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USA: New compliance dates of EPA formaldehyde rule for composite wood products

march 2018 - Relevant for: Hardlines, Children's products INDUSTRY

On 13 March 2018, a US Federal District Court has issued an order setting 1 June 2018 as the effective date of the EPA's formaldehyde rule for composite wood products, section § 770 requirements for emission standards, recordkeeping, and labelling.
Now, the relevant compliance dates1 are determined as follows.

  • From 1 June 2018 onwards, regulated composite wood panels and finished products containing composite wood panels that are manufactured (in the US) or imported (into the US) must be certified as compliant with either TSCA Title VI or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measures (ATCM) Phase II emission standards, by a third-party certifier (TPC) approved by CARB and recognized by EPA. These products were previously required to be TSCA Title VI compliant by December 12, 2018. Note: both TSCA Title VI and CARB ATCM Phase II standards are set at identical levels.
  • Until 22 March 2019, regulated products certified as compliant with the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards must be labeled as compliant with either the TSCA Title VI or the CARB ATCM Phase II emission standards. After 22 March 2019, the products must be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant. That is, CARB ATCM Phase II emission standard compliant labeling will then not be acceptable.
  • After 22 March 2019, CARB-approved TPCs must comply with additional accreditation requirements to remain EPA-recognised.

The following compliance dates remain effective per the delay rule released on 25 September 2017

  • The date for import certification provisions from 12 December 2018 to 22 March 2019;
  • The date for laminated product producer provisions from 12 December 2023 to 22 March 2024; and
  • The conclusion of the transition period for CARB Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) from 12 December 2018 to 22 March 2019.

[1] Compliance date amendment

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