SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 153/17

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The US EPA has published a Final Rule to extend the compliance dates for composite wood products. The new compliance dates will be implemented in phases, starting December 12, 2018.

In July 2010, President Obama signed the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (the Act) into law. This landmark piece of legislation amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and directed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop regulations to implement the Act.

In December 2016, the US EPA published a Final Rule to implement the Act. This Rule [1] includes provisions relating to, among other things, formaldehyde emission standards in hardwood plywood composite core or veneer core (HWPW-CC or VC), particleboards (PBs) and medium-density fiberboards (MDFs), third-party certification programs, incentives for products manufactured from ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF) and no added-formaldehyde-based resins (NAF), product labeling, Accreditation Bodies (ABs) and Third-party Certifiers (TPCs). The formaldehyde emission standards are identical to those in Phase 2 of the Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to control formaldehyde emissions under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This Rule was going to be implemented in phases, starting December 2017.

On September 25, 2017, the US EPA published a Final Rule (FR [2]) in the Federal Register to extend certain important compliance dates in the Act. This Final Rule provides regulatory relief to the composite wood industry and stakeholders, including the allocation of two full years for CARB-TPCs to operate under the transitional period as promulgated in § 770.7(d). This Final Rule extends the compliance dates for certain important provisions in the Act, including:

  • The manufactured-by date for formaldehyde emission standards in composite wood products. This includes record keeping and labeling provisions

  • Import certification for importers

  • The transitional period for CARB-TPCs certifying composite wood products under TSCA Title VI without an accreditation issued by an EPA-recognized AB

  • Producers of laminated products

This Final Rule will become effective on October 25, 2017

Highlights of the FR on the extension of compliance dates are summarized in Table 1.

Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 184, 44533, September 25, 2017
40 CFR Part 770
EPA Final Rule: Compliance Date Extension; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products
Item Provision New Effective Date ‘Existing’ Effective Date
1 Manufactured-by date for emission standards, record keeping and labeling December 12, 2018 December 12, 2017
2 Import Certification March 22, 2019 December 12, 2018
3 Conclusion of transitional period for CARB-TPCs that may certify composite wood products under TSCA Title VI without an accreditation issued by an EPA TSCA Title VI accreditation body March 22, 2019 December 12, 2018
4 Laminated product manufacturers March 22, 2024 December 12, 2023
Effective Date of Final Rule = October 25, 2017

Throughout our global network of Third Party Certification laboratories, we can 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.


Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for composite wood products and finished goods under the Act for the US market.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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