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Product responsibility for chemicals

Chemicals are in everything, and no matter how small or large your business is, your products must meet the requirements of the laws and regulations governing chemicals.

There are many chemical regulations that apply to, for example:

  • electronics
  • construction products
  • clothing and footwear
  • jewellery
  • toys
  • furniture and home furnishings
  • packaging
  • detergents and cleaning products
  • glue
  • paint
  • lubricating oil

What do you need to keep track of?

Whether you are a manufacturer, importer or distributor, you have a responsibility for the products you sell in your business. As a business owner, you need to know that your products meet the requirements of the chemicals legislation.

You have your own responsibilities, no matter where you source raw materials, other materials or finished products. So, you cannot claim that you bought from a supplier who has to follow the rules.

Some substances are banned in certain products, and for some substances you need a permit. But for most products, among other things:

  • you must know that your product does not contain banned substances
  • you may need to inform your customers if your product contains certain substances
  • the product must have clear labelling in Swedish, for example on how to handle it so as not to cause harm
  • you may need to register the product with the Swedish Chemicals Agency's product register.

It is a good idea to

  • read up so that you know what chemical regulations apply to your particular product
  • ask questions and make demands of your supplier.

Your responsibility for chemicals at the Swedish Chemicals Agency (in Swedish)

As of 1 July 2017, manufacturers and importers are required to pay tax on chemicals in electronics containing flame retardants.

Tax on chemicals at the Swedish Tax Agency (in Swedish)

What happens if you make a mistake?

As a business owner, failure to comply with the chemical regulations may result in a ban on sales or you being forced to recall the product from your customers. You may also have to pay an environmental sanction charge. If you seriously violate the regulations, you can be prosecuted for environmental offences.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency, municipalities and county councils are responsible for ensuring that companies comply with the regulations.

Hygiene products, cosmetics and food

If you trade in food, hygiene products or cosmetics, special regulations apply to chemicals. In this context, hygiene products count as cosmetics and are subject to the same regulations.

About safe food at the Swedish Food Agency (in Swedish)

About chemicals in hygiene products and cosmetics at the Medical Products Agency (in Swedish)