It is not safe to assume that because a product is for sale in Australia it is suitable for building work.

If you are in doubt about any product, your best recourse is to speak to a Master Builder who will be able to undertake your project in a safe way and put your mind at ease.

Builders or trade contractors who are Master Builders members receive regular updates and training on what is going on in the industry so they are better equipped to deal with the situation and manage the risks. They are likely to have long-term relationships with suppliers, allowing for recourse should something go wrong.

Non-conforming products can be found across all areas of construction, from steel, copper and electrical products to glass, aluminium and engineered wood - from the roof down to the bolts and screws.

Your builder or trade contractor will ensure all the products and materials they use meet the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC).

Retailers do not need to meet the requirements of the NCC so you cannot assume that because something is for sale, even with a large Australian retailer, that it meets the requirements of the NCC. You will need a building professional to check.

If you choose to source products yourself you will have no recourse with your builder under Australian Consumer Law should it fail. Instead, you will need to take it up directly with the supplier yourself. However as your builder or trade contractor will still have a responsibility under the NCC, they are likely to ask you to provide "evidence of suitability." This will include a:

  • Report issued by a registered testing authority (registered with NATA or an authority recognised by NATA)
  • Current "Certificate of Conformity" issued under CodeMark or a WaterMark certification mark
  • Certificate from an engineer or other appropriately qualified person
  • Current certificate issue by a product certification body that has been accredited by JAS-ANZ
  • Other documentary evidence.

Be careful to check that the documentation provided is both current and genuine:

  • Counterfeits and fraud are rife so be alert to false documentation.
  • Standards change and quality varies so check that the evidence is current and directly relates to the product being supplied and to where or how it is going to be used.

For further information, refer to the Procurement of Construction Products: A guide to achieving compliance produced by the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council.