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What is a UFI and Are You Compliant?

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The Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) is a 16-character alphanumeric code that will be required on the label of products that contain a hazardous mixture. In addition to having the UFI on your labels, you will also be required to provide information on your mixture, and associated products, to poison centres.

Information will include such details as trade name, composition, colour, packaging, product category and toxicological information. The aim of the UFI is to establish an unambiguous link between the information you provide to the poison centre with the product you place on the market. The condition for assigning a UFI is that all products labelled and notified with the same UFI need to share the same mixture composition.

The Unique Formula Identifier, and the other information you provide, will be used by poison centres in the event of an emergency call. The UFI can be read directly from the label of a product to a poison centre operator, in addition to the trade name, to precisely identify the product involved in an incident. This will enable a better and more adequate medical response and a reduction of unnecessary over-treatment, which is often given just to be on the safe side.

To create a Unique Formula Identifier for your mixture, you need your company’s VAT number (or ‘company key’, in specific cases) and a mixture-specific formulation number. Entering these two numbers into ECHA’s UFI Generator online tool will provide you with your UFI code. The VAT number is a key element to ensure that your UFI is unique so that no overlap occurs between UFIs generated by different companies.

Most likely your company already uses internal formulation codes. If they are numerical only – between 0 and 268 435 255 – you can use them directly in the UFI Generator. In other cases, such as when they are alphanumeric or contain other characters, you will need to first assign new formulation numbers to your mixtures that follow the required format. It is essential that you do not re-use the same formulation number using the same VAT number when the mixtures have different compositions.

You can find the UFI Generator and the user guide on ECHA’s Poison Centres website. If you manage a large product portfolio, you may want to develop your own generator in your company’s IT system for more efficient bulk creation of UFIs. For this, you will need to consult the UFI developer’s manual.