Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you place paints and varnishes on the market that contain organic solvents (volatile organic compounds (VOCs)) you must ensure that they comply with the relevant limit value. These restrict the amount of solvent that the ready-to-use product can contain.
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, including businesses that only mix paint, must check the VOC content of their products.
The table below shows the maximum VOC content limit values for paints and varnishes. The limit values are stated in grams per litre (g/l) when the product is ready to use.
|Product*||Coating type||VOC limit (g/l))|
|Interior matt walls and ceilings (degree of gloss ≤25 at 60°)||Water borne||30|
|Interior glossy walls and ceilings (degree of gloss >25 at 60°)||Waterborne||100|
|Exterior walls of mineral substrate||Water borne||40|
|Interior/exterior trim and cladding paints for wood and metal||Water borne||130|
|Interior/exterior trim varnishes and woodstains, including opaque woodstains||Water borne||130|
|Interior and exterior minimal build woodstains||Water borne||130|
|Binding primers||Water borne||30|
|One-pack performance coatings||Water borne||140|
|Two-pack reactive performance coatings for specific end use, eg floors||Water borne||140|
|Multi-coloured coatings||Water borne||100|
|Decorative effect coatings||Water borne||200|
Table listing VOC limits in different compounds
*For a more detailed definition of the products covered, read schedule 2 of:
The Volatile Organic Compounds in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations 2012
Solvent limits in paints and varnishes
Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits, Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits
Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance for Northern Ireland – Synopsis of Responses, Public responses to the Discussion Document: Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance
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