On 20 and 21 April of this year, the meeting of the Multilateral Agreement Council of the European co-operation for Accreditation took place in the hotel “Radisson Blu Daugava” in Riga, which was attended by heads and representatives of European accreditation bodies, including Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, the Acting Head of the Latvian National Accreditation Bureau, and Olga Veilande, the Member of the Board of LLC “Standardisation, Accreditation and Metrology Centre”.

The meeting was opened by Zaiga Liepiņa, the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Latvia and the Chairwoman of the Latvian National Accreditation Council. During the meeting, the results of EA Multilateral Agreement (hereinafter – EA MLA) Council were reviewed and decisions were made about retaining of EA MLA signatory status to several national accreditation bodies.

An accreditation body becomes a signatory of EA MLA as a result of peer evaluation. The peer evaluation is carried out by internal auditors and assessors of EA from ILAC and IAF, verifying conformity to the international standard ISO / IEC 17011 and other binding standards and criteria. Based on the results of peer evaluation, the working group approved by EA MLA Council prepare a recommendation, according to which EA MLA Council adopts a decision.
In 2017, it is planned to extend the scope of the Multilateral Agreement of the European co-operation for Accreditation with the standard ISO 17043 “Conformity assessment. General requirements for proficiency testing”; therefore, training on requirements of ISO 17043:2010 standard took place during the meeting.

The European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) is an association of European national accreditation bodies, which is officially recognized by national governments of the Member States and is appointed according to the European Parliament and Council Regulation No. 765/2008 as the body responsible for the European accreditation infrastructure. The aim is to promote mutual trust – recognition of a single organization on the European level, thus mitigating technical obstacles of trade and raising trust of consumers, state administration and companies in the quality and safety of products and services.

EA Multilateral Agreement (EA MLA) is an agreement concluded by full-fledged members of EA, under which the signatories recognize and accept equivalence of accreditation systems of other signatories and also trust in the results of conformity assessment, which is carried out by accredited conformity assessment bodies of the Agreement signatories. This means, that reports and certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies of one state are recognized also in other EU Member States, and an entrepreneur is not required to repeatedly prove conformity to requirements of international standards.

The processes of EA MLA are supervised by the European Commission, EA MLA Council and national government bodies (in Latvia – the Ministry of Economics).

LATAK is a signatory of EA MLA in the following areas:
•    testing (incl. medical) and calibration laboratories;
•    inspection bodies;
•    certification of products, management systems and persons;
•    verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) reports.
The next regular supervision (peer assessment) of LATAK, determined by EA MLA Council, will take place in October 2017.


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