IAF Regions' news

European Co-operation for Accreditation Update

Amandine Combe
Marketing & Communications Manager, EA

The European Commission published the ‘Blue Guide on the implementation of the product rules 2022’. 

Harmonisation is a key word in Europe and in the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA).

At the European Union (EU) level, it is related to ensuring the free movement of goods within the European market while at the same time ensuring consumer safety and protection of the environment.

It translates into managing a sound and reliable multilateral agreement of mutual recognition between EA national accreditation body (NAB) signatories. It means operating a strong peer evaluation system, and for NABs, developing accreditation based on harmonized practices. To meet these objectives, EA has developed several tools: EA-2/17 Document on Accreditation for Notification sets out the preferred standards to be applied when accrediting a conformity assessment body for notification purposes (i.e. its activity in the regulated area). As reported in a previous issue of IAF Outlook, EA-2/17 is reviewed regularly and supplemented to cover new legislations.

At the EU level, the Blue Guide also serves as a major tool for harmonization.

It is a guide to the implementation of legislations based on the New Approach. The Guide is meant for a better understanding of EU product rules and facilitation of their uniform application across sectors throughout the Single Market. The good news is that the “Blue Guide” has been developed in line with EA’s requirements set out in 2/17. Since it was first published in 2000, it has become one of the key references outlining how to apply legislation based on the New Approach, which is now covered by the New Legislative Framework (NLF). The Guide also aims to highlight the different principles of the NLF, including accreditation as a major pillar of the framework.

The current revision is a substantial update and takes account of developments that have come up since 2016 with a view to further reinforce a common understanding of the NLF. This new version reflects new changes in legislation and the adoption of a new regulation on Market Surveillance.

November 2021 – EA published its revised Articles of Association

After Brexit, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the NAB of the UK, no longer met EA membership criteria. However, EA and its members wanted UKAS to remain a member and decided to take action to make that possible. The solution was to introduce the Council of Europe as another “country” category, meaning that NABs coming from a member state of the Council of Europe shall be entitled to become an EA member, with the condition that the NAB meets the membership criteria set out in EA-1/17 S1 Criteria for Membership. Approved in November 2021, these new Articles came into force immediately.

Elections of the Executive and Technical Management Boards for the term 2023-2024

As a result of the elections in May 2022, Maureen Logghe and Cecilie Laake were re-elected unanimously as EA President and Vice-President. New faces will join the Executive Board and Technical Management Board (TMB): Karine Vincent (COFRAC) and Jesper HØy (DANAK) on the Executive Board, Casper van Erp (RvA) as the Certification Committee Chair, Marek Wilgos (PCA) as the Inspection Committee Chair and Sergio Guzzi (ACCREDIA) as the Laboratory Committee Chair on the Technical Management Board.

Categories: IAF Regions' news