alleher has a long history of standing up for Mother Nature. We are among the country’s top 20 distributors of wood flooring. Our past, present, and future are inescapably tied to promoting sustainable forest management and ethical harvesting of the world’s most environmentally friendly flooring material: Wood.
Illegal deforesting is often devastating. Recent concern about vulnerability of the world’s forests has underscored the need for regulation to protect diverse flora and fauna. The result has been the 2008 Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), which is an amendment to the Lacey Act’s anti trafficking protections. The amendment bans imports of illegally harvested logs and timber, including products made with illegally harvested wood, and is effective in December 2008.
The Lacey Act isn’t new, although it has recently captured industry headlines. It has been protecting endangered wildlife since 1900. The new amendment expands this safeguard to wood and wood products taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of domestic and foreign laws or regulations. It is a far-reaching statute that respects each country of origin’s wood and plant conservation laws.
Galleher Corp. is proud to oppose environmental crime and support the Lacey Act and all of its amendments. We have and will earnestly comply with the Act’s requirements to ensure proper import declaration of all pertinent data upon entry into the United States. Galleher’s compliance with the new amendment will not affect pricing or product availability. Since we have always sourced through established legal and ethical channels we do not need to make changes to our business other than filing a U.S. Customs Declaration document with each import shipment that includes:
- Scientific name of the wood
- Quantity and value of the wood
- Name of the wood’s country of origin
Compliance of this regulation requires Reward Hardwood products be certified by a CARE-approved third-party, and proper labeling of products that fall under this new regulation. To enforce the new regulation CARB will perform random product testing and require a strict chain-of-custody. To insure compliance, Reward manufacturing facilities have obtained the required third-party certification. Should you require a copy of the certification please send a request to our marketing department in writing. All Reward Hardwood products will have the proper compliance label.
To put formaldehyde exposure from composite wood products in perspective, it is important to remember formaldehyde exists naturally in low levels in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. CARB’s research data show the formaldehyde emitted by composite wood products account for less than 5% of all of the formaldehyde emitted into California air. The World Health Organization and Health Canada have estimated the average adult ingests 9 times more formaldehyde each day from food than they inhale from all airborne sources combined.
Because formaldehyde is a naturally ccurring product we cannot eliminate all content, but we assure you Reward Hardwood products comply with California’s strict limitations.
For more irtformation regarding the California Formaldehyde regulation please visit www.arb.ca.gov.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved an Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) in April 2007 to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products including hardwood plywood (HWPW), medium density fiberboard (MDF), and particleboard (PB) (Title 17, California Code of Regulations §93120-93120.12). The ATCM applies to manufacturers, distributors, importers, fabricators, retailers, and third party certifiers of composite wood products, and finished goods that contain composite wood products, which are destined for the California market.
Everyone, including the general public, must be able to determine quickly and easily that the goods they are purchasing are low in formaldehyde emissions and comply with the ATCM. Therefore, proper labeling is critical. The intent of this advisory is to clarify the labeling requirements for composite wood products and finished goods containing composite wood products bound for California.
General Labeling Requirements
The first effective date for labeling compliant composite wood products, or finished goods containing composite wood products, is January 1, 2009. It is acceptable to label compliant products before the effective dates as long as all the requirements of the ATCM have been met. Noncompliant products cannot be labeled as compliant. Noncompliant products to be sold during a sell-through period cannot be labeled as compliant. Items not intended for sale in California are not required to be labeled.
The ATCM specifies the minimum information required for a label but does not specify the format, color, size, or font for the label. These choices are left to the manufacturer or fabricator to allow flexibility to meet the needs of individual companies. All required information must be in readable English and not in code. The required information may be on a separate label or incorporated into other existing labels. Individual companies may include any additional information they deem necessary.
Labels should be properly affixed to withstand transportation and normal handling of the item. There should be proper documentation to identify the article and confirm compliance in the event that the label does become separated from the product. Labels may also be stamped or printed directly on to the composite wood product or finished good and should be in a location that is easily accessible.
Distributors and Importers:
No additional labeling is required as long as the composite wood products and/or finished goods are not modified. If modifications are made, the importer or distributor then assumes the role of a fabricator and must label the goods according to section 93120.7(d). A “modification” is any change to a composite wood product that affects formaldehyde emissions. Some examples would include but are not limited to: coating, laminating, gluing, heating or bending of composite wood products subject to the ATCM. A new label would also be required if the original product has been cut or modified to create new products. For example, cutting off an end for trimming would not constitute a modification. Cutting the product to create new items would be considered a modification.
Breaking down bundles of HWPW, PB or MDF for individual sale is not considered a modification. Therefore, no additional labeling requirements are specified in the ATCM. CARB strongly recommends that if bundles are broken down, the smaller units should be labeled with the same information required on the original manufacturer label. Ultimately each panel must be traceable back to the original manufacturer. If the items are not traceable through other means, then the individual panels should be labeled. This will help to assure downstream customers that each composite wood product they are being supplied is compliant. If a panel is not traceable and a violation is found, it may leave importers, distributors and downstream customers more vulnerable to an enforcement action.
The wood products industry often uses brand names or other means to conceal trade secrets such as which manufacturer or fabricator makes a certain product. In recognition of this as an accepted practice, CARB will allow some flexibility in this labeling requirement. It is the intention of the ATCM that the manufacturer name or fabricator name be included on the label to easily identify the party responsible for the formaldehyde emission characteristics of the product. Therefore, it will be acceptable for an importer or distributor to replace an original label with a label listing their own company name in place of the manufacturer name or fabricator name as long as all of the other original required label information is retained on the new label. CARB enforcement will then know who to contact if excess formaldehyde emissions are found. The company who appears on the label as the manufacturer or fabricator assumes responsibility for the product.
Alternatively, an importer or distributor may contract with foreign or domestic companies to make composite wood products and label those products using the importer’s or distributor’s name in place of the “manufacturer name” or the “fabricator name.” All other required information in sections 93120.3(e) and 93120.7(d) where applicable, must also be on the label.