October 3, 2023
On July 14, 2023, the European Commission published a new entry in Annex XVII of REACH regarding formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers.
The restriction specifies that formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers shall not be placed on the market in articles after Aug. 6, 2026, if, under the test conditions specified in Appendix 14, the concentration of formaldehyde released from those articles exceeds:
- 0.062 mg/m3 for furniture and wood-based articles
- 0.080 mg/m3 for articles other than furniture and wood-based articles
Such substances shall not be placed on the market in road vehicles after Aug. 6, 2027, if, under the test conditions specified in Appendix 14, the concentration of formaldehyde in the interior of those vehicles exceeds 0.062 mg/m3.
Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing substances are manufactured and used in multiple areas in the EU. Formaldehyde is mostly used as a chemical intermediate to manufacture formaldehyde-based resin and other chemicals and has limited applications as a biocide. Formaldehyde releasers are mainly used in producing articles such as wood-based products, furniture, wall coverings, foams and textiles that can release formaldehyde during use.
Articles subject to restrictions on carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) materials in the textiles restriction (within the scope of Entry 72 of Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006) and the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers as a biocide are exempted from the restriction.
Other exemptions apply to:
- Articles made from materials that exclusively naturally contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing substances
- Articles that are exclusively for outdoor use under foreseeable conditions
- Articles in constructions for exclusive use outside the building shell and vapor barrier and that do not emit formaldehyde into indoor air
- Articles exclusively for industrial or professional use unless formaldehyde released from them leads to exposure to the general public under foreseeable conditions of use
- Devices within the scope of Regulation (EU) 2017/745
- Personal protective equipment within the scope of Regulation (EU) 2016/425
- Articles intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food within the scope of Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004
- Secondhand articles
To mitigate the impact, decrease costs for the affected areas and provide sufficient time for stakeholders to implement the restriction, the transition period for applicability of the restrictions is 36 months for all sectors. For road vehicles, a deferral of 48 months is deemed appropriate due to the long development and marketing time for such products; the high material requirements in the automotive industry; the complex supply chains, including original equipment manufacturers; and the time needed to implement the standard analytical method for measuring emissions for trucks and buses.
The regulation applies to a wide range of products including but not limited to furniture, toys, electrical appliances, baby and children’s products, and fitness equipment not exclusively intended for outdoor use. It specifically mentions that even though toy products already have formaldehyde restriction requirements, they still need to comply with the newly added provisions.
Bring your products into compliance with the new restrictive requirements before the date of their entry into force.
UL Solutions experts can review and help understand the new regulation requirements. To stay ahead of the 2026 requirement, we suggest to start testing products to review your products' current compliance.
Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/1464 of 14 July 2023 amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers
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