New Labeling Requirements For Composite Wood: March 22, 2019

On March 22, 2019, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will implement the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Section 13 Certification and labeling requirements for Composite Wood Products Goods covered under the act must be labeled as compliant at the time of import into the U.S.

The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act established limits for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products and requirements for certification by a recognized third-party certifier.

Composite wood products are created by binding strands, particles, fibers, veneers, or boards of wood together with adhesives such as glues or resins.

What Products Are Covered Under This Regulation?

  • Panels of hardwood plywood
  • Particleboard
  • Medium density fiberboard
  • Thin-medium density fiberboard
  • Composite wood products
  • Component parts containing composite wood products
  • Finished goods containing composite wood products for example furniture, cabinets, picture frames, toys among other goods.

What Products Are Not Covered By This Rule?

  • Hardboard
  • Structural plywood (per PS-1-09 standards)
  • Structural panels (per PS-2-10 standards)
  • Structural composite lumber (per ASTM D5456-14b standard)
  • Military specified plywood
  • Curved plywood
  • Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
  • Finger-jointed lumber
  • Prefabricated wood I-joists (per ASTM D5055-16 standard)
  • Wood packagings such as pallets, crates, spools, and dunnage
  • Composite wood products used inside a new vehicle other than RV’s
  • Composite wood products used inside new rail cars, boats, airplanes
  • Windows that contain composite wood products if less than 5% by volume
  • Exterior doors and garage doors that contain composite wood products if the doors are made from composite wood products manufactured with NAF or ULEF resins or the doors contain less than 3% by volume of composite wood products.

How Will This Affect My Imports?

Composite wood products and finished goods containing components thereof are required to:

  • Be certified and labeled as compliant at the point of importation
  • Importers will be requested to complete a TSCA Declaration certifying that goods are labeled and compliant
  • The form must be with documents at the time of import

Importers of record will be responsible for knowing more about the products they are importing

  • Are they composite wood products?
  • Does my finished good contain composite wood components/parts?
  • Has the composite wood been tested by a recognized third-party certifier and certified as compliant?
  • Are the goods labeled as compliant?

Importers are required to  keep records for three years, including:

  • Bills of lading
  • Invoices
  • Documents that include a written statement from the supplier that the composite wood products or components parts/finished goods thereof are TSCA Title VI compliant
  • Provide the listed records on request by EPA within 30 days of the request
  • The panel producer
  • Date composite woods were produced
  • Records identifying the supplier
  • Date the wood products were purchased

Who Can Test My Products For Certification?

All panel producers are required to have their products tested by a Third Party Certifier that has been approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Panel producers are also required to conduct quality control tests regularly to ensure that products meet emissions standards.

EPA has published the following guides to help the trade community:

Speak to trade advisor
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About Author
Misty Gibbins
LCB, CCS

Misty has been working in the brokerage business for 35 years. She was the manager of the Blaine Office of Peace Bridge Customs Brokers for nine years, before coming to Pacific Customs Brokers, Inc. Misty has worked in the trade compliance group at PCB for the past 12 years. She is currently the Senior Trade Regulatory Analyst, which involves keeping up with trade related regulatory changes.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.
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