The European co-operation for Accreditation or EA is an association of national accreditation bodies in Europe that are officially recognised by their national Governments to assess and verify—against international standards—organisations that carry out evaluation services such as certification, verification, inspection, testing and calibration (also known as conformity assessment services).

Consumers, businesses, regulators and other organisations all over the world want to be able to trust and have confidence in the goods and services they buy and use. As a consequence, there has been a growth in specified national and international standards for products, processes and services. When applied correctly, these can make life safer, healthier and easier for everyone and can enable communication and trade, while allowing resources to be used more efficiently.

Organisations that check conformity and compliance against standards must have the technical competence and integrity to carry out these assessment services. If a supplier is accredited by one of the members in the EA network, its customers can have confidence in the competence, independence and impartiality of its conformity assessment work.

As the official guardian of the European accreditation infrastructure, EA has the overall strategic objective to safeguard the value and credibility of accredited conformity assessment services delivered by its Members and accredited conformity assessment bodies within the European market.

EA MLA Annual Rapport 2017 read here

The MLA Multilateral Agreement faciliatating cross border trade in safe and reliable goods and services (2017) - brochure find here

EA as the European accreditation infrastructure

EA has been formally appointed as the body responsible for the European accreditation infrastructure in Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008, Article 14, paragraph 6.

In accordance with Article 14, paragraph 2 in this Regulation, an agreement has been concluded between EA and the European Commission (EC) to specify, inter alia, EA’s detailed tasks as well as funding and supervision provisions.

The role of accreditation in European legislation

Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 that, since 2008, provides a legal framework for the provision of accreditation services across Europe has been strengthening EA’s role in both voluntary and regulated sectors. The Regulation places an obligation on EU Member States to accept results issued by the conformity assessment bodies accredited by any of the EA MLA signatories.

EA MLA

The EA Multilateral Agreement (EA MLA) is a signed agreement between the EA Full Members whereby the signatories recognise and accept the equivalence of the accreditation systems operated by the signing members, and also the reliability of the conformity assessment results provided by conformity assessment bodies accredited by the signing members.

A Bilateral Agreement (BLA) between an EA Associate Member and EA has the same purpose and bilateral signatories to the EA MLA shall meet the same requirements as EA FULL Members.

The scopes of National accreditation institutions can be checked at the EA home page: http://www.european-accreditation.org/mla-and-bla-signatories

 

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