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International organisations and agreements

EU Member States and EFTA countries have established a European network of national accreditation bodies commonly known as the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) enabling the competence of laboratories, inspection and certification bodies to be assessed against the criteria laid down in international standards and procedures. EA is a non-profit organisation that is given a prime role to define, harmonise and build consistency in accreditation as a service with the aim to reduce barriers to trade and to contribute to the protection of health and safety.

Furthermore, EA was established as the official European accreditation infrastructure in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 establishing a legal framework for accreditation throughout Europe. This Regulation provides that each Member State shall appoint a single national accreditation body that the government shall entrust with the operation of accreditation as a public authority activity and grant it formal recognition in accordance with the requirements of international standards in both the private and public sector.

In addition to EA as the most important regional international organisation acting as the official European accreditation infrastructure, there are international organisations governing accreditation globally - in the field of laboratory, inspection and certification body accreditation. These are the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation - ILAC and International Accreditation Forum - IAF.

ILAC and IAF have established and maintain a system of multilateral mutual recognition agreements built upon the regional arrangements existing in Europe (ILAC / IAF MRA / MLA), Asia (ILAC MRA) (APLAC - Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation for laboratories and inspection), Pacific (IAF MLA) (PAC - Pacific Accreditation Co-operation for certification), America (ILAC / IAF MRA / MLA) (IAAC - Interamerican Accreditation Co-operation) and Africa (IAF MLA) (SADC - Southern African Development Community in Accreditation). Thus, a large number of countries around the world become a part of the system established by ILAC and IAF in order to reduce technical barriers to trade and to establish a harmonised approach to the operation of accreditation bodies worldwide.

International agreements

The task of accreditation bodies as stipulated in the agreements of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA MLA), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC MRA) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF MLA) is to promote a system of accreditation and equivalence of accreditation systems. These agreements are signed on the basis of the detailed evaluation of procedures and criteria of the accreditation body (peer evaluation) in question, whereas the peer evaluation is conducted by a team of experts in specific fields of accreditation. A uniform approach used to determine competence of conformity assessment bodies worldwide enables countries to sign mutual agreements on the basis of evaluation and recognition of accreditation systems and to reduce the number of unnecessary product controls in international trade and to create conditions for the free movement of people, goods, services and capital.

EA MLA is an agreement signed between the EA accreditation body members to recognise the equivalence, reliability and therefore acceptance of accredited certifications, inspections, calibration certificates and test reports across Europe (EA Region). In addition to the aforementioned multilateral agreement a country may sign the EA bilateral agreement (BLA) where the difference between the MLA (multilateral) and BLA (bilateral) agreements is essentially a non-existent one, except that the MLA agreement is signed by a country which is a full EA member, while the BLA is signed by an associate member. All obligations of the countries that sign these agreements remain the same.

Enforcement of EA multilateral / bilateral agreements is carried out through peer evaluation conducted by evaluators from other accreditation bodies. The purpose of these rigorous on-site evaluations is to verify the signatories' continuing conformance with the internationally accepted criteria. ABs are evaluated against the international standard - ISO/IEC 17011, Regulation No 765 (EC)/2008, other related criteria such as application documents from EA, ILAC or IAF and applicable criteria on behalf of European or National Regulators and industrial schemes. The MLA process is overseen by the European Commission, the EA Advisory Board and the national authorities.

After signing the EA MLA, products or services of suppliers need no longer to be tested, certified, or inspected when placed on the market in other countries. Thus, this agreement constitutes a basis for the upgrade of international trade and global market, whereby costs are reduced and benefits for the industry and consumers are increased.

If you want to learn more about accreditation and national accreditation bodies, signatories to the EA MLA, please visit the EA website at: http://www.european-accreditation.org/home

List of EA members:


To know what the EA MLA signatories for a given scope are, please visit:


ATS as a signatory to the EA MLA

On the 24th May 2012, ATS became a full EA member and signed the EA MLA for the following fields of accreditation: testing laboratories, medical laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, and certification bodies providing certification of products. Moreover, ATS signed the new EA MLA on 27th May 2014 that, in addition to testing, calibration, inspection and product certification, now includes certification of management systems and certification of persons.

ATS EA MLA Certificate

ATS as a signatory to the ILAC MRA

On 24th May 2012 ATS became a signatory to the ILAC MRA for testing and calibration, and on 25th October 2012 ILAC MRA agreement was signed for the field of inspection.

List of ILAC members:


To know what the ILAC MRA signatories for a given scope are, please visit:


Please check the ATS ILAC MRA Certificate

ATS as a signatory to the IAF MLA

Furthermore, on 25th October 2012 ATS became a signatory to the IAF MLA (Multilateral Recognition Arrangement) in the field of product certification on the basis of the said multilateral agreement with EA, whereas on 6th October 2014 ATS signed the new IAF MLA in the field of management system certification.

To know what the IAF MLA signatories for a given scope are, please visit:


ATS IAF MLA Certificate for product certification

ATS IAF MLA Certificate for management system certification

In addition to international multilateral agreements, accreditation bodies can conclude agreements on bilateral cooperation in the field of accreditation.

ATS has concluded agreements on bilateral cooperation with the following bodies in the region:

1. Hungarian Accreditation Body (NAT)
2. Institute for Accreditation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BATA)
3. Accreditation Body of Montenegro (ATCG)
4. Institute for Accreditation of the Republic of Macedonia (IARM)
5. Croatian Accreditation Agency (HAA)
6. Romanian Accreditation Association (RENAR)
7. Slovak Accreditation Service (SNAS)
8. Slovenian Accreditation (SA)
9. Federal Accreditation Service of the Russian Federation (RusAccreditation)
10. Belarusian State Centre for Accreditation (BSCA)
11. Bulgarian Accreditation Service (BAS)