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Parliamentary question - E-004321/2017Parliamentary question

Mandatory E1 standard in Europe

Question for written answer E-004321-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Patrizia Toia (S&D)

Formaldehyde has a great many industrial applications and is essential to the manufacture of many products, especially in the wood sector.

Wood panel production in Europe is valued at EUR 18.7 billion. Panels that are then used in the manufacture of furniture generate goods valued at EUR 51 billion in total (EU‐28). The wood-based panels industry in Europe has established a common classification system for formaldehyde content, and hence emissions, in their own products and standardised testing methods.

The European Standard EN 13986 for E1 classification provides that formaldehyde emissions must not exceed 0.124 mg/m3. At present, the E1 standard for wood-based panels for any use (apart from construction) is only mandatory in eight Member States.

In view of the importance of the issue, does the Commission agree that both consumer safety and the internal market would be better protected if the E1 standard were to be made mandatory (both in construction and for any other use), thereby ensuring panels produced in the EU are on an equal footing with those imported from non-EU countries?