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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

List of NRLs pdf

Lists of EURLs for residues pdf

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



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