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  • ILAC International Agreement of Mutual Recognition for Inspection

    January 10th 2013

    On 24th October, the accreditation bodies of 39 countries, including the National Accreditation Body (ENAC), became the first signatories of the new ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) International Agreement of Mutual Recognition for inspection activities. 

    This new agreement, which complements the one that has existed for years in Europe, will benefit over 200 ENAC accredited inspection entities (such as Litoclean), as well as companies that have their services, since it facilitates access to markets outside the community, which is important for Spanish companies nowadays.

    As in the case of laboratory services, this new inspection agreement is based on the recognition of agreements established and assessed at the three regional cooperation organisations that make up ILAC: European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA), Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC).

    Accredited once, accepted anywhere.

    Signatory accreditation bodies signing multilateral recognition agreements, MLA, use the same international standards, Standard ISO/IEC 17020 in the case of the new agreement, which guarantees a uniform approach in order to assess the competence of these bodies.

    This enables the establishment of transborder agreements based on the assessment and mutual acceptance of their accreditations and, therefore, that of the activities of the bodies assessing the conformity accredited thereby. In this way, a report or certificate issued by one body accredited by one of the signatories to the MLA can circulate and be accepted in the other signatory countries.

    The growing recognition and greater trust in accredited inspection services is increasingly reflected in the agreements signed within the framework of the World Trade Organisation. These agreements enable inspection bodies to render services to competent administrations with the approval of the WTO. 

    ENAC is a signatory of all the Multilateral Recognition Agreements established in international accreditor forums: Europea n Co-operation for Accreditation (EA), ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) and IAF (International Accreditation Forum), with regard to testing, inspection and certification.

    Having accredited services facilitates export and externalisation, enabling the Spanish companies to have recognised support in international markets for the free circulation of its products and services.

    Inspection services. Inspection is an essential element to ensure different aspects relating to safety, health, and the environment, and can affect both the different stages of the life cycle of the products, equipment and facilities–from their design to their removal from service-and working methods, processes and services.

    Inspection bodies conduct assessments on behalf of private clients, their parent organisations or official authorities, with the purpose of providing them with information on those aspects relating to conformity with legislation, standards or specifications.

    Today, accredited inspection is increasingly present in the different sectors of activity: industry, agriculture and livestock, energy, transport, health, construction, telecommunications…