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Accreditation of Notified Bodies, a key component for the functioning of the EU Single market for goods

The preferred means to demonstrate the competence of a notified body is accreditation by the National Accreditation Body. To ensure that the National Accreditation Bodies accredit notified bodies throughout Europe (EU, EFTA, and Turkey) in a harmonized way, EA published the Document on Accreditation for Notification Purposes (EA-2/17). The application of this document is mandatory for all National Accreditation Bodies when accrediting a conformity assessment body to become a notified body. EA-2/17 also applies to bodies performing assessment and verification of constancy of performance under the Construction Products Regulation.

The main purpose of the April 2020 revision was the definition of the preferred harmonised standard(s) for the accreditation of notified bodies. That has been done for each Union harmonisation legislation and module, the specific conformity assessment procedure.

Within three years from publication, all accredited notified bodies shall comply with EA-2/17:2020.

The EA Working Group “Accreditation for Notification” (AfN) performed a consultation among the National Accreditation Bodies regarding the implementation of EA-2/17:2020.

The results demonstrated that many National Accreditation Bodies have already implemented EA-2/17: 2020, which means that the accredited notified bodies comply with EA-2/17.

The most critical issue is to transition all accredited notified bodies to the (preferred) harmonized standard for accreditation as defined in EA-2/17. A National Accreditation Body can only deviate from the application of this standard for a specific legislation and module if the national authority requires another harmonized standard.

The notified bodies shall meet the requirements stipulated in the applicable harmonized standard and the additional requirements indicated in the Union Harmonisation Legislation. Relevant harmonized standards for the accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies seeking notification are:

  • ISO/IEC 17020 Conformity assessment — Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection;
  • ISO/IEC 17021-1 Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems — Part 1: Requirements;
  • ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories;
  • ISO/IEC 17024 Conformity assessment — General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons;
  • ISO/IEC 17065 Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes, and services.


CETA Webinar and partnership renewed between EA and SCC

The Delegation of the European Union in Canada and the Directorate-General for Trade, in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission, organized a webinar called ‘How to make use of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Protocol on Conformity Assessment and whether to extend its scope.

This online seminar was held on the 8th of September 2022 and was part of a series of events organized around the fifth anniversary of CETA’s provisional entry into force. The trade agreement remains a core driver of the EU’s privileged and solid relationship with this close ally and like-minded partner. The current geopolitical context creates momentum for even closer cooperation between the EU and Canada.

CETA includes a Protocol on the Mutual Acceptance of the Results of Conformity Assessment (the CA Protocol). This Protocol establishes mutual recognition of European and Canadian National Accreditation Bodies and Conformity Assessment Bodies to accept the results of each other’s conformity assessment. Implementing the CA Protocol enables the industry to certify products to Canadian requirements in the EU and vice versa. This mutual acceptance of conformity assessment results allows for cost reduction for businesses and consumers and freedom of trade by eliminating technical barriers.

EA and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) signed a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement (BCA) which was renewed on 29th September 2022. The agreement establishes the conditions and procedures for cooperation between EA and SCC for technical support of activities aimed at mutual recognition of National Accreditation Bodies (NAB) and accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies operating in the EU and Canada and strengthens the implementation of the Protocol, specifically for more product sectors.