What Importers Need to Know About TSCA and Wood Products - Ascent

What Importers Need to Know About TSCA and Wood Products

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Importers must provide documentation certifying compliance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) when importing composite wood products into the United States. Here’s what importers need to know about TSCA and imported wood products.

History of TSCA and Wood Products

According to the EPA’s website, the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 established emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directed EPA to finalize a rule on implementing and enforcing a number of provisions covering composite wood products.

Previously, products had to be labeled as compliant with one of the following:

  1. TSCA Title VI
  2. California Air Resources Board (CARB) ATCM Phase II compliant

However, since March 22, 2019, products have been required to be labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant and an import certification is required.

What does the TSCA Title VI require?

According to the EPA:

  1. Composite wood products must be tested and certified. Only compliant products can be entered.
  2. Composite wood products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third-party certifier.
  3. Hardwood Plywood, MDF (including thin MDF) and particleboard are affected.
  4. TSCA Title VI requires proper record-keeping, reporting and labeling.
  5. Applications and notifications submitted to the EPA must be done through the EPA Central Data Exchange.

Which products require TSCA?

The following products are required to be labeled as TSCA compliant:

  1. Hardwood Plywood
  2. MDF, including thin MDF
  3. Particleboard

Commonly, these products are included in furniture, cabinets, picture frames, toys and other goods that contain composite wood.

Which products are exempt from TSCA?

The following products are included in the TSCA exemption list:

  1. Hardboard
  2. Structural plywood
  3. Structural panels
  4. Wood packaging such as pallets, crates, spools
  5. Certain windows, exterior doors and garage doors
  6. Refurbished or antique furniture
  7. Composite wood products used inside a new vehicle other than a recreational vehicle

*Please note: this list is a sampling and is not a complete list.

Who must comply?

  1. Panel producers
  2. Fabricators
  3. Third-party certifiers
  4. Importers, distributors and retailers

How can importers ensure compliance?

  1. Only purchase compliant wood products.
  2. Ensure labels are on the individual items or on file for bundled goods.
  3. Ensure all resold wood can be verified for the buyer.
  4. Provide the Import Certification for all imported articles.
  5. Keep records for at least three years after the date of importation.
  6. Be able to provide requested records to EPA within 30 days of the request.
  7. Verify and include the following certifications on commercial invoices or separate documentation:

“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.”

Importers should also be aware that even if their products’ Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code does not require TSCA designation, all products that could be subject to the rule should have a TSCA Title VI certification.

TSCA Resources for Importers

Who said logistics had to be complicated? We certainly didn’t. Contact our team to learn more.


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