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Building product safety laws 

New powers to ban building products from 18 December 2017 

On 28 July 2017, in response to the Grenfell fire in London, the NSW Government announced a ten-point plan for fire safety which included the creation of a building product safety scheme around the use of dangerous building products.

The Building Products (Safety) Act 2017 will come into effect on 18 December 2017 which will introduce new laws to prevent the use of unsafe building products in building and construction, by identifying, restricting and rectifying building products which pose a safety risk in buildings.

The legislation will support laws that are already in place to promote the safety of residential, commercial and industrial buildings in NSW. 

If you are in the home building industry, or building or renovating a building with an owner-builder permit, you need to be aware of changes resulting from the new legislation.

Building product bans 

The NSW Government will have the power to prohibit the use of a building product by imposing a ban on any or all of a product’s uses. In particular, the contents of the ban may:

  • prohibit the use of a product which may cause serious injury or death
  • identify specific unsafe uses or all uses of a building product
  • identify the particular building to which the ban relates
  • identify the reasons for imposing the ban.

Any person or corporation who does not comply with the requirements of the ban will be subject to large fines. A corporation found to be using a banned product will be fined up to $1.1million and individuals will be fined up to $220,000.

A list of products that are being assessed, under investigation or banned will be available on the NSW Fair Trading website in due course. If you have concerns about a product, you can report your concerns to NSW Fair Trading online or by calling 13 32 20.

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Investigation and assessment of building products 

The NSW Government will have new powers to investigate building products which may be unsafe for use.

Where appropriate, manufacturers or suppliers will be required to have their products analysed or tested to ensure they are safe for use. If a building product is determined to be unsafe, the results of the assessment may be published on the NSW Fair Trading website.

Builders, building product suppliers, manufacturers and importers can be compelled to produce their records so dangerous building products can be tracked and pinpointed. Fair Trading investigators will have the power to contact any person who uses a potentially unsafe building product, or has information about the product which may assist with Fair Trading’s investigation.

If you have any information you would like to report on a building product, please contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or lodge your concerns online.

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Rectification of building work 

NSW Fair Trading will notify the local council or relevant authority of any building that contains banned products for investigation. If appropriate, the council or relevant authority will issue a rectification order and report back to NSW Fair Trading.

NSW Fair Trading will closely monitor the progress of all buildings that have been referred to councils and relevant authorities for investigation, to ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to minimise the safety risks posed by the building products.

Owners and tenants of buildings that are referred for investigation will be notified of the possible safety risk of the building product. If there is a risk posed to the community, the building’s details may also be published on the NSW Fair Trading website.

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