EU Reference Laboratories

EU Reference Laboratories

EU Reference Laboratories (EURLs) aim to ensure high-quality, uniform testing in the EU and support Commission activities on risk management and risk assessment in the area of laboratory analysis.

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls defines tasks, duties and requirements for all the EURLs, a list of which is provided in its Annex VII. The Commission can establish new EURLs or change designation of existing ones.

Reference Laboratories are tasked to:

  • provide National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) with analytical methods and diagnostic technics, and coordinate their application
  • train staff from National Reference Laboratories
  • provide the Commission with scientific and technical expertise in relation to laboratory analysis (e.g. assist actively in the diagnosis of animal disease outbreaks)
  • collaborate with the competent laboratories in non-EU countries


EURLs receive annual EU funding to fulfil their tasks and functions and cover their operational costs based on Article 32.7 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. The Commission counts on the implementation of the activities of the EURLs for the achievement of its objectives in the related policy areas. These objectives are set out in the specific Commission Work Programme for the EURLs, together with the resources that will be made available for their financing, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 652/2004. Every year the EURLs submit their work programmes demonstrating their contribution to the Commission’s objectives and priorities and request annual EU funding to fulfil their tasks and functions to cover their operational costs.

List of EU Reference Laboratories (EURLs)