No, it's not a UFO! It's a Unique Formula Identifier | Absortech

No, it’s not a UFO! It’s a UFI (unique formula identifier)

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Spotted an unfamiliar code on certain product labels recently? Don’t worry, it’s not an alien secret code but rather an essential new addition to ensure your safety, known as the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI). Since 2021, the UFI, a 16-character code, has been gradually becoming a mandatory element on product labels, particularly those that are health or physical hazards. Stay put as we give you the low-down on this important new regulation. 

So, what is a UFI?

The UFI is a unique code linked with hazardous mixtures in products. It serves as a crucial identifier, along with other necessary information like the product’s composition, trade name, colour, and packaging details. By clearly linking the product on the market with the provided information, the UFI enhances the efficiency and reliability of emergency responses. 

But why do we need it?

The primary purpose of the UFI is to aid poison centres in emergencies. In case of an incident involving a product, the UFI can be read directly from the product label, allowing the poison centre operator to identify precisely the product and react accordingly. 

How’s it created?

Creating a UFI is a relatively simple process. You need your company’s VAT number (or a ‘company key’) and a mixture-specific formulation number. A UFI Generator tool provided on ECHA’s Poison Centres website will generate your UFI using these details. This ensures that the UFI is unique, preventing any overlap with UFIs generated by other companies. 

When should the UFI be mandatory?

By 2025, all products classified for health or physical hazards must display a UFI. Including the UFI on the product label should coincide with the submission of harmonised information. This ensures that in the event of an emergency, the UFI is known to poison centres and can provide the necessary assistance.  

As we move towards a safer future, the UFI remains a crucial tool in product safety and efficient emergency response. At Absortech we’ll be sporting our new UFI codes from August 2023.  

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