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Department of Justice

Non-conforming building products

Do you have concerns about a building product?

If you suspect that a building product is non-conforming (ie. not what it claims to be), the Department of Justice wants to know.

Please report your concerns to CBOSinfo@justice.tas.gov.au or ring 1300 65 44 99

There have been national concerns about the risks of using non-conforming building products. Using the wrong products and materials can lead to:

  • significant repair and replacement costs
  • risk to health and safety
  • in some cases building failure.

To make sure Tasmanian buildings are safe, healthy and durable, building work must meet:

  • the National Construction Code (NCC)
  • relevant technical standards, and
  • state legislation.

Your building product may be non-conforming if:

  • it fails to perform to the expected standard
  • it needs repair shortly after installation or construction
  • appearance, strength, functionality or durability is compromised
  • supporting documentation (eg. manufacturer testing) seems questionable
  • it causes safety or health issues.

How can consumers ensure their building products conform?

  • Talk to your designer, builder or building surveyor about product suitability
  • Consumers should understand conformity requirements when buying building products and materials.

Non-conforming building products

  • Claim to be something they are not
  • Do not meet the required Standards for their intended use
  • Are marketed or supplied with the intent to deceive those who use them.

A non-conforming building product does not meet Australian Standards.

Example: a 'combustible' building product is labelled 'non-combustible'. This is non-conforming.

Non-compliant building products

Non-complaint building products are products which comply with Australian Standards but are being used for the wrong purpose.

Example: a 'combustible' building product is installed where only non-combustible products are allowed by the National Construction Code. This is non-compliant.

Everyone in the supply chain has responsibility for their products, including:

  • manufacturers
  • importers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers and retailers
  • architects, designers, engineers and other specialists
  • building surveyors
  • builders.

Manufacturers’ products sold as conforming products should have material testing, assurances and certification. Manufacturer statements should also clearly specify how to use a product.

Importers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers and retailers must not breach trade or consumer laws. They should also be able to supply information about the product including limitations.

Architects, designers, engineers and other specialists must ensure that any products, materials or systems specified are “fit for purpose” and meet the NCC, Australian Standards and local laws.

Building Surveyors have a role in inspecting building work. They need to be aware of the issue of non-conforming building products. Evidence of the suitability of a product should be sought by the building surveyor where necessary.

Builders should know a product is suitable before installation. This is because builders are most likely to be involved in disputes and rectification work if things go wrong.

In Tasmania there are six different types of evidence that can be used to verify that a product conforms and or complies with the NCC. These are:

  1. CodeMark or WaterMark Certificate of Conformity
  2. accreditation by the Director of Building Control
  3. certificate from an appropriately qualified person such as an engineer
  4. certificate from a product certification body accredited by the Joint Accreditation Scheme of Australian and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ)
  5. report issued by a registered testing authority
  6. other suitable documentary evidence.