Fact Sheet: Sale and storage of toxic substances and products

The sale of toxic substances or products to private individuals is only permitted upon special approval and through the use of a police certified requisition form. There are also special rules for selling to the industrial sector and for storing toxic substances or products.

Rules on selling to private individuals

  • Only pharmacists and distributors who have been granted permission by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency are allowed to sell toxic substances to private individuals.
  • Every other year all the distributors must pay a fee of DKK 1,000 to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency for the permit.
  • The distributor must only sell toxic substances or products to buyers with a requisition form. The buyers must be 18 years old as a minimum.
  • Substances and products that may cause cancer, deformities, mutagenic effects or which may be reprotoxic may not be sold to private individuals.
  • The distributor must ensure that the requisition forms are furnished with a serial number, date of sale, and the name of the sales person, and that they are kept in numerical order for five years.

Use of the requisition form for private purchase of toxic substances or products

The buyer must fill in a requisition form. A requisition form can be obtained from the police and from the Danish Working Environment Authority. The buyer must date and sign it personally. The requisition must contain particulars about:

  • the name, quantity and use of the substance or product,
  • the name, position and address of the requester, and
  • a declaration by the requester that he will use the substance or product chemical only for the purpose stated, store it carefully and not hand it over to others.

The requisition must be endorsed by the police before sale. The requisition shall not be endorsed if the police consider that the purpose stated may be achieved using less dangerous chemicals. Moreover, an endorsement must not be issued to persons below the age of 18 or who could be presumed to cause danger to themselves or to others.

Buying and selling toxic substances or products for commercial use

  • Before a distributor may sell toxic substances or products in bulk, a special information form must be filled in, which can be acquired from the police or the local working environment service. The form must be sent to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency which endorses, registers and returns it.
  • The distributor must store the endorsed information form at the place of sale.
  • The distributor must ensure that customers are entitled to buy toxic substances or products. On the back of the information form it is stated who is entitled. These are e.g. enterprises that use toxic substances or products and which have informed the Danish Working Environment Authority about this on the information form.
  • The distributor must keep record of the sales transaction with information about the name, occupation and address of the buyer, the name of the substance or product, quantity and use, and date of sale. The records must be stored for five years.

Storing of toxic substances or products

  • Very toxic and toxic substances or products must be stored securely, under lock, out of reach of children, and not together with or in the vicinity of food, animal feed, pharmaceuticals and the like.
  • Pharmacies and distributors holding an authorization granted by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency have to store very toxic and toxic substances and products substances or products in separate and locked cupboards or rooms bearing a clear warning sign, see the symbol at the bottom of the fact sheet (image of a skull). Such cupboard or room shall only be used for storage of very toxic and toxic substances and products.
  • At other enterprises, institutions and persons, all doors of cupboards, rooms etc. in which very toxic and toxic substances and products are stored, must be fitted with a warning sign, see the symbol at the bottom of the fact sheet (the image of a skull).
  • Toxic substances or products must not be stored in packages which may cause the contents to be mistaken for other substances and products. As a rule, toxic substances and products must be stored in the original package or in another similar package labelled with the name, indication of danger, danger symbol and Risk- and Safety-phrases of the substance or product, see fact sheet on classification, packaging and labelling.

Exemptions regarding requisitions and records

The following institutions and persons are permitted to buy toxic substances or products without having obtained a requisition, and sell the substances among themselves without making a record of the sale:

  • Hospitals, doctors, dentists, veterinarians;
  • Scientific and technical laboratories and institutions operated by the central, regional or local authorities;
  • Accredited technological service institutions;
  • Accredited laboratories and institutions;
  • Pharmacies and similar and
  • Higher institutes of learning, technical colleges, high schools, teacher training colleges, technical schools, schools of commerce, social and health education institutes.

Toxic substances or products may be sold without police endorsement of the requisition:

  • For a shipping company, concerning toxic reagents, that are ready to use, for use by the chief engineer or the master of the ship in connection with testing, treatment and maintenance of technical installations etc.
  • For artistic purposes, concerning toxic paints, that are ready to use.

Comprised toxic substances or products

The rules cover all toxic substances or products, i.e. both acute toxic and carcinogenic, mutagenic effects and toxicological effects on reprotoxic substances and products. Toxic substances and products are labelled with the danger symbols toxic and very toxic. See illustration at the bottom of the fact sheet.
The rules do not apply to petrol and diesel sold in bulk at petrol pumps. The provisions do not apply to gas oil used for permanent or mobile installations, and sold in bulk from tanker trucks, nor to fuel sold in closed systems such as gas cylinders with liquid gas.

The regulations aim at avoiding injury and damage to people and the environment
The regulations aim at avoiding injury and damage to people and the environment through contact with toxic substances or products.

Distributors and others who store toxic substances are responsible

Anyone selling or storing toxic substances or products is responsible that the rules are observed, in accordance with the provisions of the Statutory Order.
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Chemical Inspection Service supervises observance of the rules, and may issue notices of enforcement or of prohibition. The penalty for violation of the rules may be a fine or imprisonment for up to two years.

More information

The entire text of the regulations is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (legislation/ministerial orders/chemicals:
Statutory Order of the Ministry of the Environment no. 1075 of 24 Nov 2011 on classification, packaging, labelling, selling and storing of chemical substances and products (at retsinfo.dk) (Danish).

Danger symbol: