Timber Treatment Shake-Up: Australia’s New CodeMark Pathway

Exclusive: Wood Central understands that there has been a growing dissatisfaction with the current standard and the standards review process.

Tue 30 Apr 24


A board meeting of the Timber Preservers Association of Australia has unanimously supported an initiative “to update, renew and add new technologies for wood treatment”, giving the green light for the peak industry body to explore product certification through the CodeMark Certification Scheme.

There has been a growing dissatisfaction with the current standard and the standards review process.

CodeMark, a voluntary third-party building product certification, is administered by the Australian Building Codes Board. It supports using new or innovative building products in specified circumstances, providing a nationally accepted process for demonstrating compliance with the National Construction Code.

The TPAA board has established an executive team to assist the chairman and secretary in working through the proposed certification changes. The approach will be an assessment of CodeMark and an industry-developed technical specification document that is clear, concise, and simple to use.

Stakeholder organisations, including Forest and Wood Products Australia, the Timber Development Association, Timber Queensland, Responsible Wood, and the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia, have been briefed on the TPAA initiative.

  • TPAA already has determined the CodeMark approach to certification has a host of benefits over the existing standard, such as:
  • Well accepted by retailers, designers, certifiers and state authorities under the National Construction Code.
  • By default, CodeMark is also a Quality Control Program that complies with consumer laws and is fit for purpose.
  • Increased responsibility up and down the supply chain.
  • CodeMark documents and specifications take significantly less time to change, and greater traceability will be achieved.
  • The certification scheme will remove the differing opinions that take up much of the discussions in standards meetings.

It is understood the supplying companies would undertake CodeMark certification for each preservative system they supply, and through the certification and auditing process, each of their clients would be licenced (or similar) to apply their CodeMark brand. Examples of this are now being utilised in the timber preservation industry.

The CodeMark system has obligations to building control authorities to accept a ‘certificate of conformity’ determined by the relevant state or territory legislation, policy, or directive.

Currently, the AS1604 standard covers only those preservatives used to preserve wood according to the specifications in Australian standard AS/NZS 1604 for preservative-treated wood-based products.

TPAA members include businesses in Australia and overseas, as well as chemical suppliers and related industries.

The association administers the Australian standards and maintains a list of timber preservation plants. It does not ‘register’ preservation plants but relies on members to produce fit-for-purpose preserved timber products.

In Australia, CodeMark is owned by the Australian Building Codes Board, while in New Zealand, the scheme is controlled by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

JAS-ANZ are administrators of both schemes. Only accredited certification bodies can issue CodeMark certificates.


  • Jim Bowden

    Jim Bowden, senior editor and co-publisher of Wood Central. Jim brings 50-plus years’ experience in agriculture and timber journalism. Since he founded Australian Timberman in 1977, he has been devoted to the forest industry – with a passion.


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