Understanding Seveso

The Seveso III Directive 2012/18/EU on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances lays down the rules for prevention of major industrial accidents involving hazardous substances and for limiting the consequences of such accidents for human health and the environment.

Under the Seveso III Directive, establishments where industrial processes involving hazardous substances are carried out are subject to reporting requirements to the relevant Member State national authorities.

Hazardous substances under the Seveso Directive are identified in two ways – as a named list of specific substances, and generically, covering substances with given hazard classifications under the CLP Regulation.

Further data relating to Seveso can be found on the MINERVA portal, which contains the details of major accidents which have occurred within the territory of the EU. This portal was created by the Major Accident Hazards Bureau of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (https://minerva.jrc.ec.europa.eu/en/minerva) with the objective to provide access to all information on current activities, relevant publications, and tools on control of major chemical hazards.

The Minerva portal contains two user applications: (a) eSPIRS (Seveso Plants Information Retrieval System) which is a database of establishments in each country subject to the obligations of the Directive and (b) eMARS (the Major Accident Reporting System).

Seveso Directive Legislation on EUR-LEX:


ECHA makes available the list of substances triggering requirements under the Seveso Directive in the C&L Inventory (Annex I of the Seveso III Directive) (https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database). Seveso Annex I Part 1 covers hazardous substances identified by Seveso hazard category. For these substances ECHA experts have made a mapping of the listed Seveso hazard categories against the substances with a corresponding harmonised classification on these categories. Seveso Annex I Part 2 covers a specific set of named hazardous substances, identified by CAS number.

Using the Advanced search for chemicals (https://echa.europa.eu/advanced-search-for-chemicals) it is possible to search for those chemical substances subject to the Seveso Directive in the Classification and Labelling Details block.