The following articles in English about the Central Authority of the Federal States for Safety (ZLS) and its activities are intended only as an aid for interested readers.
If you are interested in working as a body in one of the areas mentioned below, please note that the texts available here contain only basic information on the relevant administrative procedures. Comprehensive information regarding the procedures, as well as the application documents, can be found in the German part of our website.
If you have any questions, contact us.
The Central Authority of the Federal States for Safety (Zentralstelle der Länder für Sicherheitstechnik - ZLS) is a central authority that performs tasks for all 16 federal states in the areas of product safety, installations of certain products and equipments requiring periodic inspection, dangerous goods act and pipeline systems. Its tasks, financing and organization as well as the participation rights of the federal states are regulated in the so-called State Treaty.
The ZLS is located in Munich and is part of the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection.
On 16-17 December 1993, the "Agreement on the Central Authority of the Federal States for Safety" was signed by the Prime Ministers of the Federal States. It came into force on May 01, 1997. In this State Treaty, the Free State of Bavaria was given the task of establishing the ZLS as an organizational unit of the Bavarian State Ministry for technical labor and consumer protection.
Since then, several legal regulations (e.g. the Accreditation Body Act and the Product Safety Act) came into force or were amended, which made it necessary to adapt the State Treaty and thus the responsibilities and tasks of the ZLS.
As ZLS we are responsible for
· the assessment, notification and monitoring of for notified bodies according to European directives and regulations,
· the authorization and monitoring of GS bodies in accordance with the Product Safety Act,
· the approval and monitoring of bodies as Authorized Inspection Bodies in accordance with the Act on Installations Requiring Inspection (ÜAnlG) in conjunction with the Operational Safety Ordinance (BetrSichV),
· the recognition of inspection bodies in accordance with the Pipeline Ordinance,
· the supervision of all entities to which we have appointed or which we have approved; and
· various market surveillance tasks, most of them with regard to coordination,for the federal states according to the Product Safety Act and the Regulation on the Rules for Accreditation and Market Surveillance (EC) No. 765/2008 (this does not include market surveillance with regard to unsafe products).
Through our work, we contribute equally to the protection of citizens from unsafe products, to the protection of health and the environment, and to the functioning of the EU internal market.
About GS Body and GS Mark
GS bodies are competent and impartial independent conformity assessment bodies for a specific product area. The authority to act as a GS body is granted by the ZLS if the conformity assessment body fulfills the legal requirements according to § 21 Product Safety Act (ProdSG).
GS bodies may only award the GS mark (Tested Safety) to products that are ready-for-use and suitable. The term "suitable" is understood to mean products that would have a certain inherent hazard potential without testing.
Scope of duties of the ZLS
- Granting of the authority for GS bodies to award the GS mark (this includes the granting of authority to carry out type examinations as well as the awarding of the GS mark according to § 20 ProdSG)
- Monitoring of the GS bodies
- Taking orders if deficiencies are detected at the GS bodies
- Transmission of relevant information to the responsible market surveillance authorities
- Promotion of the exchange of experience between the GS bodies
The GS mark represents a certain speciality, because it is a state-regulated but voluntary test mark for safety-tested products.
The GS mark indicates that the safety and health of the user are not endangered during the intended or foreseeable use of the marked product.
It is important to note that the GS mark cannot be awarded for the following areas, among others:
- products for which safety aspects are conclusively regulated in more specific legal regulations (e.g. lifts, certain machines...).
- products that fall into a completely different legal area and not within the scope of the ProdSG (e.g. medical devices, cars...)
- products which are CE marked and for which the requirements for this CE marking are at least equivalent compared to the requirements for GS mark recognition (cf. § 20 para. 2 ProdSG)
- products which are not ready-for-use and/or not suitable in the sense of § 20 ProdSG.
The requirements for the award of the GS mark by the GS body are, among others, that:
- the manufacturer or his authorised representative has submitted an application to a GS body,
- the GS body has provided evidence within the scope of a type examination that the type tested complies with the requirements of the ProdSG and, if applicable, other legal regulations with regard to ensuring the safety and health of persons,
- the specifications determined by the Product Safety Commission for the award of the GS mark were applied when testing the type,
- the GS body has evidence that the requirements to be observed during the manufacture of the ready-to-use products are complied with in order to ensure conformity with the tested type,
- the GS body carries out arrangements for inspection to monitor the manufacture of the ready-to-use products and the lawful use of the GS mark,
- the manufacturer guarantees that the manufactured ready-to-use products comply with the tested type.
The GS body has to issue a certificate on the award of the GS mark. The awardhas to be limited to a maximum validity of five years or has to be limited to a specific production quota or batch.
About approved inspection bodies according to the German Operational Safety Ordinance (ZÜS)
Since 01.01.2006, competent and independent bodies have been approved by the ZLS as approved inspection bodies (ZÜS) on behalf of all German Federal States. On 16.07.2021, the act for installations subject to mandatory inspection (ÜAnlG) became effective. Since then, the aproval by ZLS is issued in accordance to §19 or rather §20 ÜAnlG. As replacement of Product Saftey Act (ProdSG), this act sets the legal framework for installations requiring inspections.
The Operational Safety Ordinance (BetrSichV) regulates the operation of systems requiring monitoring and prescribes certain tests to ensure safety during the operation of these systems. The approved inspection bodies inspect plants requiring monitoring before commissioning in accordance with § 15 BetrSichV and recurrently during operation in accordance with § 16 BetrSichV. Furthermore, they prepare test reports in the official licensing procedure for plants subject to licensing according to § 18 BetrSichV.
In the approval procedure, the ZLS, as the approval authority of the federal states according to § 18 ÜAnlG, checks whether the requirements specified in the act for installations subject to mandatory inspection (ÜAnlG) and in the Ordinance on Operational Safety Ordinance (BetrSichV) for approved monitoring bodies are met. Accreditation (e.g. as an inspection body according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020) is not a mandatory requirement for approval!
About the recognition of Inspection Bodies according to the Pipeline Ordinance
Competent and independent bodies that fulfill the requirements according to § 6 Pipeline Ordinance (RohrFLtgV) have been recognized by the ZLS on behalf of all federal states since July 1, 2016. These recognized inspection bodies inspect and prepare expert opinions of pipeline systems. Individuals ('officially recognized experts') may no longer be recognized for this purpose since 2010.
In contrast to high-pressure gas pipelines, which, as energy systems within the meaning of the Energy Industry Act, serve to supply gas and are designed for a maximum permissible operating pressure of more than 16 bar, pipeline systems are used to transport, among other things, certain (other) flammable substances, substances with the hazard characteristics F, F+, O, T, T+ or C or substances hazardous to water.
In the recognition procedure, the ZLS checks whether the requirements according to § 6 RohrFLtgV as well as the Technical Rules for Pipelines (TRFL) and related rules and regulations and the 'Requirements for recognized inspection bodies for pipeline systems' are met by the body. Accreditation (e.g. as an inspection body according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020) is not a mandatory requirement for recognition!