Vehicle refinishers get Decorative Paint Regulations advice

Vehicle refinishers and automotive paint suppliers have been advised that they must comply with the requirements of the Decorative Paint Regulations, or face a court prosecution, court fine or up to six months in prison.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is advising that non-compliance with the requirements of these regulations is an offence and may lead to court prosecution, imposition of a court fine of up to €5,000 and / or six months in prison.

Operators should familiarise themselves with the requirements of Regulations and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance.

The top eight areas of non-compliance as noted from the site inspections of Vehicle Refinishers include the following:

• Failure to hold a valid Certificate of Compliance as issued by the relevant Local Authority.

• Use of non-compliant products.

• Failure to provide evidence of sufficient training.

• Failure to provide evidence of spray gun transfer efficiency of 65% or higher.

• Failure to show evidence that a permitted hazardous waste contractor is being used for the removal of contaminated waste.

• Failure to display the Certificate of Compliance as issued by the relevant Local Authority.

• Inappropriate disposal of contaminated containers in the domestic/non-hazardous waste stream.

• Inappropriate storage of products and/or waste, giving rise to the risk of contamination of drains/ground.

Further guidance in relation to demonstrating compliance can be found at: http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/air/solvents/bestpracticeguidelinesforvehiclerefinishing2012.html

In addition, paint suppliers must ensure that they are familiar with the solvent content and labelling requirements for vehicle refinishing products and that all products placed on the market meet these requirements.

Local Authorities now have the powers to issue on-the-spot fines of between €500 and €1,000 to operators of non-compliant bodyshops and suppliers of non-compliant automotive paints.