The Seveso Directive is a European directive which has had 3 successive versions since SEVESO 1, that appeared on 24th June 1982. Version 3 of this Directive (2012/18/EU) has been in place since 1st June 2015 and concerns all industrial installations and activities but excludes military and nuclear establishments.

In France, the SEVESO 3 Directive gave rise to a decree which changed the ICPE nomenclature to be in line with the CLP regulations of 2015. Specifically, this decree created the ‘4000’ rubric dedicated to dangerous substances and mixtures, deleted a large number of items in the ‘1000’ rubric, rewrote both the substance accumulation rule and the ‘2% rule’.

Determining the SEVESO status requires identifying the types of dangerous products received or stored in the site and, more precisely, the nature of the danger which they represent. Thus, the information concerning the classification of the products and the quantities stored is required to perform the calculations used to determine whether the thresholds have been reached.

Consequences of being an Upper Threshold (UT) or Lower Threshold (LT) establishment

The safety measures intended by the Directive differ depending on the status of the establishment, i.e. SEVESO Upper Threshold or Lower Threshold. The scheme requires common plans with different periodicities:

  • Identification of dangerous substances (every 4 years)
  • Major-Accident Prevention policy (every 5 years)
  • Assessment of dangers (every 5 years for UT, not required for LT)

When an establishment is classified as UT, it also needs to put in place a permanent Safety Management System (SMS), an Internal Emergency Plan (IEP, with a revision every 3 years) and a Specific Intervention Plan (SIP, with also a revision every 3 years).