Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) becomes operational
From 1 January 2011 Finland has a new national safety authority. This is following the incorporation of the chemical products surveillance in Finland under a new agency called the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). With a staff of more than 200 people, the new Tukes is an even larger centre for product surveillance that oversees and promotes technical safety and conformity in a variety of branches as well as performing consumer and chemical safety duties.
At the turn of the year Tukes took over the chemical products surveillance duties of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira), with the 74 employees performing the relevant duties in the three agencies now employed by Tukes. The new chemicals functions take place in Tukes under the Chemical Products Surveillance Group that attends to implementation, enforcement and surveillance duties as well as registration services related to industrial and consumer chemicals, biocides and plant protection products.
Tukes is based in Helsinki and Tampere, with most of the Chemical Products Surveillance Group staff working in Helsinki, while the Chemical Products Register stays in Tampere.
The centralisation of the public administration for chemicals harmonises and increases the efficiency of chemical products surveillance practices and therefore facilitates the implementation of recently reformed and increasingly demanding EU legislation. Services will also be improved in terms of quality and accessibility, as all chemical products surveillance tasks are now attended to by one agency in Finland.
Tukes' scope of duties expanded
We supervise products, services and production systems within our field of operations and enforce the relevant legislation. The purpose of our activities is to protect people, property and the environment against safety risks. Tukes' branches include electricity and lifts, production plants for chemicals, explosives, firework products, pressure equipment, measuring instruments, articles of precious metals, rescue service equipment, construction products, consumer safety and the energy- and eco-efficiency of products.
From 1 January 2011 our new duties include product surveillance duties related to industrial and consumer chemicals and biocides, risk assessment, approval and surveillance duties concerning plant protection products as well as the Chemical Products Register. Tukes is the Finnish national agency responsible for chemical products surveillance and an important partner of the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), particularly as for the implementation of the REACH and the CLP Regulations.
Tukes' scope of duties has expanded considerably over the past twelve months. The beginning of 2010 saw the transfer of consumer safety duties to Tukes from the Consumer Agency, and the takeover of Finnish mining authority duties by Tukes is currently being planned.
Tukes operates under several Government ministries, with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in charge of its administrative steering and supervision.
We also received a new logo and visual appearance at the turn of the year, and our revamped website opened today. Our addresses and phone numbers, electronic contact details and website address (www.tukes.fi) will remain unchanged.
For more information:
Seppo Ahvenainen, Director General, phone +358 10 6052 555
Johanna Salomaa-Valkamo, Head of Communications, phone +358 10 6052 481