Finnish type approval decrees concerning building products issued under the previous Land Use and Building Act will be repealed at the turn of the year. This is based on the reform of construction regulations due to occur at the turn of the year. The Ministry of the Environment is currently preparing new type approval decrees; however, not all of them can be replaced by the end of the year.
The building control authority assesses whether a type approval is sufficient
The type approvals granted prior to 1 January 2018 will be in force next year, as before.
However, the building control authority will assess how well the type approval decisions issued before the turn of the year 2017–2018 fulfil the new essential technical requirements. Based on the draft decrees, the requirement levels seem unlikely to change significantly compared to the current level. In many cases, type approvals granted before the turn of the year will presumably, therefore, be suitable for demonstrating compliance even after the turn of the year.
However, if certain conditions are fulfilled, the building control authority can request that the compliance of the product be verified and demonstrated. This will involve construction site-specific verification. In such cases, the compliance of the building product can be demonstrated e.g. with a VTT product certificate.
What should I do, if my product's type approval is ending?
Before the turn of the year, type approvals will be granted as usual in accordance with the valid decrees. If your product's type approval is ending in 2018, you can therefore renew it in 2017, meaning that the approval will be in force for five years.
If you notice, in 2018, that the validity of your product's type approval is ending, or if you are placing new products on the market and a new decree is not yet in force, you can apply for a VTT Type Approval Certificate. This will apply the assessment criteria from the repealed type approval decree. The certificate will be in force for a maximum of two years, and can be used similarly to type approval.
Will I need to reapply for type approval after the new decree enters into force?
If the requirements of the new type approval decree match those of the old decree, there will be no need to apply for new type approval before the old decree expires. However, if you want to ensure that there is no need to present additional information, you should update the type approval to correspond to the new decree.
The new type approval decrees will enter into force gradually
The preliminary schedule given by the Ministry of the Environment for the entry into force of the new type approval decrees:
At the end of 2017
PEX pipes and flexible connection pipes.
In the summer of 2018
Fittings for PEX Pipes, multilayer pipes and their fittings, press fittings for copper tubes, pipeline fittings made of brass and copper, copper tubes, shut-off valves and back flow valves.
In the autumn of 2018
PE pipes and their fittings, floor gullies, sanitary tapware, water traps, stainless steel pipes and their fittings for drinking water purposes, as well as sewage pipes and pipeline fittings made of mineral modified polypropylene (PP-MD).
The type approval decree preparations have not yet been started for other product groups. No new decrees will be issued to replace previously repealed type approval decrees (concrete-steel composite slabs, concrete-steel composite beams, wood-concrete composite slabs and building boards).
If type approval is not possible, the compliance of product groups can be demonstrated by e.g. a VTT type approval certificate or a VTT product certificate.
For more information by Ministry of the Environment (only in finnish).