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A lot of nice links regarding "Classification system"  still exists in SDN etc. community. Example:

Classes - Product Lifecycle Management - SCN Wiki

EHS uses two class types: check e.g. classfication classes/characteristics in EH&S | SCN

Value Assignment - Basic Data and Tools (EHS-BD) - SAP Library

Therefore class type 100 is used but if needed class type 017 is of interest as well (e.g. if you handle imported documents in CG50/C54).

The benefit of using the Classification system is clear. By some customizing etc. activities you can easily enlarge the property tree if needed or you can specify your own trees. An important part here is that you can use "phrase management" in context of definition of the characteristic. Therefore on high level these types of characteristics are used in EHS very often:

  1. Phrase based characteristics (with one and / or more values allowed)
  2. Numeric based characteristics (with or without Unit Of Measurement)
  3. Regulatory List driven characteristics
  4. etc.

With higher SAP releases more customizing activities are needed to prepare a new value assignment type/property. What is important to understand: the classification system of SAP is "master data". But in EHS this is combined with other customizing activities and you need to execute an import/export of property tree to prepare new value assignment types. As well the implementation of new SAP classes is difficult (a lot of problems can come up).

Therefore check this very important OSS: Delivery of Enhancements to the EH&S Property Tree STANDARD | Consulting HANA Notes | SAP Techie...

SCN Links

Issues with value assignment types etc. have been discussed often here. The following list tries to give an overview (list will be sorted later). This list should provide the "FAQ" for use of classification system in EHS.

Recommand std EHS substance structure, properties, characteristic ?
Phrase Enabled Characteristics
Std Tables / structure fields are missing in phrase set assignment
Moving(transporting) Class/Char/phrase from Dev to Quality
Characterstics Phrase disablement
How to add additional Phrase sets to new characteristic assignments
how  to carry out the following two steps for edit-phrase-set to charracter
Activating fields in DGP3 for phrases
Change in the behaviour of the value assignment type after the ECC upgrade
how shall i add new tab in cgab transaction under property tree.
EHS - value assignment types
When to use CGCZ (Match up master data)?
New Characteristics (drop down value) for More personal Data (Incident/Accident Log)
classfication classes/characteristics in EH&S
Import Standard Property Tree
characteristics to Value assgmt type    SAP_EHS_1103_001
How to assign a class  as a tab in transaction code cbih82.
Set Up Table Based Value Assignment
Reference Value - property tree
Mapping regulatory data for food contact in property tree
Characteristic of the type CHAR30 not appearing in CGAB
The specified item was not found.
Mapping of properties to Characteristic Fields
EHS Agent Property value assignment
EHS - property tree
EHS - Data from property tree
Not displaying property tree in Tcode CGAC
Import Standard Property Tree
Property tree export Error
Assigning New Property Tree to Specification Types
how shall i add new tab in cgab transaction under property tree.
property tree in specifications - add new node on the fly ?
EHS - value assignment types