The rules for central approval in the Building Application Regulations (SAK10) are the same for Norwegian and foreign companies. The rules are neutral in relation to nationality.
Central approval is a quality scheme which documents the company's professionalism and expertise. Foreign companies can achieve central approval on the same terms as Norwegian companies. The purpose of the regulations is to ensure that buildings of good quality are constructed.
Language requirements of the application
An application for central approval of the right to accept responsibility must be completed in a Scandinavian language: Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, see Building Application Regulations (SAK10) § 5-1.
The certificate of central approval will only be issued in Norwegian.
Read the regulations
It is important that you know which requirements your company must fulfil and which information we require to process your application for central approval of the right to accept responsibility. You can find this information in SAK10 and in further detail in the Guidelines for SAK10 (in Norwegian language only).
Central approval of the right to accept responsibility is in principle given to companies, including agencies and other public organs, see SAK10 § 9-2. To apply for central approval, you will need a Norwegian organization number. Foreign businesses in need of a Norwegian organization number can register as a Norwegian registered foreign business (NUF).
The company must be pre-registered in the Register of Business Enterprises or the Register of Legal Entities.
The company must have a professional management with relevant qualifications, which match the approval area for which the company is applying. The qualification requirements must ensure that companies, which undertake the right to accept responsibility in building cases, hold and use sufficient and relevant qualifications to undertake tasks in accordance with the Planning and Building Act.
See Guidelines for SAK10 Chapter 11 for further details of the qualification requirements.
Foreign educational qualifications rank equally with equivalent Norwegian educational qualifications. The original documentation of educational qualifications must be submitted with a translation into Norwegian, Swedish or Danish, stating the subjects covered and duration of the education. You can apply for recognition of foreign education at NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education). You can read more about this at NOKUT´s website.
Practice from building and construction work abroad will rank equally with equivalent projects in Norway.
Quality assurance procedures
The company must have quality assurance procedures for the fulfillment of planning and building legislation. The procedures must be incorporated, adapted to the individual company and be no more extensive than necessary.
See Guidelines for SAK10 Chapter 10 for further details of the requirements concerning quality assurance routines.
In conjunction with inspections, the company's procedures must be available in a Scandinavian language.
Requirements concerning seriousness
Registered companies under the VAT Act must be registered in the VAT Register and have submitted a mandatory VAT tax return for the past six months. A company may also not have outstanding unpaid taxes, advance tax deductions, employer taxes or VAT. This information is automatically collected from the Norwegian tax authorities (Skatteetaten).
When submitting the application, the company must also confirm electronically that it complies with the requirements of the Internal Control Regulations for health, safety and the environment.
Use of foreign companies as subcontractor and subsupplier
The quality requirements also apply to foreign companies. Companies with the right to accept responsibility will be responsible for all tasks within their own area of responsibility. This responsibility also applies to work performed by subcontractors. Subcontractors are companies that are subject to another company's right to accept responsibility.
The company with the right to accept responsibility is responsible for infringements of planning and building legislation, irrespective of whether the infringements are due to the company or subcontractor. Companies which use subcontractors, subsuppliers or advisers under their own right to accept responsibility, must have procedures for the management and assessment of these entities.
Use of foreign skilled workers
The Planning and Building Act is no barrier to companies' freedom to use foreign workers. The quality requirements apply to the company's professional management. The company's overall professional expertise must fulfill the statutory requirements, from the initiation to the completion of measures, and the company itself is responsible for using the right competences for the individual tasks.
Concerning consulting services
Several firms of consultants offer assistance with applications for central approval. Please note that these companies operate independently and have no connection to the Norwegian Building Authority.
Generally, it is an advantage that the companies themselves understand the conditions for the areas of responsibility for which they are applying for approval. The company is responsible for including correct information in the application.