EPA PANEL PURCHASING REQUIREMENTS FOR PRODUCERS OF HARDWOOD PLYWOOD VENEER CORE (HWPW-VC) AND HARDWOOD PLYWOOD COMPOSITE CORE (HWPW-CC) PANELS
Most fabricators of finished goods such as engineered and laminate flooring, cabinetry and furniture are aware that they must purchase and use only EPA and CARB-certified hardwood plywood (HWPW), medium density fiberboard (MDF) and particleboard (PB) in the production of those finished goods. But did you know that these purchasing requirements also apply to EPA-certified producers of hardwood plywood veneer core (HWPW-VC) and hardwood plywood composite core (HWPW-CC) panels?
How do these requirements apply? Take a look at the following requirement specified in EPA TSCA Title VI:
EPA TSCA Title VI §770.15 (a) states: “Beginning June 1, 2018, only certified composite wood products, whether in the form of panels or incorporated into component parts or finished goods, are permitted to be sold, supplied, offered for sale, or manufactured (including imported) in the United States…”
What does this mean to you?
Briefly stated, if you purchase hardwood plywood, medium density fiberboard, or particleboard panels from a supplier for use as a core or platform to then make your own HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels within the scope of your Benchmark-approved EPA/CARB certification or NAF/ULEF exemption, then you are required to purchase and use only EPA-certified composite wood panels. The panel purchasing requirements specified in EPA TSCA Title VI §770.30 apply. A summary of these requirements is as follows:
- REASONABLE PRUDENT PRECAUTIONS: At a minimum, you are required to specify to your suppliers that the hardwood plywood, medium density fiberboard, or particleboard panels that they deliver must be produced, certified and labeled in compliance with all EPA TSCA Title VI regulations. Ideally, these requirements should be referenced in your written purchase contracts or purchase orders that you issue to your suppliers. In addition, you are required to take all other actions as needed to assure that you purchase and use only EPA TSCA Title VI-certified panels in the production of the HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC products covered by the scope of your Benchmark EPA/CARB certification or NAF/ULEF exemption.
- LABELING: All incoming shipments of purchased hardwood plywood, medium density fiberboard or particleboard raw materials that you receive are required to be labeled as specified in EPA TSCA Title VI §770.45(a). At a minimum, these labels must identify the name of the panel producer, the panel producer’s production lot number, the EPA-approved number of the panel producer’s Third-Party Certifier (TPC), and a statement of compliance which indicates the products are certified in accordance with EPA TSCA Title VI. Purchased panel products which do not comply with these labeling requirements cannot be used to produce any HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels covered by the scope of your Benchmark EPA/CARB certification or NAF/ULEF exemption.
- RECORD-KEEPING: At a minimum, you are required to keep a copy of the reasonable prudent precautions taken according to item #1 above. In addition, for each incoming shipment of purchased panels that you receive, you are required to retain copies of the invoices, bills of lading, or similar documents issued by your supplier. These documents must identify the name of the original panel producer and must include a statement which indicates the products are certified in accordance with EPA TSCA Title VI. Purchased panel products which do not comply with these documentation requirements cannot be used to produce any HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels covered by the scope of your Benchmark EPA/CARB certification or NAF/ULEF exemption.
- SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ULEF-EXEMPT and NAF-EXEMPT PANEL PRODUCERS: If you are a ULEF-exempt producer of HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels, then you are permitted to purchase either EPA-certified, ULEF-exempt, or NAF-exempt panels for the purposes of producing HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels within the scope of your Benchmark and CARB-approved ULEF exemption. However, if you are a NAF-exempt producer of HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels, then you are required to purchase and use only NAF-exempt hardwood plywood, medium density fiberboard or particleboard panels. You are not permitted to purchase and use either EPA-certified or ULEF-exempt panels for the purposes of producing HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels within the scope of your Benchmark and CARB-approved NAF exemption.
Purchased composite wood panels that do not meet these or any other applicable EPA TSCA Title VI regulatory requirements (such as testing, labeling, record-keeping, etc.) must be treated as a noncomplying lot(s) and cannot be used in the production of the HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels covered by the scope of your Benchmark-approved EPA/CARB certification or NAF/ULEF exemption.
In addition, any HWPW-VC or HWPW-CC panels that you may produce using these noncompliant raw materials are not eligible for labeling as EPA/CARB certified panel products and are those products not legal for import, distribution, or sale in the United States.
If you have any questions about the nature of this requirement or would like to verify your facility’s operational conformity regarding this or other matters, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Certifications Team at email@example.com or by calling +1 (541) 484-9212.
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