Information for the Applicant

Why apply for a Technical Approval, ATG, and which information must be provided?

The Technical Approval, ATG, is an instrument intended to facilitate acceptance of the product or system covered by the approval, by the Belgian construction sector (insurers, works’ inspection bodies, …) and in particular, by the specifiers (public procurers and architects) and contractors (installers, assemblers). Applying for a Technical Approval, ATG, is a voluntary initiative taken by the applicant. There is no legal requirement that requires products to be covered by a Technical Approval, ATG.
Technical Approvals, ATG, covered unique, innovative and complex products and systems.
The Technical Approval aims at informing the Belgian construction sector that the product or system in which the product is being used, is fit for the intended use, is in accordance with the Belgian Works’ legislation and may be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled in accordance with the generally applicable Belgian state of the art and without undue risks. Products covered by technical approvals are always certified to ensure that the product specified in the technical approval text corresponds with the product that is placed on the Belgian market.
Consequently, when applying for a technical approval, it is important for the applicant to know

  • Where the product is being made, whether production takes place in one or several production facilities and whether manufacturing is subcontracted, whether the product’s properties and performances are being checked through a factory production control system and whether the applicant is able to permit the UBAtc’s operators to access the production facilities
  • Which materials or components the product is made out of
  • How the product should be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled and whether other products (possibly marketed by other suppliers) are necessary to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product
  • Whether designers need particular information
  • Whether contractors need specific information and skills to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product

Summarizing, the Technical Approval, ATG, is an excellent means to demonstrate that the Belgian construction sector can use your product with confidence, having all the information that the parties concerned need.
For particular products, variants to the Technical approval, ATG, have been developed to reply to the specific needs of subsectors of the construction sector (ATG/D, ATG-E, ATG/H, ATG/S and ATG-M).

Why apply for a European Technical Assessment, ETA, and which information must be provided?

The European Technical Assessment, ETA, is a legal instrument created by the European Construction Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) N° 305/2011). It is an alternative route for manufacturers to obtain the right to draw up and make available a declaration of performance, permitting the manufacturer to affix the CE marking on to his product. If CE marked, the product may circulate in the European Union internal market. In short, the European Technical Assessment provides access to the European market.
Once a European Technical Assessment has been issued, the manufacturer needs to demonstrate conformity of the products placed on the market with the ETA. How this needs to be done, depends on the conformity assessment system that applies for the product. This may be self-assessment, but may also be certification by a notified body.
Applying for a European Technical Assessment, ETA, is only possible if the product is not (yet) covered by a European harmonised standard. European Technical Assessments, ETA, cover products that deviate from the scope of European harmonised standards.
Applying for an ETA is a voluntary initiative taken by the applicant. There is no legal requirement that requires products to be covered by a European Technical Assessment, ETA.
Consequently, when applying for a European Technical Assessment, it is important for the applicant to know

  • Where the product is being made, whether the product’s properties and performances are being checked through a factory production control system and whether the applicant is able to permit the UBAtc’s operators to access the production facilities
  • Which materials or components the product is made out of
  • How the product should be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled and whether other products (possibly marketed by other suppliers) are necessary to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product

The European Technical Assessment concerns the product as placed on the market. Therefore, information regarding installation, incorporation, execution or assembly and design may be less extensive.
Summarizing, the European Technical Assessment, ETA, is a means of gaining access to all European Union countries, but it does not guarantee that the users in those countries will have sufficient information and confidence to use your product.

Can a product be covered by an ATG and an ETA?

The Technical approval, ATG, and the European Technical Assessment, ETA, are complementary schemes, with different objectives.
The Technical approval, ATG, provides market acceptance by the Belgian construction sector, the European Technical Assessment, ETA, provides market access in the European Union.
Consequently, it is possible for a product to be covered by a European Technical Assessment, ETA, and by a Technical approval, ATG.

What if I want to sell my products outside of Belgium?

The assessment performed by the UBAtc operator is intended to check whether construction products are fit for the intended use, are in accordance with the Belgian Works’ legislation and may be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled in accordance with the generally applicable Belgian state of the art and without undue risks. This does not mean that the Technical Approval, ATG, cannot be used by public procurers, architects, contractors, installers, assemblers, insurers, works’ inspection bodies, etc. in other countries, but the UBAtc does not verify whether the product is in accordance with legislation and the state-of-the-art in those other countries. Consequently, it is possible that those parties may require additional and other information.
In many other countries schemes which are similar to the Belgian Technical Approval scheme exist. Because many manufacturers sell their products in several countries, the UBAtc is member of the European network of Technical Approval Bodies, the UEAtc, and the World Federation of Technical Assessment Organisations, the WFTAO. If a UBAtc applicant is interested in obtaining an approval in other countries, the UBAtc may be able to provide a service by contacting its colleagues.

Applying for a Technical Approval, ATG, or European Technical Assessment, ETA

It all starts with submitting an application.
If you still have doubts before initiating a procedure, do not hesitate contacting the UBAtc secretariat or one of the UBAtc operators. We will be happy to help and support you in submitting your request, if necessary.

In order to officially start a dossier for the establishment of a Technical Approval, ATG, or European Technical Assessment, ETA, the appropriate application form must be duly completed and returned to info@butgb-ubatc.be.

The technical file

In order to better understand the subject of your application, to correctly assess the complexity and scope of the work, a technical file should be attached to your request form.
This enables the approval operator to assess the extent of the work to be done and thus to correctly determine the price of the procedure and includes the following elements (non-exhaustive list):

  • Description of the product or system: Does it concern a product, a system or a kit? Which materials or components is the product made out of? Are there variants and what are these (e.g. different sizes, shapes, thicknesses, colours, …), assembly drawings.
  • The intended of use of the product or system: What is the field of application and what are the expected properties and performances of the product?
  • How and where is the product being made. Is production taking place in one or several production facilities and is manufacturing subcontracted. Are the product’s properties and performances being checked through a factory production control system and is the applicant able to permit the UBAtc’s operators to access the production facilities
  • How should the product be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled and are other products (possibly marketed by other suppliers) necessary to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product? Provide details, plan, assembly drawings, etc. to demonstrate how the product or system needs to be incorporated in the works.
  • Do designers need particular information
  • Do contractors need specific information and/or skills to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product?
  • Already available test reports, approvals and certificates: It may be useful to attach to the technical file the reports of internal tests or tests carried out by a third party to allow UBAtc to better understand the product and the assessment work that needs to be performed.

When to submit my request?

Should I submit my request before or after my product is marketed?
The technical assessment performed to establish the Technical Approval (or European Technical Assessment) text should be done on the product that is being manufactured in a controlled environment, with stable properties and performances. Changes during the Technical approval process will lead to delays and extra costs.
Nevertheless, we do invite manufacturers to involve UBAtc experts as soon as possible, because it is possible that tests performed during the research and development process may also be used during the technical approval process. Tests performed on prototypes can generally only be used in the technical approval process in case UBAtc experts have been involved. So to prevent unnecessary duplication of tests, it is advisable to involve the UBAtc as soon as possible. The UBAtc experts are not permitted to disclose any information.

Having submitted my application, what happens next ?

Once your request is submitted, a file number will be communicated to you by a notice of receipt and the application and the technical file will be send to the UBAtc operator and its experts (the Executive Board). This operator and the group of experts is determined taking into account the nature and intended use of your product.
If anything is unclear or missing from your file one of the UBAtc operator’s experts will contact you.
Based on the available information, the operator’s Executive Board will determine whether your request is admissible or not. That is, whether or not your product can be the subject of technical approval.
The notice of admissibility that you will receive will also inform you about the costs for the technical approval process and you will also be informed about certification costs.

What is the approval or assessment process ?

The technical approval process comprises three main steps: 

  • Submission of an application, examination of the admissibility and confirmation of the admissibility, which also covers the quotation 
  • The technical examination and development of the certification file 
  • Publication, translation and continuous assessment and certification 

How long does the technical approval process take?

Given the case-by-case assessment of the product and production and the particular risks that are being considered with regards to its installation, incorporation, execution or assembly and design, and the different intervening parties, the UBAtc, the approval and certification operator and, usually test laboratories, it is impossible to predict, on a general basis, how long it will take before a technical approval may be issued. However, for individual applications, the approval operator should be able to give an indication.

Translation of technical approval texts

Once published in the language version that the text was developed in, the technical approval text will be translated. UBAtc only publishes texts in Dutch, French and English, but at least in Dutch and French. Once available, the translated version(s) will also be published on the UBAtc website.

How much does it cost?

It is impossible to give an exact cost, because this depends on the complexity of the application. To enable us to estimate costs, we need the following information:

  • Where the product is being made, whether production takes place in one or several production facilities and whether manufacturing is subcontracted, whether the product’s properties and performances are being checked through a factory production control system and whether the applicant is able to permit the UBAtc’s operators to access the production facilities
  • Which materials or components the product is made out of
  • How the product should be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled and whether other products (possibly marketed by other suppliers) are necessary to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product
  • Whether designers need particular information
  • Whether contractors need specific information and skills to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product

In addition, several costs must be taken into account by the applicant:

  • The costs for obtaining the approval. These costs will be determined on the basis of the information above by the competent executive board responsible for developing the technical approval following the analysis of your technical file. These costs cover the administrative costs, the costs related to the work of the engineer(s) involved (study of the file, establishment of an evaluation plan, monitoring the evaluation process, visiting the production facility or facilities, writing of an evaluation report, drafting of the approval text, presentation to and discussion in the Executive Board and the Specialized Group, completion and proof reading of the approval text)
  • Translation costs
  • Travel and accommodation costs (in case of production facilities outside Belgium)
  • The costs for the evaluation, in most cases testing, in accordance with the evaluation plan. These costs will be determined by the laboratory or laboratories that perform the evaluation
  • Costs for maintenance of the approval
    Costs for certification. These will be set by the certification operator in charge of your file.

In order to obtain a total budget, it is advisable to contact the various providers. Namely, UBAtc, the various laboratories for carrying out performance tests and the certification body. Any contact you may have with one of our experts before submitting your request may provide you with relevant information to determine a budget.

  • Where the product is being made, whether production takes place in one or several production facilities and whether manufacturing is subcontracted, whether the product’s properties and performances are being checked through a factory production control system and whether the applicant is able to permit the UBAtc’s operators to access the production facilities
    Which materials or components the product is made out of
  • How the product should be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled and whether other products (possibly marketed by other suppliers) are necessary to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product
  • Whether designers need particular information
  • Whether contractors need specific information and skills to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product

In addition, several costs must be taken into account by the applicant:

  • The costs for obtaining the approval. These costs will be determined on the basis of the information above by the competent executive board responsible for developing the technical approval following the analysis of your technical file. These costs cover the administrative costs, the costs related to the work of the engineer(s) involved (study of the file, establishment of an evaluation plan, monitoring the evaluation process, visiting the production facility or facilities, writing of an evaluation report, drafting of the approval text, presentation to and discussion in the Executive Board and the Specialized Group, completion and proof reading of the approval text)
  • Translation costs
  • Travel and accommodation costs (in case of production facilities outside Belgium)
  • The costs for the evaluation, in most cases testing, in accordance with the evaluation plan. These costs will be determined by the laboratory or laboratories that perform the evaluation
  • Costs for maintenance of the approval
  • Costs for certification. These will be set by the certification operator in charge of your file.

In order to obtain a total budget, it is advisable to contact the various providers. Namely, UBAtc, the various laboratories for carrying out performance tests and the certification body. Any contact you may have with one of our experts before submitting your request may provide you with relevant information to determine a budget.

What happens once the technical approval, ATG, has been issued?

Validity of the technical approval, ATG, and continuous assessment

As a rule the validity period of a technical approval, set by the relevant Executive Board, after confirmation by the Approval Operator and the UBAtc, is 3 or 5 years. The validity period depends on the technical consolidation concerning the product or system or the family thereof and the regularity of modifications, revisions and extensions during the previous validity periods. In the event of modification or extension, the end of the period of validity is maintained, while the beginning of the period of validity corresponds to the date on which the modified or extended technical approval text was signed.

On a case-by-case basis, the UBAtc may set another period of validity for ATG approvals. In the context of an Approval Scheme, the validity period of a series of approvals will always be the same.

However, for more and more families of products or technical domains, the principle of continuous assessment has been or is being introduced. This is a process that aims at the continuous validity of the approval and certification file and the technical approval text without necessitating a renewal request from the approval holder. As part of the continuous assessment, the maintenance of the approval text is carried out on a continuous basis. Only in case the scope of the technical approval changes significantly will a renewal be necessary.

Whether or not continuous assessment is being applied, in addition to regular surveillance inspections in the framework of certification, the product or system covered by the technical approval will always be subjected to regular verifications, ensuring that system performances as specified in the technical approval texts are still being achieved.

Introducing a modification to an existing technical approval or assessment

It is important to review the content of Technical Approval and European Technical Assessment texts regularly, ensuring that the specification of the product, production, product properties and performances and instructions with regards to installation, incorporation, execution or assembly and design, maintenance and repair continue to correspond with reality.

Technical Approval and European Technical Assessment holder are obliged to notify the UBAtc immediately in writing of any circumstance affecting the aforementioned correspondence.

In case the manufacturer intends to modify the content of the Technical Approval and European Technical Assessment, an application needs to be introduced.

Certification

Products covered by technical approvals are always certified to ensure that the product specified in the technical approval text corresponds with the product that is placed on the Belgian market.

Use of the ATG-mark

Technical approval holders may use the ATG-mark on their products, on a label attached to the product, on the packaging of the product or on a commercial document accompanying the product on delivery. Use of the logos of these marks must comply with the rules set out in the Regulations governing the use and control of the ATG figurative mark.

The ATG-mark has been protected and the UBAtc and its operators monitor the market, preventing misuse of the ATG-mark. After all, it is necessary to ensure that the investment of technical approval holders is rewarded. We are committed to taking legal action against persons or organizations that misuse the ATG-mark.

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