What is a Florida Local Product Approval And How Is It Used?

Florida has adopted a Local Product Approval System that governs the submission & use of of statewide product approvals.  That’s covered in Florida Statute 553.842 (2022).  This section states:

(1) The commission shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to develop and implement a product evaluation and approval system that applies statewide to operate in coordination with the Florida Building Code. 

It goes on to state:

(5) Statewide approval of products, methods, or systems of construction may be achieved by one of the following methods. One of these methods must be used by the commission to approve the following categories of products: panel walls, exterior doors, roofing, skylights, windows, shutters, impact protective systems, and structural components as established by the commission by rule. A product may not be advertised, sold, offered, provided, distributed, or marketed as hurricane, windstorm, or impact protection from wind-borne debris from a hurricane or windstorm unless it is approved pursuant to this section or s. 553.8425.

Florida Statute 553.8425 explains the use of Local Product Approvals.


In short, a local product approval is similar to a statewide product approval, except a product needs to demonstrate compliance for review by the authority having jurisdiction using the same methodology as the state.

Typically, local product approvals are site-specific and are used for building products outside the state rule or beyond the limits of a statewide approval.

That statute is similar to a statewide approval and specifically states:

(1) For local product approval, products or systems of construction shall demonstrate compliance with the structural windload requirements of the Florida Building Code through one of the following methods:

(a) A certification mark, listing, or label from a commission-approved certification agency indicating that the product complies with the code;
(b) A test report from a commission-approved testing laboratory indicating that the product tested complies with the code;
(c) A product-evaluation report based upon testing, comparative or rational analysis, or a combination thereof, from a commission-approved product evaluation entity which indicates that the product evaluated complies with the code;
(d) A product-evaluation report or certification based upon testing or comparative or rational analysis, or a combination thereof, developed and signed and sealed by a Florida professional engineer or Florida registered architect, which indicates that the product complies with the code;
(e) A statewide product approval issued by the Florida Building Commission; or
(f) Designation of compliance with a prescriptive, material standard adopted by the commission by rule under s. 553.842(15).
(2) For product-evaluation reports that indicate compliance with the code based upon a test report from an approved testing laboratory and rational or comparative analysis by a Florida registered architect or Florida professional engineer, the testing laboratory or the evaluating architect or engineer must certify independence from the product manufacturer.
(3) Local building officials may accept modifications to approved products or their installations if sufficient evidence is submitted to the local building official to demonstrate compliance with the code or the intent of the code, including such evidence as certifications from a Florida registered architect or Florida professional engineer.
(4) Products demonstrating compliance shall be manufactured under a quality assurance program audited by an approved quality assurance entity.
(5) Products bearing a certification mark, label, or listing by an approved certification agency require no further documentation to establish compliance with the code.
(6) Upon review of the compliance documentation, and a finding that the product complies with the code, the authority having jurisdiction or a local building official shall deem the product approved for use in accordance with its approval and limitation of use.
(7) Approval shall be valid until such time as the product changes and decreases in performance; the standards of the code change, requiring increased performance; or the approval is otherwise suspended or revoked. Changes to the code do not void the approval of products previously installed in existing buildings if such products met building code requirements at the time the product was installed.

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