Importers of Composite Wood Products: Here Are Some Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions!

As previously reported in January’s Shap Talk, the EPA published the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products final rule on December 12, 2016.   Below are some FAQs to ensure you are fully aware of these new requirements:

What does this final rule say?

  • Beginning on March 22, 2019, importers, manufacturers, fabricators distributors and retailers of composite wood products, such as hardwood, plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and particleboard, must include certification that the articles conform to Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA.)

TSCA certification will now be required on composite wood products.  Why?

  • This new rule is due to new formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products made of hardwood plywood, MDF and particleboard.

 What products does this include?

  • Panels, component parts and finished goods (frames, furniture, household and other finished goods containing these products.)

 Who is subject to the requirements?

  • Importers, manufacturers, fabricators, distributors and retailers.

 What are the important dates of which I should be aware?

  • June 01, 2018:  The date when regulated products manufactured or imported into the US are required to be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI [or CARB ATCM Phase II, for California]
  • March 22, 2019: Technically, the effective date. This is the date all regulated products are required to be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant (California emission standards alone is not sufficient). This is also the date we must file TSCA on the importer’s behalf in ACE. For that, they will need to collect the “import certification” or TSCA statement from the importer.

 What specific HTS chapters will be flagged?

  • Chapters 44, 85, 87, 92, 94 and 95.  Other regulated items outside of these chapters fall under the same regulation.

 What are my responsibilities as the importer?

  • You must certify at entry that the composite wood product is compliant with TSCA, with a TSCA Statement for each shipment, signed by the importer:
  • The statement must read: “I certify that all chemical substances in this shipment comply with all applicable rules or orders under TSCA and that I am not offering a chemical substance for entry in violation of TSCA or any applicable rule or order under TSCA.”
  • A name, telephone number and email of the certifying individual are required
  • You must be able to identify the supplier and the purchase date of all items.
  • You must verify that the purchased goods are labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant
  • You must verify that bill of ladings, commercial invoices or comparable documents include a written statement from the supplier that the goods are TSCA Title VI compliant
  • You must retain these records for three (3) years for EPA purposes and five (5) years for Customs purposes
  • Upon request, the importer must be able to make records available to the EPA (within 30 days) identifying the panel or finished good producer, the date produced, the supplier and the date the products were purchased

What are the responsibilities of the manufacturers and fabricators?

  • Panel producers must have their products tested by an EPA-recognized Third-Party Certifier (TPC), and conduct quality control tests on a regular basis
  • Must label their products as TSCA Title VI compliant (in panel form or finished good)
  • Must retain these records for three (3) years for EPA purposes and five (5) years for Customs purposes

EPA recently hosted several webinars that covered the requirements of the rule. These are available for review on EPA’s Formaldehyde website.

For any questions regarding this message, please contact us at compliance@shapiro.com.

Shapiro will continue to monitor the situation and provide status updates as they become available.