Buying Taps from Overseas?

by | Aug 18, 2020

Buying Taps From Overseas?

Are you thinking of buying taps from overseas? It isn’t such a crazy question. With Instagram and Pinterest fueling our love of renovation, we’re exposed to products from around the world. And with everyone spending more time at home, online browsing and shopping are at an all time peak. So can you save yourself money by buying products from China? Or create that wow factor by using European and American taps you can’t find here in Australia? The short answer is no. Sorry.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) implemented an improved scheme for plumbing/drainage products in August 2017. The scheme ensures products “are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing and drainage installations”. Queensland uses it in conjunction with their own new laws implemented in 2017. These create a chain of responsibility for building products. The end goal is the elimination of non-conforming building products.

Non Conforming Products

The QBCC says a product is non-conforming if it “…is unsafe, does not comply with the relevant regulatory provisions (e.g. the National Construction Code), or its performance does not meet, or is incapable of meeting, the claimed standard of performance”

  1. Products falsely advertised. A threaded cyclone rod does not have the required level of corrosion protection. The manufacturer or supplier sells it as a “cyclone rod”.
  2. Products with fraudulent documentation. For example it may include fraudulent certification or test results.
  3. Product Substitution. A product is certified but the manufacturer or installer alters it. It is then used without getting retested or recertified.
  4. Counterfeit Building Products – Copies of products created with the intention to deceive.

Click QBCC Non Conforming Products for more information on non conforming products.

Watermark Certification

Watermark Certification specifically relates to plumbing and drainage products. It states everyone in the supply chain must ensure products have Watermark certification. This includes manufacturers, suppliers and installers. All plumbing and drainage products must have the watermark logo stamp on them.

How Does This Affect Home Owners and Renovators

There are pros and cons:

PRO – Additional Protection – New regulations protects consumers more than old regulations. Instead of holding just one person responsible, everyone is now responsible.

CON – Limits Choice – The scheme is specific to Australian and New Zealand. So if you fall in love with taps and plumbing fixtures manufactured abroad, you’re out of luck. They probably won’t have Watermark certification and you therefore can’t use them. Always look for the Watermark stamp on your plumbing products. If a product doesn’t have it, check with the installer or supplier.

Click ABCB – Watermark Certification for more information about the Watermark Certification Scheme.


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