Safety data sheets include information about the properties of the substance or mixture, its hazards and instructions for handling, disposal and transport and also first-aid, fire-fighting and exposure control measures. The format and content of the safety data sheets are specified in REACH. A safety data sheet should be provided to downstream users for:

A substance or mixture that is classified as hazardous according to CLP.
A substance that is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), or
A substance that is included in the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs).

However, if the substance or mixture is also sold to the general public, an SDS does not need to be provided unless requested by a downstream user or distributor.

For mixtures which are not classified as hazardous but which contain certain hazardous substances, an SDS should be provided if requested by downstream users or distributors.

The safety data sheet should be updated without delay if new information becomes available on the hazards or the need for more stringent risk management measures.

When downstream users receive a safety data sheet, they need to identify and apply appropriate measures to adequately control the risks. Suppliers and recipients of SDSs are encouraged to check that the required information is provided. A checklist was developed by ECHA and enforcement authorities and is available for this purpose. Downstream users are encouraged to inform their suppliers about inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the SDS received.

When safety data sheets are not required, the supplier must still provide sufficient information for safe use. If restriction or authorisation applies to any substance, the necessary details should be provided. Suppliers of articles that contain more than 0.1% w/w of a substance on the Candidate List have to provide enough information to allow the safe use of the article to downstream users and distributors.