EPA Requirements When Importing Composite Wood Products

UPDATE March 28th, 2019

Based on EPA’s advice, on March 26, 2019 CBP updated the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) with a list of HTS numbers that may require TSCA Title VI requirements, which became effective on March 22, 2019. Importers that have goods which are not subject to TSCA Title VI requirements, would still need to provide a statement indicating that the goods require a disclaim to be transmitted if the HTS number is flagged. Failure to provide information regarding TSCA Title VI requirements may result in shipment delays.

(Original article, published December 2018)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to remind everyone who imports ‘composite wood products’ into the United States that they must comply with EPA’s formaldehyde emission standards, which prevent adverse health effects.

What products are covered by this requirement?

  • Any composite wood products of hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), or particleboard,
  • Component parts, or finished goods containing composite wood products, including furniture, flooring, cabinets, picture frames, and toys.

This will ensure that those panels are compliant in panel form before being sold to end users or fabricated into components or finished goods.

Compliance Dates:

June 1, 2018:

  • Imported composite wood products must be tested and certified as compliant by an approved third-party certifier (TPC), as CARB ATCM Phase II or TSCA Title VI compliant.
  • Recordkeeping requirements begin.

March 22, 2019:

  • Imported composite wood products will require a Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Section 13 certification,
  • Products must be tested and certified by a TPC, and be labeled as TSCA Title VI Compliant. (CARB ATCM Phase II certification will no longer be allowed.),
  • Recordkeeping requirements continue.

March 22, 2024:

  • Producers of laminated product must comply with requirements applicable to hardwood plywood panel producers, and
  • Producers of laminated products that are exempt from the definition of ‘hardwood plywood’ must keep records demonstrating eligibility for the exemption.


Beginning March 22, 2019, all imports of composite wood products, component parts, or finished goods will require a Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) certification statement to appear on the entry documents or invoice, saying:

“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.”

Livingston will transmit either an EPA TSCA message set, or a disclaim advising we will upload the certification to CBP’s Document Imaging System (DIS).

Recordkeeping requirements:

  • The importer must maintain records of compliance, including the date produced, supplier, purchase date, bills of lading, invoices, and written statements from suppliers showing that the goods are TSCA Title VI compliant, or were produced before December 12, 2018.
  • Records must be maintained for 3 years from import date, and be available to supply to EPA within 30 days, if requested.
  • Applications, notifications, and reports that are required to be submitted to EPA must be submitted via the EPA Central Data Exchange (CDX).

More information is available from EPA at  Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products and Resources, Guidance Materials for the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Rule, which includes FAQs and Factsheets.  EPA’s contact for this program is Todd Coleman at 202-564-1208, or email [email protected].

If you have any questions regarding EPA requirements when importing composite wood products, Livingston can help!  Please contact either your Livingston account manager or our regulatory affairs department at [email protected]