Formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products regulations coming into force

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) recently informed those who manufacture, import, sell or offer for sale, composite wood products containing formaldehyde that the Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations (CANFER) come into force on January 7, 2023.

CANFER prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or import of composite wood products that release formaldehyde at levels that exceed the regulatory emission limits.

The regulations are intended to help reduce formaldehyde exposure in indoor air and the risk of adverse health impacts associated with this exposure. Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that is emitted from certain household products and building materials such as the following composite wood products:

  • Particleboard
  • Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and thin MDF
  • Hardwood Plywood
  • Laminated Products

Finished goods made with these composite wood products may also emit formaldehyde.

Organizations are responsible for determining if their products are subject to CANFER and for ensuring compliance with all the requirements such as emission testing, certification, labelling and record keeping.

Those who Import, sell or offer for sale any composite wood product that contains formaldehyde, must notify ECCC by March 8, 2023

  • For more comprehensive information, health Canada has published a Guidance document highlighting certain sections of CANFER to provide additional explanation.
  • General information on formaldehyde can be found on the Health Canada webpage dedicated to this substance.

Those who Import, sell or offer for sale any composite wood product that contains formaldehyde may also Contact Health Canada for general inquiries at:

Reports, data and contact information must be submitted to ECCC at: