I did some research here and what I've determined is that the Mass bureaucrats require ALL plumbing fixtures used in the state to be go through a process of testing and then "registering" their test results with the state to be called "approved" It is basically a rubber stamping process that makes you prove that the plumbing fixture meets the standards appropriate for that item and verified by an independent lab. Like pressure testing of pipe for example.
Thanks for the research. I called the company (LaCava BTW), and they did confirm that none of their products have gone through MA certification given the expense of the process. They do have UL and are legally imported and sold in the US. The shop that sells them in my area is working on resolving the issue, but in the meantime we agreed with our plummer that we take the responsibility if the building inspector does not approve. we are going to put the sink in, if he notices and does not approve, will remove, take the cheapest HD sink that fits in, and then once we pass inspection put it back on. I understand code for saftey reasons (i.e. electrical, gas, water plumming) but this is ridicilous. The next similar brand of sink is Duravit, which is about twice as much for similar design. We will take our chances with Lacava and report back once inspections go through. Again, thank you for the research and the advice.
There is one AVS member in Europe (Austria, IIRC) who is building a HT. People started asking him questions about permits and such. His answer: No permits required in Austria. Once you buy the house, what you do inside it is your own business. Interesting attitude from "socialist" Europe. Great law for the home owner, but would you want to buy a house from someone who has done lots of "amateur" work with no professional oversight?
I don't know about Austria, but my folks own property in both Serbia and Croatia. In Croatia we did a large scale renovation (via contractor), and there were sever inspections and rules to be followed. For example, the roof tiles had to be red color and the window shutters had to be of a certain style. This was to protect the aesthetic nature of the houses in the old neighborhood.
I know that DIY is not as popular in Europe, primarily given the different building style and process of the old properties. Most older houses do not use drywall and insulation, but rather are build from brick and cement. Walls are concrete, so any electrical requires the use of the hammerdrill (they are not hollow). Also, electricity operates a bit differently, they have the breaker panel, and then a distributor from which all the wires run and come back to.
Newer and commerical constructions in Europe nowadays are more similar to the US, utilize steel stud and drywall design.
I think permits serve a valid and useful purpose. I also think that municipalities that prevent homeowners from doing their own work under permit and getting it inspected are downright "un-American". I don't know whose interests these municipalities are looking out for, but they are not serving the public's best interest.
If it's issue of public or private safety, I understand 100%. Otherwise, it's counterintuative to tell the homeowner what kind of sink they can or cannot put their their own home.