|Conformity assessment and designation of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)
MRAs lay down the conditions under which the EU and the third country concerned will accept test reports, certificates and marks of conformity issued by the conformity assessment bodies (CABs) of the other party to the agreement, in conformity with the legislation of the other party. MRAs include the finalisation of relevant lists of designated laboratories, inspection bodies and conformity assessment bodies in both the EU and the third country. [Links to existing lists are provided on this website.] Designation of CABs represents a core function in the operation of the MRA. EU Member States are enabled to designate CABs that will assess and certify products, in specified sectors, which are exported to the third country signatory of an MRA with the EU. The legislation of reference comprises the regulations and technical requirements of the third country. Similarly, third country signatories can designate CABs that in practice will operate as Notified Bodies in the context of the EU internal market.
Designation of CABs by EU Member States
Designation enables European CABs to conduct assessments, in line with the legislation in a non-member country, on products to be placed on the market in that country. It will basically take the form of indicating the details (address, etc.) of the body, the country in question and its legislation, and the detailed technical qualifications - as requested by the third country - on the basis of which the designation is made. An identification number is not assigned to an EU CAB, which may nevertheless already possess identification number as an EU notified body.
The applicant CAB requests designation from its national designating authority, which in turn communicates the dossier to the European Commission (DG ENTR.C.1).
Designation of CABs by non-EU countries
Designation in this case enables non-EU CABs to assess, in line with EU directives and in accordance with the provisions of the MRA, products to be placed on the EU market. In certain sectors these CABs receive identification numbers (which will feature next to the CE marking where a CAB intervenes during the production phase). Such designation takes place according to the relevant terms of the MRA - broadly on the basis of the same criteria as for Notified Bodies. In certain sectors, according to the terms of the MRA Framework Agreement and the relevant Sectoral Annexes, these CABs will be performing the same tasks as the EU Notified Bodies. In this case, and in line with the European Commission procedures applicable for Notified bodies, they will be included in the data base of Notified Bodies.
The non-EU CAB applies to its own designating authority, which in turn sends the application to the European Commission (DG TRADE.G.3).
For further information and background documents, see the web site:mra