Posted: 5 June 2018
Product certification bodies are accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) to issue CodeMark certificates. These certification bodies may be accredited to issue CodeMark certificates for compliance with the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC), the Building Code of Australia, or both, under the respective scheme rules.
Each CodeMark certificate relates only to compliance with either the NZBC, or the Building Code of Australia. Building products must be certified separately for each country due to differences in the building codes and regulatory systems.
New Zealand CodeMark certificates should explicitly state that the product complies with the NZBC and must reference all NZ Building Code clauses that the certificate applies to. If any relevant performance clauses are not covered by the certificate further evidence of compliance with these clauses should be sought from the manufacturer or supplier.
Under Section 19 of the Building Act 2004, a product certificate issued under the CodeMark scheme for New Zealand must be accepted by building consent authorities (BCAs) as evidence of compliance with the NZBC for the clauses it applies to. All conditions on the certificate need to be met and the proposed use of the product must be within the scope defined on the certificate.
Using products with Australian CodeMark certificates in New Zealand
Australian CodeMark certificates do not have automatic acceptance in New Zealand, so caution needs to be taken if these certificates are submitted as part of a building consent application.
Products assessed for certification under the Australian CodeMark scheme go through a similar process to those certified under the New Zealand scheme. There are differences between New Zealand's environmental and regulatory settings and those in Australia, and these differences would need to be considered.
A particular issue for products originating from outside of New Zealand is that terminology used to explain technical information about the product may be inconsistent with that used in New Zealand. The technical information may not be sufficiently clear for designers, installers, and the BCA's processing and inspection officers.
BCAs can, at their discretion, place some reliance on an Australian CodeMark certificate when processing building consent applications, but would still need to be satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that compliance with the NZBC has been demonstrated for the particular situation.
If the supplier of an Australian CodeMark certificate provides any evidence of a product's performance, designers and BCAs may be able to consider that evidence and its suitability for the New Zealand context in which the product is proposed to be used. Evidence of performance might include the results of relevant tests undertaken by recognised laboratories, and appraisals or assessments from experts.
If supporting evidence is not available, designers and BCAs may need to question the suitability of the product, particularly if the product is complex, new to the market, or if the Australian Building Code clauses referenced on the certificate are not directly relatable to the performance requirements of the NZBC.