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SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods NO. 005/17

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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published their final rule for formaldehyde emissions in wood products and an associated certification program. This publication defines several deadlines for compliance in the rule.

On October 4, 2016, we informed you that the EPA had announced new rules that set out Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood [1] as required by Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The new rule sets up a national certification program for composite wood that is based on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde emission standards.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016 which means it will become effective on February 10, 2017 with individual milestones in the rule coming into effect thereafter. Important enforcement dates are detailed in Table 1. The final publication is unchanged from the prepublication version detailed in our previous SafeGuardS. The new rules are called 40 CFR 770 [2].

An existing CARB approved Third-Party Certifier (TPC) will be able to provide certification to the new TSCA formaldehyde emissions standards for 2 years without further approval.

Table 1: Timelines for stakeholders

Requirement for Composite Wood Product Producers Citation Date of compliance

Products must comply with emission standards using test method ASTM E1333–10 with the following limits:

  • Hardwood plywood (made with a veneer core or a composite core) = 0.05 ppm
  • Particleboard = 0.09 ppm
  • MDF = 0.11 ppm
  • Thin MDF = 0.13 ppm
40 CFR 770.10 December 12, 2017
Products must be certified by an EPA TSCA Title VI Third-Party Certifier unless they are eligible for a limited exemption for products made with no-added formaldehyde-based (NAF) or ultra low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins

40 CFR 770.15                      

40 CFR 770.17

40 CFR 770.18

December 12, 2017
Products must undergo quarterly testing and routine quality control testing using specified methods 40 CFR 770.20 December 12, 2017
Panels must be labeled with the producer's name (or other identification), lot number, TPC number, and a statement of compliance with TSCA Title VI 40 CFR 770.45 December 12, 2017
Records, including testing, production, purchaser, transporter, and non-complying lot information, must be kept for 3 years 40 CFR 770.40 December 12, 2017
Records demonstrating initial eligibility for reduced testing or a limited third-party certification exemption for products made with NAF-based or ULEF resins must be kept for as long as exemption eligibility is claimed 40 CFR 770.40 December 12, 2017
Requirement for Producers of Laminated Products That Are Not Exempt From the Definition of Hardwood Plywood Citation Date of compliance
Bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents must be obtained and maintained for 3 years

40 CFR 770.30                

40 CFR 770.40

December 12, 2017
Finished goods must be labeled with the producer's name, the date the goods were produced, and a statement of TSCA Title VI compliance 40 CFR 770.45 December 12, 2017
Laminated products must comply with the hardwood plywood emission standard of 0.05 ppm, and the testing, certification, and recordkeeping requirements for composite wood products

40 CFR 770.10

40 CFR 770.15

40 CFR 770.20

40 CFR 770.40

December 12, 2023
Requirement for Producers of Laminated Products That Are Exempt From the Definition of Hardwood Plywood Citation Date of compliance
Records demonstrating purchase/use of compliant platforms and NAF or phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins and bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents must be obtained and maintained for 3 years 40 CFR 770.40                     December 12, 2023
Bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents must be obtained and maintained for 3 years

40 CFR 770.30

40 CFR 770.40

December 12, 2017
Finished goods must be labeled with the producer's name, the date the good was produced, and a statement of TSCA Title VI compliance 40 CFR 770.45 December 12, 2017

Requirement for Fabricators (Other Than Laminated Product Producers) Citation Date of compliance

Bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents must be obtained and maintained for 3 years. 

40 CFR 770.30          

40 CFR 770.40

December 12, 2017
Finished goods must be labeled with the producer's name, the date the good was produced, and a statement of TSCA Title VI compliance 40 CFR 770.45 December 12, 2017

Requirement for Importers Citation Date of compliance
Bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents bearing a statement of TSCA Title VI compliance must be obtained and maintained for 3 years.
In addition, must have the ability to make records identifying the panel producer, the date the products were produced, the supplier (if different) and the date the products were purchased available to EPA within 30 calendar days of request

40 CFR 770.30                     

40 CFR 770.40

December 12, 2017
Import certification under TSCA section 13 is required

40 CFR 770.30

40 CFR 770.40

December 12, 2018

Requirement for Distributors and Retailers Citation Date of compliance
Bills of lading, invoices, or comparable documents must be obtained and maintained for 3 years.     

40 CFR 770.30         

40 CFR 770.40                 

December 12, 2017

Throughout our global network of Third Party Certification laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including certification, analytical testing and consultancy for formaldehyde emissions in composite wood products for California, the US and worldwide markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

William Baxter
Technical Manager, Consumer and Retail

t: +01 862 233 5775

 

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