The Furniture Industry Research Association

The centre of knowledge for the furniture industry

News Article

Update to companies exporting furniture to Germany

We are aware of a change to German Chemicals Act that will require a limit of 0.1ppm on any formaldehyde-emitting product when it enters Germany. This is due to come into effect on 1st January 2020.

For furniture this would mean that board must be E1 rated, however at the same time Germany is unilaterally changing the test method for assessing formaldehyde emissions in board from EN 717-1, which is the method used in the result of Europe to EN 16516. The change will effectively mean that boards assessed by the EN 717-1 method will need to emit less than 0.5 ppm (half the current E1).

Whilst some challenges to this ruling are to be expected, and delays being requested, furniture exporters need to be aware of this and take measures to comply on the effective date.

This is a most unwelcome move whilst the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, currently have a consultation on introducing European wide restrictions on formaldehyde in board materials