VOC products: architectural paints and varnishes

The solvent content of certain architectural paints and varnishes and vehicle refinishing products must be compliant with the limits of the VOC Paints Decree. The package labelling of the product must include information about the VOCs the product contains, and the product quantities must be reported to Tukes annually.

VOCs mean volatile organic compounds with a boiling point of no more than 250˚C at a standard atmospheric pressure of 101.3 kPa. VOCs governed by the Decree do not include such VOCs that react chemically during drying to form part of the paint or coating.

The aim of the restrictions is to reduce VOC emissions. When VOCs are released into the air, they contribute to the formation of harmful ozone in the lower atmosphere.

The maximum VOC content and including VOCs in the product labelling applies to the following products:

  • vehicle refinishing products, such as aerosols
  • paints and varnishes applied to buildings, their trim and fittings and associated structures for functional, decorative or protective purposes.

Does not apply to the following products:

  • aerosols for architectural applications
  • products used for functions, installations or activities included in the scope of application of the VOC Solvents Emissions Decree that are subject to environmental permit or notified for entry in the environmental protection database. These functions are subject to other restrictions on VOC emissions.

Package labelling

A company must include the following information in the package labelling of a product:

  • the subcategory (group of products) of Appendix 1 of the Decree to which the product belongs
  • the limit value (g/l) specified for the product in Appendix 2 of the Decree
  • the maximum VOC content (g/l) of the product in ready-to-use condition.

VOC content is given in grams per litre. The maximum VOC contents for each subcategory can be found in Appendix 2 to the VOC Paints Decree. In addition to different purposes of use, limit values for architectural paints and varnishes are also given specifically for water-borne (WB) and solvent-borne (SB) products. 

VOC product quantity form

Companies submit information to Tukes about the quantities of products manufactured, imported, exported and sold under the VOC Paints Decree annually by the end of March. The quantity information is submitted via an electronic form (link to the form).