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VOC Solvents Emissions Directive

pot sof paintSubstitution of solvents: Exchange of information and guidance documents

The purpose of this website is to provide guidance on the use of substances and techniques which have the least potential effects on air, water, soil, ecosystems and human health and support the exchange of information, as required by Article 7 of Directive 1999/13/EC of 11 March 1999 on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain activities and installations.

In 2008, such guidance documents were developed as the result of a Commission project to provide sector specific information on VOC substitution and reduction measures for each of the activities covered by the SE Directive and listed in its Annexes I and II(A). These guidance documents can be found here.

Each guidance document gives a short overview on the activity and the related industry sector covered, describing the solvents used, the related VOC emissions and their possible impact on the environment and on human health. Subsequently, they give a comprehensive overview of VOC-free alternatives to conventional systems, of systems with a reduced VOC use, and of other VOC emission prevention measures and abatement techniques. Some practical "good practice" examples are discussed to show opportunities and barriers to the successful implementation of VOC prevention and reduction measures. Finally, relevant emerging techniques and promising research approaches are presented.

In addition to these guidance documents, the Commission is also offering:

  • a link to various  guidance documents issued by authorities and international organisations (including guidelines, case studies and tools)
  • a list of links to relevant external websites