Authorised and approved bodies

National procedures for product approval are voluntary procedures for approval of construction products that are used in Finland for some of the essential products for which CE marking cannot be used. This means construction products outside the scope of any harmonised product standard or European Technical Assessment (ETA). National procedures for product approval can be used to demonstrate that a construction product outside the scope of application of the CE marking meets the requirements of the Land Use and Building Act.

There are three national procedures for the approval of construction products:

The Ministry of the Environment authorises a body to grant type approvals, approves a body to grant verification certificates, or authorises a body to act as a certifying body for quality control, if the body meets the requirements set for it. General requirements set for the bodies are included in the Act on the Type Approval of Certain Construction Products (Laki eräiden rakennustuotteiden tuotehyväksynnästä 954/2012). The Ministry of the Environment requires that the applicant is accredited in terms of the general legal requirements regarding the body's expertise, reliability and independence. Accreditation generally refers to verifying the competence of the testing, inspection and certification bodies.

The Ministry can authorise or approve a body for its task either for a fixed period of time or until further notice. The authorisation or approval can be limited to a more restrictive scope than the activities proposed in the application. Conditions necessary for the operation and for monitoring the activities can be attached to the decision. It is also possible to include a condition in the decision that if the operation does not begin before the deadline, the authorisation or approval will be cancelled.

The Ministry also monitors compliance with the law and the provisions issued under it, with the other regulations issued on the approval of construction products, and with the terms of its decision regarding authorisation and approval. The bodies are obliged to provide the Ministry with information necessary for monitoring concerning any significant changes in the operations, such as changes in ownership. The Ministry has the right to conduct any inspections necessary for monitoring at the body's office and laboratory facilities to determine the operating conditions. The building control authorities assist the Ministry of the Environment in its monitoring tasks.

Furthermore, the Ministry can issue a written warning to an authorised or approved body or suspend its operations in situations defined by law. For example, if the operation does not comply with provisions in the Act on the Type Approval of Certain Construction Products, or with provisions issued under this act, or with other provisions on the approval of construction products, this would constitute such a situation. In addition, the Ministry is legally obliged to cancel the authorisation or approval in situations where, for example, the approved or authorised body does not maintain regular activities or terminates its activities.

Type approval bodies

The fitness of a construction product for its intended use is verified by type approval, if the technical characteristics of the construction product have a significant impact on the fulfilment of the essential technical requirements of the object of construction, if the building product type is widely used, and if type approval makes it possible to simplify or unify the actions of the building control authority. In addition, the certification of quality control is a condition for type approval.

Type approval is granted by a type approval body authorised by the Ministry of the Environment. The Ministry of the Environment can authorise a body to grant type approvals, if the applicant body meets the requirements set in the Act on the Type Approval of Certain Construction Products and in the Ministry of the Environment decree (Ympäristöministeriön asetuseräiden rakennustuotteiden tuotehyväksynnästä  555/2013, in Finnish).

The manufacturer of the product has the right to apply for type approval. Both domestic and foreign bodies can apply for the role of a type approval body. The company form of the body is not regulated. However, the body must have liability insurance or an equivalent arrangement for potential damages.

More detailed information on how to apply to become a type approval body is found in the file below.

The verification certificate: authorised bodies

The verification certificate can be used to approve construction products, when the products in question affect the fulfilment of the essential technical requirements of the building. Type approval is used for the most important construction products for fulfilling the requirements, and verification certificates are used for the less demanding products. However, it is also possible to use a verification certificate for the approval of construction products that may have a significant impact on the essential technical requirements of a building. This is used when the characteristics of the products make them better suited for approval by a verification certificate.

The verification certificate is issued by a body approved by the Ministry of the Environment. The Ministry of the Environment can approve a body to issue verification certificates, if the applicant body meets the requirements set in the Act on the Type Approval of Certain Construction Products and in the Ministry of the Environment decree (Ympäristöministeriön asetuseräiden rakennustuotteiden tuotehyväksynnästä  555/2013, in Finnish). Both domestic and foreign bodies can apply for the role of approved body. The company form of the body is not regulated.

Acquiring a verification certificate is voluntary for the manufacturer. The information provided in the verification certificate varies based on the product or product group. The body issues a verification certificate based either on the continuous verification of the manufacturing of the product or on a batch-specific sampling inspection. The verification certificate requires that the manufacturer performs its own quality control during production, and that the quality control is certified by the certifying body for production quality control.

More detailed information on how to apply to become a body granting verification certificates is found in the file below.

Certifying bodies for quality control

Certification of production quality control is a voluntary approval procedure for construction products, introduced in Finland on 1 July 2013. The certification of production quality control can be used to confirm that the construction product is fit for the intended use, if type approval has not been granted or a verification certificate cannot be issued. The manufacturer of a construction product can maintain an internal quality control system in the factory.  With this system, the manufacturer of a construction product can confirm that the characteristics of the product fulfil the essential technical requirements set for it for the intended use declared by the manufacturer.

A certifying body, which is approved by the Ministry of the Environment, certifies the internal quality control system for production. The certifying body must state the assessment criteria it uses in its certification. The certifying body for production quality control must use a mark certifying quality control that differs from any other marks that it may use. The mark must include the text “valmistuksen laadunvalvonta” (production quality control).

The Ministry of the Environment can authorise a body to act as a certifying body for quality control, if the applicant body meets the requirements set in the Act on the Type Approval of Certain Construction Products and in the Ministry of the Environment decree (Ympäristöministeriön asetuseräiden rakennustuotteiden tuotehyväksynnästä 555/2013, in Finnish). Both domestic and foreign bodies can apply for the role of a certifying body for quality control. The company form of the body is not regulated.

More detailed information on how to apply to become a certifying body for quality control is found in the file below.

Published 2014-03-26 at 12:44, updated 2019-08-30 at 14:43