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Imported Composite Wood Products Must be TSCA Compliant as of March 2019

Thursday, December 13, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A December 2016 final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency established national formaldehyde emission standards and a third-party certification system for regulated composite wood products (i.e., panels), including hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard, to ensure those panels are compliant before being sold to end users or fabricated into component parts or finished goods (furniture, cabinets, picture frames, toys, etc.). Between June 1, 2018, and March 22, 2019, such goods that are imported into or manufactured in the U.S. must be (a) certified as compliant with either Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act or the California Air Resources Board’s Airborne Toxic Control Measures Phase II emission standards by a third-party certifier approved by CARB and recognized by EPA and (b) labeled as compliant with the relevant standard.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now advising interested parties that after March 22, 2019, such goods may only be certified and labeled as compliant with TSCA Title VI; labeling them as compliant with the CARB ATCM Phase II standards will not be sufficient.

Also beginning on that date importers will be responsible for providing a TSCA Section 13 import certification for articles containing regulated composite wood products, component parts, or finished goods imported into the U.S. customs territory. This import certification will be in the form of a positive certification for applicable shipments through the Automated Commercial Environment. CBP adds that upon request from the EPA importers must make available within 30 calendar days certain records that document compliance.

Additionally, the EPA recently published a proposed rule that would, among other things, clarify that regulated composite wood products and finished goods containing such must be labeled at the point of manufacture or fabrication. If the product is imported, the label would have to be affixed to the product by the date of importation.

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