Commission publishes formaldehyde regulation
Limit values for wood-based materials must be complied with as of August 2026
The European Commission adopted Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1464, which for the first time sets an independent limit value for formaldehyde emissions across Europe, on 14 July. The Regulation, which was published in the EU Official Journal on 17 July, amends Annex XVII of REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 with regard to formaldehyde. In future, a limit value of 0.062 mg/m³ or 0.05 ppm, determined via a test chamber, is to apply to wood-based panels and products made from them. This limit value corresponds to half of emission class E1, which has been required in several European countries (including Austria, Germany, Italy and Sweden) for some time now, where emissions must remain below 0.124 mg/m³ or 0.1 ppm. The new limit for other products, such as textiles, leather, plastics, building materials or electronic products, is 0.080 mg/m³.
The start date for the new limit values and transition periods were also determined with the Regulation’s publication in the EU Official Journal. The Regulation comes into force on 6 August. A transition period of 36 months will then commence for wood-based products and all other products. A transition period lasting one year more, 48 months, will apply to applications in the automotive sector. This means that the new limit values for wood-based panels, products made from them and all other products must be complied with from 6 August 2026. The starting date for road vehicles is 6 August 2027.
The proposal to amend the formaldehyde emission limit values submitted by the European Commission was derived based on opinions from the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and the Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC), which are part of the ECHA, provided during 2020. The ECHA Member States Committee (MSC) agreed to this proposal in a consultation carried out via a written procedure from 23 January to 10 February 2023.