Essential technical requirements have been specified for some products based on a decree by the Ministry of the Environment, and compliance with them must be demonstrated. Compliance with the technical requirements can be demonstrated with a national type approval or other procedure that is generally accepted in the EU. There are essential technical requirements on HVAC products and concrete reinforcing bars and meshes.
National approval procedures include the following:
- Type approval
- Verification certificate
- Production quality control
The national procedure applied to a construction product is selected based on the product group. A construction product may only have one alternative approval procedure. The national product approval demonstrates that the construction product complies with the National Building Code of Finland.
In addition, there is a procedure based on mutual recognition within the EU based on which a product approved in one Member State may be sold in the other Member States.
Applying for type approval is voluntary for manufacturers. A type approval decision can only be obtained for construction products for which a type approval decree has been prepared. The Ministry of the Environment has prepared type approval decrees for construction products that affect compliance with the essential technical requirements of construction works. The essential technical requirements of a building are laid down in the Land Use and Building Act, and they involve the following:
- Resistance and stability
- Fire safety
- Health aspects
- Safety in use
- Noise prevention and sound
- Energy efficiency
A type approval decision demonstrates that the construction product complies with the requirements laid down in the type approval decree and the Land Use and Building Act.
The type approval must be applied from a type approval body authorised by the Ministry of the Environment. A type approval decision is valid for a maximum of five years. If the transitional period of the harmonised European standard ends or the manufacturer applies for and receives an European Technical Assessment for the product, the construction product must be furnished with a CE mark and the type approval is no longer valid.
Products placed on the market may be used for as long as they comply with the essential technical requirements laid down in the Land Use and Building Act or a decree based on the Act.
The type approval body may revoke a type approval decision if deficiencies in the verification of quality control are detected, or if Tukes has prohibited the use of the construction product or ordered the product to be withdrawn from the market.
The verification certificate is a voluntary approval procedure used in Finland. It replaces any verified product declaration issued prior to 1 July 2013.
The verification certificate is used to approve construction products that affect compliance with the essential technical requirements of buildings. The type approval procedure is used for more demanding construction products and the verification certificate for less demanding ones. The verification certificate is issued by a body approved by the Ministry of the Environment.
The verification certificate can be used to verify the characteristics of a construction product that are required by the Land Use and Building Act or a decree based on the Act. With the verification certificate, the manufacturer can demonstrate that the product can be used for construction and it complies with the requirements laid down in Finnish legislation.
The party who has granted the verification certificate may cancel the certificate if the construction product does not comply with the essential technical requirements based on the Land Use and Building Act or a decree based on the Act, or if detected deficiencies are not corrected on time. The verification certificate must also be revoked if Tukes has prohibited the use of the construction product or ordered the product to be withdrawn from the market. If the product is moved to the scope of application of the CE marking, the certificate becomes null and void.
Production quality control
If there are no type approval decrees or verification certificate assessment criteria for the group in question, the suitability of a construction product can be verified by means of production quality control.
The manufacturer of a construction product can demonstrate by means of an internal production quality control system of the factory or by means of testing that the construction product, in terms of its characteristics, complies with the specified essential technical requirements in the intended use specified by the manufacturer.
A quality control verifier approved by the Ministry of the Environment will verify the internal production quality control system. The verifier must indicate the assessment criteria used in the certificate.
The certificate may be revoked if deficiencies in the verification of quality control have been detected, or if Tukes has prohibited the use of the construction product or ordered the importer or manufacturer or an authorised representative to withdraw the product from the market. If the product is moved to the scope of application of the CE marking, the certificate becomes null and void.
Verification on the construction site
If national approval has not been applied for a construction product and the product characteristics cannot be demonstrated by any of the means listed above, suitability of the construction product may be demonstrated separately for each construction site.
The building supervision authority can require that the performance of a construction product is verified on the construction site, if if suitability of the construction product has not been demonstrated by any other means or if there is reason to suspect that the construction product does not fullfill the specified essential technical requirements.
In a case where a construction product has been approved for use in construction by an EU Member State but the product is not included in the scope of application of a harmonised standard, an approval given in the other Member State is considered to be a reliable demonstration of the construction product’s characteristics. The market surveillance authority may prohibit the placing of the product on the market of the Member State in question only for a justified reason.
The party implementing the construction project may use the information supplied with the product when establishing whether the construction product approved in another Member State meets the essential technical requirements laid down in the Land Use and Building Act or a decree based on the Act.