FIS Fluorinated Wax Ban Update


13 April 2022

It was reported that after comprehensive testing, FIS is prepared to fully enforce the Fluorinated Wax ban at the start of the 2022-2023 winter season. Working with Bruker, a leading manufacturer of high-performance scientific instruments and maintaining a close collaboration with the International Biathlon Union (IBU) through a joint working group, an effective testing method using the Alpha II device was developed. The device provides reliable testing to ensure fluor-free competitions, which will help guarantee fair competitions and a level playing field. The rules regarding the fluor wax ban will be defined at the upcoming FIS Congress, which will then be implemented at the start of the winter 2022-23 season.


2 June 2021

FIS has prohibited any products containing C8 fluorocarbons/PFOA at all FIS events from season 2021/2022 onwards, in line with the EU Regulation 2019/1021 (“POP-regulation”) and EC Regulation 1907/2006 („REACH“-regulation), which regulate the handling of fluorinated waxes.

Bearing in mind the health risk and environmental concerns connected to fluorine waxes, FIS remains committed to introducing a full fluor ban and to developing testing methods to ensure fluor-free competitions in the future.

The implementation of a Fluorine Tracker that will instantly detect the presence of fluorine wax on skis has been postponed until after the season 2021/2022. In the following season, the device will be further tested in the real implementation process during the competition season, without penalisation.

The implementation process was unfortunately not possible to test adequately during the last season due to the Covid-19 situation. Reports about the next steps in the development of the Fluorine Tracker and effect of the C8 ban will be prepared for the Council for autumn 2021.

FIS maintains its commitment to developing a reliable test method which guarantees the integrity of its competitions.


In 2019, the International Ski Federation (FIS) and International Biathlon Union (IBU) decided that the use of fluorinated ski wax will be banned for all FIS and IBU disciplines beginning with the upcoming 2020-21 season. In addition, U.S. Ski & Snowboard voted to eliminate the use of fluorinated ski wax from all levels of competition at its May 2020 meeting. The Canadian Ski Association (CSA) has adopted the FIS Council Ruling and is extending it to all programs that fall under its authority. 

Fluorinated wax, and the raw perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) compounds that make up these wax products, have been scientifically studied for their negative environmental and health impacts. In the United States, many of the compounds found in fluorinated wax products contain ingredients listed in the Toxic Substances Control Act. In July 2020 the European Chemicals Agency will ban the sale, manufacture, and import of all products containing PFOAs.

The Fluorocarbon Free Policy Working Group began meeting on a regular basis to facilitate the many facets of developing policy and rules that will harmonize all levels of domestic competition and training with FIS and IBU rules and regulations, and will lead to a complete ban of fluorinated wax products at all levels of sanctioned competition. The Working Group is committed to:

  • Asking manufacturers to work toward providing a list of waxes where the manufacturer represents that the wax is free of fluorinated products 
  • Working with FIS and the IBU to coordinate the testing process and thresholds below the World Championships/World Cup level
  • Establishing rules, deterrents, and appeals processes
  • Establishing clear and concise stakeholder communications

While key questions remain, including testing, enforcement, and ultimately sanctions for using fluorinated products, all participating NGBs in the United States and NSOs in Canada are fully committed to banning the use of fluorinated wax from all levels of sanctioned snow sports competition starting with the 2020-21 ski and snowboard season.