Automotive refinishing products and volatile organic compounds

Automotive refinishing products are coatings and surface cleaners that are applied to motor vehicles and mobile equipment. They are used to prepare the surface and/or apply a coating.

Information on volatile organic compound emissions (VOC) from automotive refinishing coatings in aerosol containers is found on the Aerosol coatings page.

The regulations

The Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations was published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 8, 2009. The regulations apply to manufacturers, importers and sellers of automotive refinishing products.

The objective of the regulations is to protect the environment and health of Canadians from the effects of air pollution by reducing VOC emissions. The regulations are based on similar requirements in other jurisdictions, such as California and Europe.

Key elements of the regulations

The regulations establish concentration limits for VOCs in 14 categories of automotive refinishing products in the Schedule to the regulations. The VOC concentration limits apply to automotive refinishing products like:

  • pre-treatment wash primers
  • primer surfacers
  • primer sealers
  • colour coatings
  • clear coatings
  • truck bed liner coatings
  • surface cleaners

The regulations include provisions that set out the:

  • determination of VOC concentrations
  • requirement of an accredited laboratory to perform an analysis for the purpose of the regulations
  • requirements for product labelling and record keeping
  • procedure to apply for a permit and the conditions of a permit issuance 

Guidance

The guidance document, Analytical methods for determining VOC and other parameters for the VOC regulations, describes the analytical methods that we use to verify regulatory compliance.

Related links

Contact information

Products Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3

1-888-391-3426 (toll free) or 819-938-4483
Email: ec.produits-products.ec@canada.ca

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