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CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

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Canada: Formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products will be restricted

JULY 2021 - HARDLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

Canadian Government published the Regulations1 to restrict formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products on 7 July 2021. These help to reduce exposure of Canadians to formaldehyde emission in indoor air. The Regulations adopted similar requirements with the USA TSCA Title VI2 to minimize the burden for businesses. The Regulations will come into force from 7 January 2023 but the requirements for laminated products will apply 5 years later. 

The Regulations prohibit the import or sale of composite wood products such as particleboard, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), hardwood plywood, that release formaldehyde above established limits. It also imposes requirements on the industry for record-keeping, labelling, and reporting.

The scope of composite wood products of the Canadian Regulations, the test methodology, limits and frequency of testing under the Regulations are the same as the USA TSCA Title VI. However, some differences remain i.e. record-keeping, reporting and administrative requirements. The composite wood panels and laminated products must be certified by a third-party certifier (TPC) prior to import or sale. Canada does not establish the same third-party certification framework under Canadian Environment Protection Act so a guidance3 is issued to define the role and responsibility of a TPC.

Composite wood panels and laminated products should be tested routinely and meet the emission limits. The technical testing details are now issued in terms of a Directive4. Stakeholders in the supply chain must keep records extensively including a copy of declaration of certification and key information about certifying TPC. 

The certified products must be labelled with compliance statements i.e. “TSCA Title VI compliant / conforme au titre VI de la TSCA” if the products comply with TSCA Title VI. Otherwise, “CANFER compliant/ conforme au CANFER” must be used. The statement must be labelled bilingually in English and French. Moreover, the Regulations require all regulated businesses to report to the Ministry of the Environment about the regulated activities they are involved and their contact details. 

 

[1]  Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations: SOR/2021-148

[2]  EPA rule summary of USA TSCA Title VI

[3]  Guidance document - Third party certifiers: composite wood products containing formaldehyde

[4]  Directive concerning testing for formaldehyde emissions 

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