International recognition

A key objective of the international accreditation network is the mutual recognition of the international agreement MLA / MRA.

Accreditation bodies which are the EA members have the possibility of becoming signatories of the EA Multilateral Agreements (EA MLA), only after successfully undergoing a thorough the EA peer evaluations. There is also possibility of becoming signatories of the ILAC Mutual recognition (ILAC MRA) or IAF Multilateral agreements (IAF MLA) at international level between or among the ILAC or IAF members. The regional organisations are relays for the global organisations in that they have developed regional recognition agreements with the result that ILAC and IAF are not required to systematically audit all of their members.

An accreditation granted from an accreditation body signatory of one of the above mentioned agreements, is recognized in Europe and worldwide, for the scopes comprised in these agreements. The international recognition agreements facilitate the breaking down of technical barriers to trade and access on the export market through

  • recognition of the equivalence of accreditation services provided by signatories of MLA / MRA agreements,

  • reaching the uniform and transparent approach to accreditation,

  • recognition of reports and certificates issued by the accredited conformity assessment bodies regionally (EA), also all over the world (IAF, ILAC),

  • building and strengthening of the confidence to the accreditation systems recognized within MLA / MRA agreements,

  • supporting implementation of the harmonized standards and guidelines in the field of accreditation,

  • supporting and strengthening of the peer evaluations system of accreditation bodies.

International agreements ensure the validity and credibility of accreditation as an effective instrument of assessments and confirmation of competence of conformity assessment bodies on the regional and global market.

Equivalence principle

Under the international agreements of mutual recognition all accreditation and certification has equal value in each signatory country, eliminating the necessity of any additional conformity assessment, surveillance, inspection or evaluation.
The accreditation mark of one of the signatories to MLA / MRA agreements on the test or inspection report or on the certificate serves as a passport in international market. No further tests, inspections or assessments of the products, services or of professional competence are needed.
By signing these agreements it means that the signatories recognise and accept the equivalence of the accreditation systems operated by the signing members, and also the reliability of the conformity assessment results provided by conformity assessment bodies accredited by the signing members.

SNAS IS A SIGNATORY of all current available agreements:

1) EA Multilateral Agreement (EA MLA) in the fields:
  • Calibration from 2001

  • Testing from 2001

  • Product certification from 2002

  • Certification of persons from 2002

  • Certification of management systems from 2002

  • Inspection from 2003

  • Validation and Verification from 2014

  • Proficiency Testing Providers from 2019

EA MLA is the European agreement, through which the signatory parties recognize each other's granted accreditations and the reports and certificates issued by bodies accredited by signatories. This agreement is signed for different scopes (see EA MLA structure) and has introduced a transparent system of periodic mutual evaluations (Regulation 765/2008, article 10). Current list of signatories to EA MLA including the activities covered by MLA is accessible on

2) ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA) in the fields:
  • Calibration from 2001

  • Testing from 2001

  • Inspection from 2012

ILAC MRA offers confidence in the accreditation bodies and in their ability to determine the competence of a laboratory in performing testing, calibration and inspection bodies in performing inspections. Structure of the ILAC MRA, where the scopes involved in it are defined, is accessible on ILAC MRA structure. Confidence facilitates the acceptance of the results of testing, calibration and inspection between the countries where the results can be demonstrated that they come from accredited conformity assessment bodies.
Current list of signatories to ILAC MRA including the activities covered by MRA is accessible according to membership category on or according to economy on

3) IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) in the fields:
  • Certification of management systems (QMS) from 2003

  • Certification of management systems (EMS) from 2004

  • Product certification from 2004

  • Product certification in the scheme of GlobalG.A.P. IFA General Regulations from 2014

  • Certification of persons from 2016

  • Validation and verification from 2018

  • Certification of management systems (FSMS, EnMS, ISMS, QMS-MD) from 2018

IAF MLA offers confidence in the accreditation bodies and in their ability to determine the competence of the certification bodies. The accreditations granted by the IAF MLA signatories are recognized worldwide on the basis of the equivalent accreditation systems of signatories, reducing in this manner the costs that are adding value to industry and to the end consumers.
Structure of the IAF MLA with the defined scopes covered in agreement is accessible on IAF MLA structure. Current list of signatories to IAF MLA including the activities covered by MLA is accessible on

SNAS as a signatory to the MLA / MRA recognises and accepts

  • Accreditation systems operated by the other signatories as equivalent to its own accreditation system,

  • Reliability of the conformity assessment results (e. g. reports, certificates) issued by the conformity assessment bodies accredited by signatories to EA MLA / BLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA.

Acceptation of reports / certificates

Accreditation mark of the MRA / MLA signatory on the reports, certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies acts as a passport to the European or global trade. The confidence in accreditation eliminates the need for suppliers to be conformity assessed in each country in which they sell their products or services, and therefore provides the framework for goods and services to cross borders in Europe and throughout the world.
In order to be recognized regionally or globally your reports, certificates or if you select a supplier whose reports, certificates will be accepted with sufficient level of reliability:
  • there should be included accreditation mark of signatory to MLA / MRA or reference to the accreditation in line with the requirements stated in MSA-02,

  • reference to accreditation in them should be in compliance with the granted scope of accreditation; see annex to the accreditation certificate on SNAS webpage, also given field of accreditation should be a part of EA MLA structure in region of Europe and of ILAC MRA structure / IAF MLA structure out of Europe region. See MLA/MRA structure

  • testing, calibration, inspection, certification should be performed in accordance to the internationally valid standard,

  • standards, methods used and quoted in reports, certificates can be accepted in the country of destination.

In case of doubts or problems you can contact a local accreditation body; in Europe on, out of Europe region on or