Russian import tariffs

14 April 2022

The Australian Government is taking further action to increase the economic costs to Russia following its illegal invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus.

From 25 April 2022, an additional tariff of 35 per cent will apply to all imports from Russia and Belarus.

This will increase costs for engineered wood products (EPW) used in flooring systems and roof trusses that are predominantly sourced from those regions.

Approximately 40 per cent of Australia’s EWP is sourced from Russia and alternative sources are presently limited due to the current high demand worldwide.

The impact

As a result, importers and suppliers will pass these costs onto building contractors before delivery impacting building contracts already in place.

What can I do?

The introduction of the tariff can be addressed within the Master Builders contract as a statutory variation. This allows the building contractor to increase the contract price and be included in the next or any later progress claim or the final claim.

When doing this, you will need to provide a breakdown of costs from the supplier that identifies those timber products affected by the tariff that will be passed onto the owner.

Get it in writing

You should also ensure you seek satisfactory evidence of the owner’s capacity to pay and document the price increase via a compliant written variation, such as the templates that are available to members in eDocs.

More information

If you’d like general advice on the tariff increases, contact our Building Services team in the first instance.

For specific contractual advice regarding the tariff and the administration of a contract, please contact the team Members Legal.

Contact us or call 1300 30 50 10 for support, advice and more information.

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