The labelling requirements of detergents are laid down in Article 11 and Annex VII of the Detergent Regulation.
Detergents sold to consumers
Detergent packages sold to consumer must have labelling providing the following information:
- the name and trade name of the product;
- the name, address, telephone number and email address of the enterprise responsible for placing the product on the market;
- information on the contents;
- the website address from which the list of ingredients can be obtained;
- dosage information for laundry detergents and automatic dishwasher detergents;
- other instructions for use and special precautions, if required.
Labelling for contents
- The content of the constituents listed in Annex VII, point A must be indicated where they are added in a concentration above 0.2% by weight, such as:
─ phosphates and phosphonates,
─ anionic surfactants, cationic surfactants and amphoteric surfactants,
─ oxygen-based and chlorine-based bleaching agents,
─ EDTA and salts thereof,
─ NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) and salts thereof,
─ phenols and halogenated phenols,
─ aromatic, aliphatic and halogenated hydrocarbons,
─ soap, zeolites and polycarboxylates,
using the following weight percentage ranges:
─ < 5%,
─ ≥ 5% but < 15%,
─ ≥ 15% but < 30%,
─ ≥ 30%.
- The following classes of constituent must be listed irrespective of their concentration: enzymes, disinfectants, optical brighteners and perfumes (e.g. “Contains enzymes and perfumes”).
- The most common perfume ingredients with potential to cause contact allergy must be listed if present at concentrations exceeding 0.01% by weight using the INCI (International Nomenclature on Cosmetic Ingredients) name.
- All preservation agents must be listed, irrespective of their concentration, using the INCI name.
List of ingredients
Manufacturers must make available on a website a list of ingredients, and the website address must be provided on the detergent packaging. The ingredients must primarily be listed using the INCI names. Perfumes are declared as a group using the word “perfume” and colouring agents using the word “colorant”. The most common perfume ingredients with potential to cause contact allergy must, however, always be listed if present at concentrations exceeding 0.01% by weight using the INCI name. The website must include a link to the Commission website that provides a table of correspondence between INCI names and CAS numbers. In addition, manufactures must, upon request, make available without delay to medical personnel a more specific ingredient datasheet.
The packaging of laundry detergents must provide dosage instructions to a standard washing machine load for soft, medium and hard water hardness classes and the number of standard washing machine loads of “normally soiled” fabrics that can be washed with the contents of the package using water of medium hardness (number of washes). In Finland, water is usually soft, so the number of washes is often also provided for the soft water hardness class. The packaging of automatic dishwater detergents must provide the standard dosage for the main washing cycle for normally soiled tableware.
Detergents intended for professional use
Labelling requirements are less extensive with regard to detergents intended for professional use only. Information on contents and use must be provided in the safety data sheet or technical data sheet.
Labelling requirements based on other legislation
In addition, the provisions of chemicals legislation apply to detergents. If a detergent is classified as hazardous in accordance with the CLP Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1272/2008), it must be labelled in accordance with the CLP Regulation. Special labelling requirements based on the CLP Regulation may also apply to detergents not classified as hazardous in accordance with the CLP Regulation. In addition, labelling requirements set in special legislation, such as the Biocides Regulation, may also concern detergents.
Example of detergent labelling (in Finnish)