The European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) is an association of national accreditation bodies in Europe that are officially recognised by their national Governments to assess and verify organisations that carry out evaluation services such as certification, verification, inspection, testing and calibration (also known as conformity assessment services).
Organisations that check conformity and compliance in the European Internal Market 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.
In the Regulation for Accreditation and Market Surveillance (RAMS), EA has formally been appointed as the body responsible for the European accreditation infrastructure. This regulation has been incorporated into the EEA Agreement.
EFTA's involvement in European Accreditation
The four EFTA states have a policy of contributing financially to the Secretariat of the EA through the EFTA Council/EFTA Secretariat. This financial contribution is based on Framework Partnership Agreements with the EA, agreed for a period of four years and normally concluded in parallel with the European Commission.
The National accreditation bodies of the EFTA States are members of EA. The EEA EFTA States and the EFTA Secretariat participate as observers in the European Commission`s Working Group on Internal Market for Products on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, advising the Commission on European accreditation policy.
Since 2008, the EFTA Secretariat has hosted the meetings of the EA Advisory Board, supporting an inclusive and well-functioning European infrastructure for accreditation.
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