
A manufacturer submits the chemical composition with toxicological information, as well as additional information such as product trade name, packaging and colour, to the ECHA, who generates a UFI, that the manufacturer then prints on the label. A UFI is assigned to one mixture, but that may be used in different packaging varieties or brand names. Multiple UFI's may be assigned to the same mixture.
The chemical composition of the UFI is kept secret and available only to the ECHA and connected poison centres.
UFI is mandated from January 1, 2021 for products for consumer or professional use, and from January 1, 2024 for new products for industrial use. Existing mixtures that are already notified at a national poison centre may need labeling from January 2025.
- The UFI and what it means for your product labels, ECHA
- What is a UFI? - Using the UFI for your products and mixtures, Heidi Rasikari (ECHA), April 26, 2018