Regulatory Issues

Written on: January 1, 2022 by Doug Raymond

Welcome to the New Year, which promises to again be busy for Air Quality regulations. Numerous entities will be working on developing or updating volatile organic compound (VOC) regulations.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will continue to finalize its Consumer Products amendments that were adopted last March. If you manufacturer air fresheners, hair sprays, dry shampoos or personal fragrances, make sure your products are compliant with the VOC limits taking effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Do not wait for regulations to be final to reformulate. Limits and effective dates will not change. Remember to check out the Innovative Product Exemption (IPE) provisions, which may assist you in reformulating.

The State Implementation Plan (SIP) will be developed in 2022 and Consumer Products are the number one emission sources in California. Thus, Consumer Products will likely be targeted for further VOC reductions in the next few years.

Expect CARB to start some type of activity in 2022, most likely surveys of product categories that it believes have potential to reduce VOCs. The good news is that CARB stated it will likely use Reactivity, or as it calls it “Ozone Formation Potential” to try and regulate future product categories.
The SIP will likely be finalized mid-to-late Summer of 2022.

CARB Date Code
This is my friendly annual reminder, urging you to make sure you are up-to-date on Product Dating/Date Coding. When I met with CARB in September of 2021, it stated this will be an area it will target in 2022.

Remember, date code information needs to be reported to CARB every year by your company if you do not use CARB’s standard date coding. California Section 94512 (b) product dating specifically requires that all consumer products sold into the State display the day, month and year the product was manufactured or a code indicating the date. CARB has been increasing its activity—investigating and levying fines for non-compliance of this section.

The date or date-code information shall be located on the container or inside the cover/cap so that it is readily observable or obtainable (by simply removing the cap/cover) without irreversibly disassembling any part of the container or packaging. Information may be displayed on the bottom of a container as long as it is clearly legible without removing any product packaging.

CARB’s standard code has to be represented separately from other codes on the product container so that it is easily recognizable. The format is: YY DDD = Year Year Day Day Day. A manufacturer who uses this standard CARB code to indicate the date of manufacture does not have to report this code.

Failure to register a date code is subject to fines, which seem to increase every year. Your date code explanation needs to be submitted by email ( to CARB Enforcement on an annual basis, on or before Jan. 31 of each year.

Other States
New York State’s updated VOC Consumer Products regulation became effective on Jan. 1, 2022. Make sure you are only shipping compliant products into New York State. Products produced before this date have an unlimited sell-through.

Michigan and Ohio are likely to update their Consumer Products VOC regulations this year; Michigan has already started. Industry is working with these States in an effort to make consistent regulation throughout the region.

Current thinking is to use Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) model Rule 4. This will make these States consistent with several Northeastern States, Colorado and Utah.

It is possible that Oregon and Washington State may develop VOC regulations on  Consumer Products. Again, our goal would be to make the regulations consistent.

Canada & Mexico
Canada may post the final version of its Consumer Products VOC regulation early in 2022. Canada has stated there will be a two-year phase-in effective date, meaning the regulation will likely be effective as of Jan. 1, 2024. In addition, we believe there will be an unlimited sell-through period for product produced before the effective date.

Canada has said it has updated the regulation but we have not seen any of the changes. This should be very interesting!
There is no update from Mexico but we should find out some information later this year. SPRAY