Label Printers

What is GHS & BS5609 Label Certification?

When it comes to label printers there aren’t aren’t thousands of certifications printers can achieve. With digital label printers BS 5609 certifiction and GHS compliance is about the only “official” certifications available. So what do they mean?

What is GHS?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. When chemicals are being shipped all of the world they are labelled with a globally recognised standard of symbols. This ensures anyone finding a container labelled using GHS will instantly know if the contents are hazardous as well as their storage and transport requirements.


As you can see GHS Labeling is very important and can be the difference between life & death or environmental disaster. So the next stage if you’re printing GHS labels is to ensure they are also BS5609 certified.

What is BS5609?

If GHS standards are set to ensure what’s printed on the label is controlled then BS5609 certification controls how the physical label is printed. BS5609 means that a physical label needs to be printed on a certain “approved” material using an “approved” print method. This is to ensure that the label is still readable long after it’s no longer needed. For example – If you printed your chemical label on a standard inkjet printer you’ll find that that the label quality will be affected by UV, water & chemical to the point where it may no longer be readable. Then the GHS compliance is no more and no one will know what’s inside your container. Both GHS & BS5609 have been developed to ensure labeling of chemicals is clear and the labels are durable enough for the application.

What print technology is BS5609 approved?

There are actually a few digital label printers that are BS5609 approved and they do use different print technology.

  • Inkjet print is supported using pigment inks
  • LED printers use a toner and this supported
  • Laser also uses toner and is supported

This doesn’t mean that every label printer using these technologies is supported as they would have needed to have completed the BS5609 testing. Also these printers will only have been approved on specific material so you will need to check with your supplier to ensure you use the right combination of label printer, Ink & material to achieve certification. Usually it’s either a Matt or Gloss PP or PE that’s supported.

What Digital Label Printers support GHS & BS5609 Certification?

There is now a good list of approved printers now when using the right combination of material, inks etc so here are a few listed by brand.

Afinia Label BS5609 / GHS Label Printers – Afinia L501 / Afinia L502 / Afinia LT5C
OKI Label BS5609 / GHS Label Printers – OKI Pro 1040 / OKI Pro 1050
Epson Label BS5609 / GHS Label Printers – Epson C3500 / Epson C7500 / Epson C6000 / Epson C6500
DTM Print BS5609 / GHS Label Printers – LX1000 / LX2000

For more information on GHS & BS5609 certification of labels, including samples. Please feel free to get in touch with the team and we’ll help you decide if you need any of these and if so, which might be the right label printer for you.

Get in touch

Thank you

HD Labels Team



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