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Monday, 17 February 2020
Markets & companies, Coatings market

BCF launches next phase of VOC compliance campaign

Monday, 12 December 2016

The British Coatings Federation (BCF) has hosted a training session for Trading Standards Officers as part of their VOC compliance campaign, held at the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce near Glasgow.

Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive of the BCF. Source: BCF

Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive of the BCF. Source: BCF

The day saw representatives from 8 local authorities across Scotland attend the training session to learn about the VOC Directives and the role of Trading Standards in enforcing the regulations, relating to identifying the differences between solvent and water based car paints. This was followed by a tour of LKQ, a vehicle refinish (VR) distributor, to see first-hand these differences.

Stamping out solvent abuse

The regulations preventing the use of solvent-based basecoats on cars are now 10 years old, but despite widespread non-compliance, there have been zero prosecutions. An estimated £30 million (EUR36 million) of UK basecoat sales are still solvent-based, which creates a non-level playing field for distributors and bodyshops who have invested in water-based technology.

The BCF’s compliance campaign started nearly a year ago, with the aim of stamping out solvent abuse in the vehicle refinish sector. The work with Trading Standards Officers is the next part of the initiative, following a series of mystery shopping exercises at 100 VR distributors to gather evidence on the abuse of the regulations, the results of which are to be announced shortly.

Key to making sure the regulations

Tom Bowtell, Chief Executive of the BCF, said: "I’m delighted that there was such a strong interest in this issue in Scotland. The law is almost impossible to enforce at a distributor level because stocking the solvents is actually legal, but the exemptions for the uses have resulted in abuse. Educating Trading Standards Officers will be key to making sure the regulations are enforced. There was a great enthusiasm from last week’s attendees and I look forward to working with them and other Trading Standards representatives from around the country to stamp out the illegal sales of solvent-based basecoats.”

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