EPA Proposes Rule to Permit Early Labeling of Composite Wood Products, Fix "Born-On Date" Problem
Earlier this month the EPA proposed a direct final rule that would amend its Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products to permit manufacturers to voluntarily label products subject to the standards as Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) Title VI compliant “as soon as compliance can be achieved.”
This long-awaiting amendment fixes the “born-on date” problem in the original rule, which prohibited products from being labeled prior to the rule’s effective date of December 12, 2017. (As mentioned in a prior alert, EPA has undertaken a formal rulemaking process to extend the rule’s effective date to March 22, 2018.) Because TSCA defines the date of manufacturer as the date of import for imported products, the “born-on date” problem was particularly concerning for importers and oversees manufacturers whose products could be found out of compliance if they arrived in port unlabeled on the effective date, even though they were made and shipped prior to the effective date.
If no negative comments are received, then the labeling relief in the direct final rule will take effect without further action tomorrow, July 26, 2017. In case any negative comments are received, EPA has also published an identical proposed rule under the formal rulemaking process, which will take longer to implement. So far, one comment has been received in support of the proposed rule and no comments have been received on the direct final rule.