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Containing many elements from California’s ‘Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) to Reduce Formaldehyde Emission from Composite Wood Products’ and the US ‘Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act’ (the Act), Canada published its draft regulation on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood for indoor use on June 29, 2019. This proposal, when approved, will be passed under the power of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA).

Canada has commenced a consultation period for its draft regulation and a draft directive for the testing of emissions.

The key elements from the draft regulation are:

  • Formaldehyde emission standards in composite wood panels and laminated products (identical to those in California and ‘the Act’)
  • Referencing its proposed directive concerning testing for formaldehyde emissions
  • A list of products that fall outside the scope of the regulation
  • Incentives for where no-added formaldehyde resins (NAF resins) or ultra-low emitting formaldehyde resins (ULEF resins) are used, provided that certain emission or quality control requirements are met
  • Testing for formaldehyde emissions must be conducted by a laboratory that is ISO/IEC 17025 accredited by a body that is a part of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA), or under the Environmental Quality Act (CQLR), c. Q-2; and the scope of the laboratory’s accreditation includes the testing of formaldehyde emissions from composite wood panels or laminated products
  • Labeling of composite wood products exceeding 929 cm² (144 square inches (144 in²)) in both English and French – this is not required if the composite wood product’s packaging or the bundle containing the product is labeled. The label information must be clear and legible, and printed in characters that meet the requirements of the regulation

The draft regulation also states the obligations for economic operators in the industry:

    • Manufacturers must keep records in English or French, or a combination of these languages for five years, and must make the records relating to emission tests available to purchasers when requested
    • Manufacturers of laminated products must, additionally, keep records in either English or French, or a combination of these languages for five years if they do not produce the core or platform of the product
    • Manufacturers of composite wood panels or laminated products must submit an annual report on or before March 31 of the calendar year following the year in respect of which the report is prepared
    • Importers and retailers must keep records in English or French, or a combination of these languages for five years

Dates and Deadlines

This Regulation will come into force 180 days after its publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Once approved, Canada will begin compliance activities, including the formation of guidance documents and regular updates on its websites.

The 75-day consultation on its draft regulation and draft directive has begun and comments on these can be received up until September 12, 2019.

SGS has accreditation according to ISO/IEC 17025 with the scope to test formaldehyde emissions from composite wood panels or laminated products and can therefore provide testing capabilities that are aligned with the upcoming regulation.

To continue in its commitment to consumer product clients, SGS is pleased to provide, as a free of charge service, timely updates on new and modified regulations. Through a global network of laboratories and local offices, SGS provides a wide range of testing and evaluation services applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.


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For more information, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager

Email: crs.media@sgs.com

LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

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