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Apply for recognition as an expert organisation for installations for the handling of substances hazardous to water

In order to be able to appoint experts to inspect systems for the handling of water-polluting substances on behalf of your expert organisation, to prepare expert opinions as part of suitability assessments and to certify or monitor specialist companies, you must apply for recognition from the competent authority of the country in which the headquarters of your organisation is to be located. The recognition is valid for the entire Federal territory.

Recognitions from another Member State of the European Union or another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area shall be equivalent to recognition by the competent authority here if they are equivalent to them. They shall be submitted to the Authority in the original or in a copy before the start of the testing or monitoring activities; certification of the copy may be required. The competent authority may also require that equivalent recognitions in accordance with sentence 1 be submitted in a certified German translation.

Process flow

They submit an informal application to the competent authority for recognition as an expert organisation for installations for the handling of substances hazardous to water in accordance with the AwSV. They shall attach the necessary documents to this application. It is appropriate to contact the competent authority in good time to discuss whether further documentation or specification is required. If necessary, the authority will request further application documents and grant recognition after examination of the application. The recognition can be provided with a reservation of revocation, a time limit, with conditions, obligations and the reservation of conditions.

Competent authority

Responsibility lies with the Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management Coastal and Nature Conservation

Requirements

An organisation may be recognised as an expert organisation if it designates a natural person authorised to represent and proves his power of representation vis-à-vis the competent authority:

  1. proves that a technical manager and a deputy have been appointed who meet the requirements applicable to experts in accordance with § 53,

  2. has appointed a sufficient number of experts who meet the requirements referred to in § 53 and are bound by technical instructions from the technical management,
  3. has established principles to be observed in the plant inspections,
  4. demonstrates an operational quality assurance system,
  5. provides proof of the existence of liability insurance for soil and water damage for the activities of its experts with a sum insured of at least EUR 2.5 million per claim, and
  6. declares that it shall indemnify the countries in which the experts carry out audits from any liability for the activities of their experts

The quality assurance system according to sentence 1 number 5 must ensure that suitable organizational structures are in place that ensure proper plant inspections in accordance with § 46. In particular, it shall contain provisions on the control of the test reports and the test equipment, on the conduct of individual discussions with the experts and on controls of the inspection activities of the experts at reference installations. If the recognition is also to extend to the certification and monitoring of specialist companies in accordance with § 62 paragraph 1, § 57 paragraph 3 sentence 1 number 3 and 4 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the expert organisation in addition to the requirements mentioned in sentence 1. In this case, the quality assurance system referred to in sentence 1 number 5 must also ensure, notwithstanding sentence 2, that suitable organisational structures are in place according to which the specialist auditors are monitored and which ensure the proper inspection of the specialist companies.

When examining the application for recognition, evidence of individual conditions from another Member State of the European Union or another State Party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area shall be equivalent to domestic evidence if it appears that the organisation meets the relevant requirements laid down in paragraph 3 or the requirements of the issuing State which are substantially comparable by virtue of their objective. Paragraph 2 sentences 2 and 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Which documents are required?

  • Proof of designation of a natural person authorised to represent the company
  • Proof of technical management
  • Evidence of the implementing experts (their reliability, independence, ability and expertise)
  • Proof of an operational quality assurance system and its organisation
  • Provides proof of the existence of liability insurance for soil and water damage for the activities of its experts with a sum insured of at least EUR 2.5 million per claim
  • Declaration of exemption for the Länder

If necessary, further documents must be provided after further inquiries from the competent authority.

What are the fees?

The application is subject to a fee when a decision is issued. There are costs, which are usually billed according to effort.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Before commencing work

Processing duration

An application for recognition must be decided within a period of four months.

Processing Time: 4 Months

§ 42a paragraph 2 sentences 2 to 4 of the Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG)

Applications / forms

  • Written form required: Yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: No

Appeal

An objection can be lodged against a recognition decision within one month of notification. The objection would have to be filed in writing with the Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management, Coastal and Nature Conservation, An der Scharlake 39, 31135 Hildesheim, or declared a record.

What else should I know?

Leaflet for expert organisations

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management Coastal and Nature Conservation

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Linie6PLus)

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.