In June, Maine's governor signed legislation to impose a 25-cents/gallon fee on manufacturers or wholesalers of paint. The new law required the state to adopt implementing regulations no later than July 1, 2006, that would determine which companies would be responsible for the fees, the method for calculating the fee, and a process to exempt manufacturers or wholesalers of paint "sold in low quantities in the state." The law required companies subject to this fee to make initial payments starting April 1, 2007. The legislation provides that the fee will "sunset" on July 1, 2011.

As a result of this law, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services recently issued final regulations to administer the fee. The regulations, which became effective July 1, 2006, impose this fee, sequentially, on any manufacturer who "offers for sale, sells, or distributes ... paint under its own private label or brand name;" then upon a "brand name or private label owner" who sells or distributes paint produced by another manufacturer under its own brand name or private label; and third, on an "importer" of paint into the United States who sells or distributes "imported paint" in the State of Maine.

The intent is that the coatings manufacturer is primarily responsible for payment of the fee. However, in situations in which the original product manufacturer supplies paint to a retailer or other party, which then sells the paint under its own brand name or private label, then the retailer or other party is responsible for calculating and paying the fee. The third scenario covers situations such as where paint manufactured outside the United States is imported into Maine and then resold to Maine customers.

Coatings manufacturers should note that although the identified purpose of the fee is lead-poisoning prevention, the fee is based upon all coatings sold into Maine. The regulations specifically include OEM and special-purpose coatings as being subject to the fee.

For a copy of the final regulation or the Paint Fee Remittance Form, please visit

  • Lead Poisoning Prevention Fee Rules
  • Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund Fee Annual Remittance Form

    NPCA Members: Contact Allen Irish at for more information.