The Building Safety Code was developed through legislative action. The rules and regulations governing the administrative procedures of the Building Safety Code were formulated by the Department of Public Works and were put up for Public Notice. Changes in the code can only be made through legislative action.
The Building Safety Code Division in the Department of Public Works is the enforcing agency. Field inspections are regularly conducted by certified building inspectors from the Building Safety Code Division to ensure compliance.
The Building Safety Code Division requires the submission of plans duly signed/stamped by an architect/engineer registered in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands along with the application for a building permit. These plans are reviewed by the Plans Examiner for code compliance.
The first Building Safety Code of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was enacted by the 6th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature and was signed into Public Law on February 2, 1990. The code adopted the 1991 Uniform Building Code, including Chapter 53 (for commercial and all multi-family buildings), and the 1989 Council of American Building Officials (CABO) One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code. On January 2, 1992, the Building Safety Code was first enforced with the establishment of the Building Safety Code Division in the Department of Public Works. The Building Safety Code Division processes an average of 250 building permit applications for multi-family residential and commercial buildings per year and an average of 150 building permit applications for single-family dwellings per year.
In October 2009, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands adopted the Tropic Code based on the 2009 IBC with energy provisions for residential and commercial buildings.