USEPA Final Rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

Only 7 July 2010, the United States Environmental Protective Agency (USEPA) signed the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act – Title VI to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which has gone into effect since 22 May 2017. The law establishes limits for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products: hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard and particleboard.

It is designed to reduce exposures to formaldehyde, avoid harmful health effects and mirror standards previously established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for products sold, offered for sale, supplied, used or manufactured for sales in California.

Accreditation bodies (ABs) interested in participating in the EPA program must apply to EPA. For further information on the rule, including how ABs and third-party certifiers (TPCs) can participate in the TSCA Title VI Third-Party Certification program, please click here

Edit: on 2 September 2017, the EPA announced that they will publish a final rule in the Federal Register to extend the compliance dates under the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for the Composite Wood products rule. The final rule extends:

  • The December 12 2017 date for emission standards, record-keeping, and labeling provisions until December 12 2018
  • The December 12 2018 date for import certification provisions until March 22 2019
  • The December 12 2023 date for provisions applicable to producers of laminated products until March 22 2024

Note: Members are advised that the USEPA has determined that ABs which are not domestic entities, must provide the name and address of an Agent for Service located in the United States when applying for recognition by the EPA under this rule. An Agent for Service is an entity designated by an AB to receive legal documents on their behalf. Information on the US government regulation website indicates this service is available at a relatively low cost from private firms that specialise in this role. We also understand that import brokers may offer this service. In addition, ABs that are part of a foreign government or act on behalf of a foreign government may designate their US embassy or US consulate as their agent for service. ILAC and IAF have also received advice that the former ILAC Chair, Mr Peter Unger, is involved in a partnership known as IQEIS, that also provides this service and is able to act on behalf of multiple ABs.