The Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations (CANFER) that the Government of Canada published back in July, 2022 have finally come into effect.

As of Jan. 7, 2023, you may not import or sell composite wood products that release formaldehyde at levels exceeding the regulatory emission levels, and must meet the testing and certification requirements for laminated products.

Health Canada has updated its Guidance document on the Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations.

The Guidance document includes all the info you’ll need to comply with the CANFER regulations when it comes to testing, collecting data, recordkeeping, labelling and recording requirements.

What products are in scope?

The regulations apply to composite wood panels, which are typically used for indoor applications such as:

  • Cabinetry
  • Furniture
  • Trim, which includes:
    • Hardwood plywood (HWPW)
    • medium-density fibreboard (MDF)
    • thin MDF
    • particleboard
    • certain laminated products

Testing and certification

Products must meet the testing requirements outlined in the Guidance document, and must be certified before they can be imported into or sold in Canada. Among other things, certification requires third-party verification that the product has passed at least five formaldehyde emissions tests and five QC tests. Ongoing verification is required to maintain certification.


All importers, manufacturers, and sellers of composite wood products that contain formaldehyde must notify the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) at [email protected] by March 8, 2023. This self-identification should only be required once, in lieu of annual reports, unless information is being updated.


Manufacturers and importers must label all applicable products with a stamp, tag or sticker stating that they comply with the regulations.

Read Health Canada’s Guidance document on the Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products Regulations.

Read more information on formaldehyde in the home from Health Canada.

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