EU Reference Laboratories
The EU's network of laboratories for the control of residues includes:
EU and national reference laboratories contribute to high quality and uniformity of analytical results.
- EU Reference Laboratories (EU-RLs) designated by the Commission;
- National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) designated by each EU-countries;
- Official control laboratories under the responsibility of EU-countries.
Regulation establishing EU-RLs
- Provide analytical and reference methods to NRLs;
- Coordinate the application by NRLs of the methods referred to in (a) through comparative testing and follow-up according to internationally accepted protocols;
- Conduct training for NRL staff and experts from developing countries;
- Provide the Commission with scientific and technical assistance, especially when EU-countries contest analyses results;
- Collaborate with laboratories that analyse feed and food in non-EU countries.
Regulation on official controls - Functions of EU-RLs for feed and food (Art. 32)
Regulation EC 776/2006 – List of the 4 EU-RLs dealing with residues of certain substances
Directive 96/23/EC (Annex I) – List of certain substances
Decision 98/536/EC - List of NRLs for residues
amended by Decision 2006/130/EC and Regulation EC 1792/2006.
List of CRLs for residues updated 08-11-2010
Joint annual report of the European Union Community Reference Laboratories for residues. European Commission contract period July 2000 - June 2001.
Work programmes of EU-RLs
National Reference Laboratories (NRLs)
EU countries designate one or more NRLs for each EU-RL. This may be a laboratory in another EU or European Free Trade Association country. A single laboratory may be the NRL for more than one EU country.
A residue or residue group may not be assigned to more than one national reference laboratory.
Article 33 of this Regulation – Designation of NRLs and responsibilities in residue testing
Functions of NRLs
- Collaborate with EU-RLs;
- Coordinate activities of official laboratories that analyse official samples;
- Organise comparative tests between the official laboratories;
- Disseminate information from the EU-RLs to the competent authority and official national laboratories;
- Assist the competent authority to organise coordinated control plans;
Article 14 of this Directive – Functions of NRLs
Decision 98/536/EC - List of NRLs