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Formaldehyde Labelling Delayed for Goods Made with Composite Wood Products

The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the compliance dates associated with a December 2016 final rule implementing the formaldehyde emission standards established by Congress in 2010 (in title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act) for imported and domestically produced composite wood products. The EPA states that these changes respond to industry concerns about meeting the previous compliance dates due to the complexities of existing supply chains and several of the rule’s requirements.

  • Hardwood plywood (including laminated products not exempt from the definition of hardwood plywood), particleboard and medium-density fibreboard that is sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured or imported in the United States must be in compliance with these standards, must be certified by a third-party certifier as being in compliance, and must be labelled with the producer’s name (or other identification), lot number, third-party certifier number and a statement of compliance by 12 December 2018 (rather than 12 December 2017).
  • Finished goods made from covered products (e.g., furniture, cabinets, flooring, picture frames, toys and building materials) must be labelled with the fabricator’s name, the date the good was produced and a statement of compliance by 12 December 2018 (rather than 12 December 2017).
  • Importers of regulated composite wood products or articles that contain them must comply with the import certification regulations for chemical substances in bulk and as part of mixtures and articles in 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127 by 22 March 2019 (rather than 12 December 2018).
  • Laminated products must comply with the hardwood plywood emission standard and the testing, certification and recordkeeping requirements for composite wood products by 22 March 2024 (rather than 12 December 2023).
  • The transitional period during which California Air Resources Board third-party certifiers may certify composite wood products under TSCA Title VI without an accreditation issued by an EPA TSCA Title VI accreditation body, so long as the certifier remains approved by CARB, is recognised by the EPA and complies with all aspects of the final rule, is extended until 22 March 2019.

Finished goods, including component parts sold separately to end users, containing only a de minimis amount (144 square inches or less) of regulated composite wood product are excluded from the labelling requirements but not the recordkeeping requirements or other provisions. In addition, composite wood products made with no-added formaldehyde and ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins may be eligible for less frequent testing or a two-year exemption from third-party testing and certification after an initial testing period of three months (NAF) or six months (ULEF).

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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