New Substances - Requirement to Notify

Notification of new  substances

Before a new substance is allowed to be placed on the market in Switzerland for the first time, it must be notified to the Swiss Chemicals Notification Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Chemicals Ordinance. The obligation to notify is incumbent on the manufacturer or the importer of the new substance, respectively. New substances are those which are not listed in the European Inventory of Existing Commercial Substances (EINECS), i.e. those substances which were not on the EU market before 18 September 1981.

The obligation to notify concerns not only substances as such, but also substances within a preparation or within an object from which it should be released when used. If a new substance is contained in a polymer as a monomer or as another substance in the form of monomer units or chemically bound, the substance as such is also subject to the obligation to notify. Furthermore, the Chemicals Notification Authority may request the notification of a substance contained in an object, if there is reason to believe that the substance can be released during use of the object.

The authorities involved in the notification procedure have a period of 60 days in which to review a notification. A substance subject to notification may only be placed on the Swiss market if the Chemicals Notification Authority has accepted its notification or at the earliest 60 days after the submission of the notification dossier, if the Chemicals Notification Authority has not issued any statement within this period.

Further information and details on legal obligations within the notification procedure for new substances can be obtained on the webpage of the Swiss Chemicals Notification Authority.

Webpage of the Swiss Chemicals Notification Authority 

Evaluation of the notification procedures for new chemicals

In 2017, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in collaboration with the involved authorities at the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), conducted an evaluation of the notification procedures for new chemicals for the period between 2005 and 2016. The final report of this evaluation was published in spring 2018 (available in German).

Basic legal sources

Last modification 05.05.2021

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