Solvent Emissions and Paint Products Directives

Solvent Emissions Directive (1999/13/EC)

This directive, known as the SED, requires particular industry sectors, including high street dry cleaners, must have a permit and must comply with requirements to limit emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.

Most SED installations are regulated by local authorities under the Local Authority Pollution Control (LAPC) regime.  The process and sector guidance notes for solvent-using sectors incorporate the requirements of the SED.  General guidance on the SED is in Chapter 34 of Part A of the General Guidance Manual.

The Directive is transposed into English law by means of the Environmental Permitting Regulations.  An introduction to the SED can be found in Chapter 34 of the General Guidance Manual.

Paint Products Directive (2004/42/EC)

This directive , known as the PPD, says that some paints cannot be marketed if they contain more than a specified amount of organic solvent.  These are mainly decorative paints and varnishes, and products used in the repair of vehicles.

The directive is transposed into UK law by Regulations which were amended in 2009

In England and Wales, enforcement of the Regulations is the function of environmental health and trading standards officers in local authorities.  This is supported by Defra guidance (PDF 300 KB), and a letter of delegation (PDF 180 KB) to local authorities.  There is also a Code of Practice (PDF 120 KB) for those selling paint to customers intending to use it for restoring or maintaining vintage vehicles or historic buildings, and the paint does not comply with the Regulations1 to customers who intend to use the materials when restoring or maintaining vintage vehicles or historic buildings.

General guidance on the PPD is in Chapter 34 of Part A of the General Guidance Manual.

Page last modified: 11 February 2011