Regulation 765/2008 of July 9, 2008 sets the legal framework for accreditation in the EU. It established EA as the official European infrastructure of accreditation and gives accreditation a legal status of an activity of public nature and authority. It requires that Member states should officially recognize one national accreditation body only to operate accreditation within their economy.
Regulation (EC) N° 765/2008 Article 7 (1)
Where a conformity assessment body requests accreditation it shall do so with the national accreditation body of the Member State in which it is established or with the national accreditation body to which that Member State has had recourse
The Regulation gives EA the official mandate to develop and maintain a multilateral agreement of mutual recognition signed by every EU/EA national accreditation bodies while entrusting EA to act to harmonise accreditation services to support full confidence on the market place.
The recent decisions made by the Italian courts and reported below by ACCREDIA emphasize the role of the national accreditation body, recognizing the importance and value of the Regulation to regulate accreditation and conformity assessment activities in Europe, in the interest of all.
The decisions reinforce the confidence that exists and shall be reconfirmed towards the European accreditation system and the national accreditation bodies.
The article below was published by ACCREDIA on 1st March 2019
The decisions of the Regional Administrative Courts of Lazio and Sicily confirm the legal correctness of Accredia’s actions, based on the European Regulation 765/2008 and demonstrate the steady collaboration with Ministries.
Where numbers are not sufficient to prove the increasing of accredited certifications, evidence on the value of Accredia’s accreditation in Italy also derives from important court rulings. The decisions of the two Regional Administrative Courts, of Lazio and Sicily, have in fact confirmed the role of Accredia as the National Accreditation Body, in charge of attesting the competence of certification and inspection bodies and testing and calibration laboratories, in order to guarantee the international trade of quality goods and services.
Court of Lazio’s decision
In December 2018, the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio rejected the appeal proposed by some certification bodies requesting the annulment of the document “Addendum to the Agreement of July 6, 2017”, signed on September 26, 2017, by the Ministry of Economic Development and Accredia. Through the signing of this Addendum, the Ministry entrusted Accredia with the task of issuing accreditations, in compliance with UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17020 standard, to those bodies performing inspection activities according to the Presidential Decree 462/2001, on grounding systems, and established that accreditation issued by Accredia is a mandatory prerequisite for the release of the ministerial authorization.
The decision reaffirmed that Accredia’s actions comply with the European Regulation 765/2008 of July 9, 2008, which sets out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products. Role “confirmed” also by the Ministry of Economic Development that, through the Ministerial Decree of December 22, 2009, appointed Accredia as the sole National Accreditation Body.
Court of Sicily’s decision
A similar story in Sicily, where on October 6, 2017, the Sicilian Court overturned the decision of the Regional Court (order No 951/2017), which had accepted, by means of precautionary measures, the appeal proposed by a Sicilian testing laboratory on foodstuffs (Analisi G. Caracciolo Srl). The laboratory had introduced an appeal for annulment of the Regional Decree of March 9, 2017, which excluded it from the list of authorized laboratories because it was not accredited by Accredia, claiming to be in possession of an accreditation certificate issued by the Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation Inc., Accreditation Body based in the United States of America.
The Administrative Justice Council had instead accepted Accredia’s appeal having recourse to what settled by the European Regulation 765/2008. The provision, among other things, establishes that for each Country there shall be only one Accreditation Body. The Body must also be a member of the EA (European co-operation for accreditation), recognized by the European Commission and must have successfully passed peer assessments to guarantee the equivalence of services provided to Member States. The Regulation, as stated in Articles 6 and 7, obliges the interested parties to address “to the National Accreditation Body of the Member State in which they are established” and not to a Body of a third Country.
“Both decisions represent an important recognition of our work – says Filippo Trifiletti, General Director of the Italian Accreditation Body -. Our activity is based on the European Regulation, a milestone for the development of accreditation and a steady collaboration with Public Administration, as the Ministry of Economic Development, which entrusts Accredia with even more activities. The fact that the role of Accredia has legal and governmental recognition – closes Trifiletti – encourages us to increase our efforts to guarantee a market where only quality products and services are traded.”
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