Purchasing wood panels: All you need to know
To ensure you get wood panel products that meet your needs and legal obligations you need to be able to tick all these boxes.
There are nation-wide concerns that wood products not fit for purpose are being used in local construction.
The Australian Industry Group (AiG) has reported the nature and size of the issue (visit www.aigroup.com.au/policy/reports/archive2013).
The AiG highlights the impact of non-compliant building products on the building industry. Since this report was tabled in 2013, there have been several high profile product failures, including electrical wiring and facading.
THE AUSTRALIAN WOOD PANELS INDUSTRY
The Australian wood panels industry manufactures around 1.48 million ㎥ of products, including particleboard, MDF and plywood, valued at $2.1 billion a year and employs around 4200 people. In most cases, manufacturing is located in regional communities providing opportunities for local people.
Non-compliant products in the Australian market present significant financial, health and safety risk. To ensure products are fit for purpose, safe and meet your legal obligations, please read the details under the information tabs relating to you.
The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) operates a product certification scheme accredited by JAS-ANZ. This scheme requires a production facility to maintain a documented process control system and conduct in-mill end-product testing and rigorous internal audit procedures.
The mills are subject to third party audits by the EWPAA. Additionally, end-product quality is independently verified by an external body (EWPAA) by testing and inspection of test samples, both supplied by the mill, and selected independently of the mill in the open market and during audits.
When purchasing wood panel products, look for credible product certification marks, such as the EWPAA brand and be aware of your responsibilities for QUALITY, SAFETY, AND LEGALITY.
"To put it simply... it is an important industry for Australia."
Hopefully, by the time you have got to this section you have realised that meeting your responsibilities for imported products is not simply getting it onto a ship and out to the market. You have responsibilities much the same as those of manufacturers and the best thing you can do is to become educated about those responsibilities. There are more details provided in this document and several excellent buying guides to refer to. They are produced by the IndustryEdge™ – The Australian Particleboard, MDF and Plywood Specifying and Buying Guide, and the Australian Procurement and Construction Council, (APCC) – Procurement of Construction Products: A Guide to Achieving Compliance.