Export Germany, new formaldehyde emission limits for wood-based products

From 1 January 2020, new limits regarding the emission of formaldehyde from raw and coated wood-based panels placed on the German market will come into effect. The news was published in the German Official Journal (BAnz AT 11/26/2018 B2) and it should be emphasized that for the assessment of the formaldehyde emissions a new method has been introduced: the standard EN 16516 Assessment of release of dangerous substances- Determination of emissions into indoor air.

According to German law, starting from 1 January 2020, wood-based panels and products exported to Germany must comply with the limit of 0.1 ppm obtained with the test method specified in the standard EN 16516. The changes in the new reference method EN 16516 are related to air change (it is less in comparison with the current test method EN 717-1) and to the load test that requires an increased test load. However, the method described by the EN 717-1 standard can still be used provided that in this case the resulting emission value is multiplied by 2, halving the emission requirement necessary to comply with the German regulation.

It is a responsability of the companies that place products on the German market to check the compliance with the new regulation and to test and monitor their production.

As regards the producers of raw panels, the reference standard in Italy, the E1 class, does not respect the limits imposed for the German market, therefore the raw panel must be coated and tested as a panel or as a component of the furniture.

Thanks to its 14 testing chambers of various sized, COSMOB is able to test both raw panels and finished products using both methods (Accredia accredited) EN 16516 and EN 717-1.

Futhermore, COSMOB is approved laboratory for the formaldehyde emission analysis according to the IOS MAT 0181 regulation  “Formaldehyde requirements for wood-based materials included in the German prohibition of the ordinance on chemical products”.  The standard is applicable in addition to the IOS MAT 0003 standard for the analysis of formaldehyde levels to guarantee the most stringent requirements for wood-based materials and products.

Our experts will be able to support you in identifying the “worst case material” to proceed with the certification process and the periodic checks on your production, so as to constantly ensure the compliance with the current regulations of the products released on the German market.