EA currently counts 33 full member ABs, of which 29 are signatories to the EA MLA. In May 2010, HAA and NAT, the Croatian and Hungarian NABs, became EA MLA signatories for every scope covered by the agreement. In parallel, NAT were accepted by IAF members and, as a consequence of signing the EA MLA for equivalent scopes, among IAF MLA signatories for ISO/IEC 17021 (sub-scopes: ISO 9001 and ISO 14001) and ISO/IEC Guide 65.
More recently, in October 2010, ACCREDIA (Italy) has signed the MLA for calibration and SA (Slovenia) the MLA for personnel certification, both of them thus becoming MLA signatories for all accreditation activities covered by the EA MLA. The MLA signatory status of SNAS (Slovakia) for all MLA scopes has also been reinstated. To date, a total of 25 EA full member ABs have signed for all accreditation activities presently covered by the MLA.
EA also counts 21 signatories through contracts of cooperation: after the contracts signed with the ABs of Montenegro (ATCG), Kazakhstan (NCA), Georgia (GAC) and Kosovo (under UNSC Resolution 1244/1999), EA has signed a contract of cooperation with EGAC, the Egyptian Accreditation Council, during the 26th EA General Assembly in November 2010.
TUNAC’s (Tunisia) bilateral agreement signatory status has been extended by EA to cover management system certification. In the same way, TUNAC has signed the IAF MLA for ISO/IEC 17021 (sub-scopes: ISO 9001 and ISO 14001).
The suspension of CGCRE’s (Brazil) bilateral agreement signatory status has been removed and CGCRE’s signatory status (calibration, testing) has been reinstated at the EA MAC meeting in October 2010.
EA-1/08: Multi- and Bilateral Agreement Signatories is being re-developed to become an information brochure with a re-designed format for presentation of signatories of the EA MLA.
In parallel, the EA Communications and Publications Committee has published a template for a statement of equivalence (published as EA-1/16) to be used by EA members and MLA signatories so as to state and promote equivalence of accreditation under the EA MLA. This equivalence statement is expected to enhance not only transparency but also consistency of the communication about accreditation and the MLA on the market.
Clear and consistent information for the attention of the Regulators is also much needed throughout Europe when, according to Regulation (EC) 765/2008, national authorities shall accept results issued by CABs accredited by any of the EA MLA signatories as equivalent. A specific promotional brochure for Regulators will be prepared for this purpose.
The 26th EA General Assembly held on 24 and 25 November 2010 in Budva, Montenegro, brought together more than 70 delegates representing 59 EA members and contract of cooperation signatories.
EA was very pleased to welcome Annabel Brewka (European Commission), Tore Nyvold Thomassen (EFTA), Ganesh Ashok (CEN-CENELEC), Guy Jacques (Eurolab – Chair of the EA Advisory Board), Jean-Marc Aublant (Eurolab), Natasa Mejak-Vukovic (WELMEC), G. Hinrich Schaub and Drewin Nieuwenhuis (CEOC International), Eamon Clinton (EFAC) and Erik Janssens (EOQ).