The Commerce Commission has lifted its advice to Brilliance Steel Limited (Brilliance) not to sell ductile steel mesh represented as grade 500E after reaching an interim agreement.

The agreement, which is consistent with similar agreements reached with other steel mesh companies, allows Brilliance to sell its 147E 500E grade steel mesh provided that each batch passes specific independent testing. All test results must be provided to the Commission.

As part of the agreement, Brilliance has signed court enforceable undertakings that require each current and future batch of 500E grade steel mesh to be tested at an IANZ accredited laboratory. The steel mesh must pass 18 tests per batch (3 sheets, 6 tests per sheet) before being offered for sale as 500E mesh, and all test results must be provided to the Commission.

The testing requirements are in line with an expected clarification to the standard that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is currently developing, after convening a technical advisory meeting with industry and technical experts in April. The clarification will be designed to ensure a uniform approach to testing steel mesh under the standard (AS/NZ 4671:2001) and remove any confusion over the appropriate 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 will be available shortly on the Enforcement Response Register.

The Commission’s investigation into historical non-compliance with the standard is ongoing and is focused on possible misrepresentations as to the performance characteristics of the mesh. Misrepresenting a product as complying with the standard when it does not is a breach of the Fair Trading Act 1986 for which companies can be fined up to $600,000 per offence.


Steel mesh sold in New Zealand, described as 500E, must comply with the Australia/New Zealand standard (AS/NZ 4671:2001).

The Commission received test results that showed samples of product tested from a number of companies, including Brilliance did not meet the requirements of the standard.

In March 2016, the Commission issued a Stop Now letter, requesting that Brilliance stop selling steel mesh until the Commission’s concerns were addressed. Brilliance complied with that request. The media release relating to this can be found here.