By NZHJ May 03, 2016 Building Materials

Updated: Commerce Commission progress on steel mesh investigations.

The Commission yesterday signed "court enforceable undertakings" with Steel & Tube, under which the company will only sell its SE62 500E grade steel mesh that passes specific independent testing.

These undertakings are similar to those entered into with Euro Corporation last week.

This means each batch of 500E grade steel mesh sold in the future has to pass "stringent independent testing" before being offered for sale as 500E mesh and all test results must be given to the Commission.

The testing requirements are said to be in line with a clarification to the Standard that MBIE is developing, following its 14 April technical advisory meeting with industry and technical experts.

The idea of this clarification is to ensure a uniform approach to testing steel mesh under the Standard (AS/NZ 4671:2001) and provide clarity around the testing methodology.

The Commission will reassess the need for court enforceable undertakings when MBIE has clarified or amended the standard. A copy of the undertakings can be found on the Commission’s website.

The Commission however also says it is continuing to investigate if Steel & Tube breached the Fair Trading Act by producing testing certificates "which included the logo of a laboratory which did not undertake the testing or by making misleading or unsubstantiated representations that the steel it supplied complied with the standard".

The Commission has also purchased and tested samples of mesh from United Steel and Fletcher Building which met the requirements of the Standard.

United Steel provided the Commission with information about its testing procedures and long-term quality testing data which showed that its SE62 steel mesh, according to the Commission, "appears to comply with the requirements of the Standard".

As a result, the Commission has closed its enquiry into United Steel and will be taking no further action at this time.

In terms of other issues that are ongoing, the Commission says it is investigating whether Timber King Ltd sold 500E grade steel mesh that did not comply with the Standard.

The Commission has tested Timber King mesh, the results of which indicate that it "may not comply" with the Standard.

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