Parents shopping for back-to-school stationery could face price hikes and empty shelves, as logistics and materials pressures cause suppliers to ration goods.
The Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association has called on the federal government to ease white paper import duties, after timber shortages blocked production at Australia's last white paper mill in Victoria.
"There's some rationing sort of going on around the amount that we can order but at the moment we've still got product on shelves," association chief executive Ben Kearney told AAP.
"I'm concerned that down the line we might start to see that situation where there's a lack of availability."
Mr Kearney said newsagents and other retailers were looking at a more than 50 per cent increase in paper costs over a matter of months.
White paper production at Opal Australian Paper's Maryvale mill was impacted in late December due to timber shortages after state-owned supplier VicForests was ordered to scale back harvesting in parts of Victoria.
The Victorian Supreme Court found VicForests failed to adequately survey logging coupes for two protected possum species.
VicForests is appealing against the decision, with a hearing in the Court of Appeal on March 23.
Office product companies have also called for an end to white paper import tariffs, as shortages push them towards foreign paper, Office Brands chief executive Adam Joy said.
"The tariffs were there to stop injury to the Australian manufacturing market, but there is no Australian manufacturing market at the moment but we're all paying the tariffs," Mr Joy told AAP.
The association and Office Brands said they were supportive of workers at Maryvale mill and hoped the supply disruption would be resolved as soon as possible.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told AAP Australia's import duties were low at 5 per cent.
"And under Australia's existing network of free trade agreements (FTA), FTA partners have duty-free access into Australia, including major countries supplying paper into Australia, such as China and Indonesia," it said in a statement.
The Department of Industry, Science and Resources, which handles anti-dumping and countervailing duties, has been contacted for comment.
The CFMEU is calling for an audit on the amount of white paper available in the country.
The manufacturing union flagged a potential shortfall in paper products including doctor scripts, exercise books and government services documentation.
"We don't have a sense of how much white paper is actually available in the country at this point in time," secretary of the Pulp and Paper Workers District, Denise Campbell-Burns, told AAP.
"People could be going to the doctor and the doctor can't print their script."
Ms Campbell-Burns said removing tariffs would do nothing for sovereign capability.
"To not make any white paper products in our country anymore, it's a real risk," she said.
The CFMEU wants the Victorian and federal governments to intervene to reinstate production at Maryvale.
The disruption at Opal has led to 49 production workers being stood down, but their pay will be guaranteed by the Victorian government until mid-February.
Opal, owned by Japan's Nippon Paper Group, said no decision on further stand-downs had been made, but it was considering "scaling down" white paper manufacturing.
The company says it continues to consider different operational scenarios for the longer term, in case possible alternative wood sources are not feasible.
On Wednesday, Victorian Environment Minister Ingrid Stitt said talks were continuing between the government and Opal.
Australian Associated Press