UFI Regulation- What is it and how can Coding Technologies Ensure you’re Following the Rules?

29th October, 2018

What is a Unique Formula Identifier (UFI)?

There are thousands of everyday products which include hazardous mixtures, not just on an industrial level, but everyday items such as bleach, anti-freeze, oven cleaner etc which are in close proximity to children. Each year the EU’s poison centres receive over half a million calls related to hazardous chemical emergencies, almost half of which involve children.

New legislation states that manufacturers of products which contain hazardous mixtures must include a dedicated 16 digit Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) code to their product labels. The code will then link to one database containing advice that corresponds to each hazardous mixture.

The new UFI regulations mean that from 2020 (for consumer-focused products, 2021 for professional products and 2024 for industrial-scale products) poison centres will be able to access crucial information about hazardous chemicals and mixtures to help save lives.

Flexibility is key with coding, and enabling the new 16 digit code to be printed on the packaging could potentially improve efficiency and versatility on the production line.

Printing UFI codes

There are a number of different coding technologies which can help you implement the new UFI regulations, whilst avoiding downtime on the production line.

Thermal Transfer Overprinting (TTO)

Capable of producing variable codes at high speed, TTO is ideal for printing codes onto flexible packaging. The ICE Zodiac Hawk Thermal Transfer Printer also features iAssure technology, which can detect printing faults and if necessary, stop the line entirely to ensure there is minimal error.

Thermal Ink Jet (TIJ)

Suitable for printing on a range of porous and non-porous packaging materials, the ICE Viper Thermal Ink Jet printer is low maintenance and can print up to a resolution of 600dpi.

Creating UFI codes

To help prepare for the new legislation, the UFIs can be created online; using the poison centres online UFI Generator.

Due to the nature of the code, many labels may require a redesign to allow space for the new 16 digits. The CLARiSUITE label design software is a simple and effective way to ensure that the codes are printed in line with your current label design. Using a simple drag and drop tool, as well as bolding or italicising the crucial information, users can preview a final version of the label before printing.

To discuss your label designs and printing needs in more detail, contact the Clearmark coding experts today on enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.com who can help find the right solution for your business.

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