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  Residues of veterinary medicines - EU Reference Laboratoriesslide

EU Reference Laboratories

The EU's network of laboratories for the control of residues includes:

  • 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.
EU and national reference laboratories contribute to high quality and uniformity of analytical results.

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 pdf updated 08-11-2010

Joint annual report of the European Union Community Reference Laboratories for residues. European Commission contract period July 2000 - June 2001. pdf

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



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