CLP Labels being applied to candles - image credit @justpurelovelyco

What You Need to Know About CLP Labels

9 mins read

If you’re in the process of launching a candle business, you’ve probably gathered that it’s not just about the creative stuff. Candlepreneurship demands a grip on the legal regulations—like CLP labels. Essential for safety and compliance, CLP (Classification, Labelling, and Packaging) is non-negotiable for anyone making home fragrance products (think candles, melts, reed diffusers, air freshener sprays etc). 

This guide focuses on candles as an example (but applies to all home fragrance items) and unfolds the why, when and how, including touching on UFI (Unique Formula Identifier) codes for those in Northern Ireland or the EU, so read on to ensure your creations burn brightly and safely in every home.


  • CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) labels are crucial for home fragrance  safety and compliance, detailing hazards and precautions.

  • They are essential for selling home fragrance products in the UK and EU/NI.
  • CLP labels must include hazard pictograms, signal words, precautionary statements, and, for EU/NI sellers, a Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) where required.

  • Proper CLP labelling isn't just a legal requirement—it's a commitment to customer safety and brand integrity.

  • This guide offers an in-depth rundown on CLP compliance, including when and how to use UFI codes, to keep your candles burning safely and legally.

What are CLP labels?

CLP labels are like your candle’s passport into customers’ homes. Not just a nice-to-have, they’re a must for any candle or home fragrance product that contains something potentially hazardous when not used correctly, like the lovely scents we all adore. 

These labels serve a dual purpose: first, to classify the potential hazards associated with the chemical components in your candles, particularly focusing on fragrances and essential oils; and second, to effectively communicate these hazards and necessary precautions to end-users. 

In detailing ingredients, hazard pictograms, precautionary statements and other pertinent safety information, CLP labels ensure that consumers are well-informed about the products they use to promote safe handling. This transparency not only aligns with legal requirements, but also cultivates consumer trust in your brand's commitment to safety and quality.

A breakdown of the CLP label components

We’ve summed up the key elements that are included as part of the CLP label to help you understand the role each one plays in keeping your customers safe.

1. Brand and product info 

Your label needs the basics: your brand's name, address and phone number (along with your social media handle and email, if you can squeeze them in), plus the candle's quantity and product identifiers. Why? Accountability and traceability. If there's an issue, customers know who to contact and exactly which product is involved.

2. Unique Formula Identifier

A label showing the UFI number. Source: NI Candle Supplies

For EU and Northern Ireland sellers, the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) must appear on your CLP label. This code links your candle to a dossier of information about the candle, its composition, toxicity, appearance, colour, packaging and details about you, as the manufacturer. It's crucial for emergency responses, helping professionals quickly understand what they're dealing with. Makers need to generate their own UFI numbers and prepare a UFI dossier that is submitted to the relevant authorities, more information on the UFI process can be found here

3. Hazard pictograms

    Pictograms on your label visually flag risks like flammability or skin irritation. These icons provide immediate, universal warnings that transcend language barriers, so anyone can understand the potential dangers at a glance. 

    While the above icons might seem scary at first glance, the only ones you’ll generally find on the CLP template are the ‘exclamation’ health hazard pictogram (typically for potential skin or eye irritation) and the ‘dead fish’ environmental warning (typically in relation to correct disposal of the finished goods). 

    4. Signal words

      Signal words like "Danger" or "Warning" draw attention to the level of risk. They’re standardised cues to indicate the severity of the hazards involved, helping users gauge the necessary precautions.

      5. Hazard statements 

      Hazard statements give the specifics: "Highly flammable," "May cause skin irritation," and so on. These phrases spell out the potential risks, providing clear, concise information on why caution is necessary, ensuring users are well-informed about how to safely enjoy your candles.

      6. Precautionary statements

      Precautionary statements like "IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water" are your candle's safety playbook. They guide users on avoiding risks, adding an essential layer of protection and ensuring a safe, enjoyable experience with your products. It also provides a quick snapshot on what to do should something go wrong while your products are being used, for example “If skin irritation occurs: Get medical advice/attention” should a skin irritation appear.

      7. Supplemental information

        The final component of the CLP labelling requirements is the Supplemental Information, primarily EUH208: Contains XXXX, XXXX, XXXX. May produce an allergic reaction. Makers in the EU/NI should also include their UFI number (where required) as part of the supplemental information or may also choose to place it with the product identifiers instead.

        Each component of a CLP label acts as a building block for safety, transparency and trust. This essential information is not only a legal requirement for UK and EU/NI sellers, it ensures your products meet the highest safety standards and helps you cultivate a responsible, customer-centric brand image.

        What does a CLP label look like?

        It might seem like a tall order to fit all this information onto one label without it turning into a cluttered mess, but it's totally doable with some strategic design. It's all about being concise and smart with your copy layout. 

        To the left is a general depiction of a customisable CLP label template. While there's room for creativity in designing your own (and we've got aesthetic tips coming up next), Avery's stickers offer a convenient shortcut. Customise them to suit your brand, and you're good to go.

        It’s worth noting that while round labels are widely used and accepted, technically the legal requirement for CLP labels for products less than 3 litres in volume is at least 52 x 74mm (being rectangular in shape), with pictograms a minimum of 10 x 10mm and the label must visible at the point of sale; meaning it should not be on the bottom of the product. 

        Designing CLP labels that don't compromise aesthetics

        <span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">n example of a CLP label for candles. Source: </span><a href=";_sid=510a0c6de&amp;_ss=r" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=";_sid=510a0c6de&amp;_ss=r"><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">NI Candle Supplies</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">.</span>

        Combining legal compliance with your brand's signature look might seem like a balancing act (your candles need to be Insta-worthy, after all). But, with a dash of creativity, your CLP labels can be both informative and stylish. Here's how to keep your labels on-point and in line with your brand's aesthetics:

        • Use universally recognized symbols and icons to convey information succinctly, saving space for additional design elements.

        • Choose clear, legible fonts and colour contrasts that make your label easy to read yet visually appealing. Stick to your brand palette where possible.

        • Prioritise information with size and placement. Keep critical safety info prominent but smoothly integrate it into the overall design.

        • Use the space wisely with a clean layout that guides the eye naturally, ensuring key information stands out without overwhelming the design.

        Remember, your label is more than a legal requirement; it's an extension of your brand story and commitment to safety. Marrying form and function means your CLP labels can enhance your product's shelf appeal while clearly communicating important safety information. 

        Why CLP labels are important

        You’ve probably got the message by now: don't skip the CLP labels. They're a cornerstone of a reputable candle business. Here's the lowdown on why you should give these labels the attention they deserve:

        ✔ They’re non-negotiables for candle safety (and all home fragrance products)

        They spell out what you may think is already obvious to the consumer but isn’t always the case, including the how-tos for safe enjoyment if combining your CLP and safety information on the one label like our example above.

        ✔ They’re legal must-haves 

        In the UK, EU and Northern Ireland, it's the law to include CLP labels on your candles. Stick to it to keep your candles on shelves and out of legal hot water.

        ✔ They help customers choose wisely

        People want to know what they're bringing into their homes. CLP labels give them the full scoop, helping them pick candles that comply with their safety standards.

        ✔ They can be pivotal in emergencies 

        If things go south (like your customer suffering an allergic reaction after accidently spilling the product on their skin), the info on a CLP label can be a game-changer—or, in serious cases, a life saver—for emergency responders.

        ✔ They build trust between you and the consumer

        Showing you're serious about safety and transparency can boost your brand's credibility. It's a clear sign you value your customers' well-being as much as they do.

        Think of CLP labels as a pact between you and your customers—a promise that you're in the candle game for the long haul, prioritising safety, transparency and trust. Ignoring CLP labelling isn't just risky; it could dim your brand's reputation. So, take the time, nail those labels, and light up your business the right way.

        Leveraging CLP compliance for marketing

        <span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">Three people huddled around a laptop, coming up with their marketing strategy. Source: </span><a href="" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;" data-mce-fragment="1" data-mce-style="font-weight: 400;">unsplash</span></a>

        Turning CLP compliance into a marketing asset might sound like a stretch, but it's a goldmine for building brand trust and value. In an era where consumers are increasingly concerned with product safety and transparency, highlighting your adherence to CLP standards can significantly differentiate your brand. 

        Use your commitment to safety as a storytelling tool on your website and social media, showcasing the rigorous processes behind each candle's creation. Having the CLP information available at Point of Sale (POS) not only highlights to your customers that safety is your top priority, but it is a legal requirement to do so - one that is often overlooked by online merchants. Keep your customers happy and keep yourself on the right side of the law by displaying your CLP info in the marketing blurb for your product; some simple ways to do this are:

        • Include a photo of the CLP on the product (so long as the CLP label is readable).
        • Add a digital image of your CLP label to your product photo reel.
        • Provide a link to a downloadable file within your product description or add a separate tab where customers can access this information from within the product listing.

        Take it to the next level by hosting Q&A sessions or writing blog posts about the importance of safety in candle making and how CLP compliance plays a crucial role. Such content not only educates but also engages your audience, inviting them into a conversation about values they care about. 

        Additionally, customer testimonials that mention the peace of mind your CLP-compliant products provide can be powerful endorsements, amplifying the message that your candles are safe, reliable and crafted with care.

        In your marketing, position CLP compliance not as a regulatory hurdle but as a badge of honour—a reflection of your brand's commitment to excellence and customer well-being. In other words, leverage these regulations as a testament to your brand's integrity and dedication to quality, enhancing your market position and ensuring your brand resonates with safety-conscious consumers.

        Lighting the way with CLP compliance 

        Let's circle back to where we started. Ensuring you have the correct information on your CLP labels is much more than a regulatory hoop to jump through. It’s an integral part of your candle-making venture, reinforcing the bond between your brand and your customers. 

        Meeting CLP standards and understanding the nitty-gritty of these regulations might seem daunting, but help is at hand! For each of our fragrances, we offer a CLP template that’s quick and easy to download. All of the information you need is available in one handy place on our website. And, if crafting bespoke scents using our fragrance oils is more your style, we've partnered with CLP Services for Candle Makers who offer this service at a reduced rate when using our oils. 

        But please note that we don’t recommend making your labels from the SDS without an expert verifying that they contain all of the necessary information. Without partnering with an organisation that specialises in CLP labels, you may unwittingly slip into non-compliance and could be subject to hefty fines!

        Remember, every carefully labelled candle is a reflection of your brand's commitment to quality and safety, shining a light on your dedication to your craft and your customers.

        1 Response

        NI Candle Supplies LTD

        Dear Sir/Madam,

        We have the MSDS Documents but how can we make our own CLP Labels?

        MSDS is 100% but we use like 5-10% of the fragrance.

        Kind regards,

        NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
        Thanks for your comment Louis. We would advise against trying to formulate the CLP template yourself, as specialised software and an expert understanding of the CLP regulations is required. Our advice would be to engage a professional such as CLP Services for Candle Makers for support on creating the CLP templates from the MSDS.

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