National technical approval (abZ)/General construction technique permit (aBG)

National technical approval (abZ)/ General construction technique permit (aBG)

Covered by an abZ/aBG, non-standard products and design solutions, e.g. innovations, can be used and applied Germany-wide in compliance with the Building Codes. If you wish to apply for an abZ/aBG, DIBt, as the competent technical authority, is your single point of contact. Our experts will guide you through the procedure – step by step.

The abZ 

The national technical approval, or abZ for short, is the 'original' among the verifications of fitness for use of construction products. It has been granted by DIBt since 1968.

The abZ regulates those product properties that are of regulatory relevance as well as the product's fields(s) of use and aspects relating to processing, transport, storage, marking and confirmation of conformity.

The aBG

The Building Codes of the federal states seek to ensure the safety of the built environment. This may require regulating not only the product properties, but also the process of assembling construction products to form construction works or parts thereof ('construction technique'). The aBG regulates aspects relating to planning, design and execution as well as operation and maintenance. 

Useful to know ...

In most cases, the abZ and the aBG are granted in a 'combined decision'. However, they can also be granted separately, where required.

The formal distinction between product specifications (abZ) and design and execution specifications (aBG) has been introduced to facilitate the integration of CE-marked construction products into the national regime for ensuring the safety of the built environment. The reason is that the European regime only extends to product performance. It is thus possible to combine a  suitable declaration of performance for the product, based on a European Technical Assessment (ETA) or a harmonised European standard (hEN), with an aBG or the Technical Building Rules to provide verification of the fulfilment of the national requirements for construction works.

You can find practical information on approval and permit modalities for individual product groups or construction techniques in our Information portal for construction products and techniques.

To learn more about the abZ/aBG procedure, please watch this video:

© DIBt, January 2017

Note: When this video was produced, the abZ/aBG still used to be called abZ.

To prepare an abZ/aBG for you or amend, supplement or renew an existing one, we need an application from you. You are welcome to use the application forms we have prepared for this purpose. They include all the information we need from you in this first step.

Please make sure your application documents are complete and correct! This will make processing easier and accelerate the procedure.

Meeting between the applicant and DIBt

After we have received your application, a technical officer will review your documents and request any additional information we may need. You will have the opportunity to discuss any open technical or procedural questions with us by WebEx, phone, email or – if you prefer – in a face-to-face meeting.

When we have received all the necessary information from you, we will determine which tests and verifications are needed for your construction product or design solution, develop a tailor-made test plan and recommend competent test laboratories. Please commission tests directly with the test lab and forward the test results to us. When all verifications are satisfying, we will grant the abZ/aBG.

An abZ/aBG is usually granted for a five-year period renewable upon application.

The processing time depends on the complexity of the product and the scope of testing required. Submit your application documents – especially for a first-time approval – as early as possible. Applications for renewal should be handed in at least six months before the existing approval expires.

Good coordination with DIBt, and especially the submission of all required documents, will ensure rapid processing.

The fee for the procedure depends on the individual construction product/technique. In accordance with the current DIBt Statutes, fees lie between 500 euros and 50,000 euros – taking into account the work load involved. Expenses for tests and third-party costs are not included. We will inform you of the estimated fee for your project in the application confirmation. This estimate is based on the submitted documents and the hourly rate applicable at the time of application.

Working with DIBt – Your benefits

  • Comprehensive advice and support
  • Individual applicant meeting (upon request)
  • You have several applications being processed? Please feel free to tell us how we should prioritise them. We will process them accordingly.
  • Selection of test laboratories: DIBt does not perform testing itself. Usually you have a choice between several service providers.
  • Product development: potential for further product improvement is often uncovered during the approval procedure. Don't hesitate to talk to us!