Accreditation is used worldwide. In most developed economies there is a body similar to the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. UKAS is this country's signatory to European and international accreditation agreements to facilitate the breaking down of technical barriers to trade.
It is important for goods and services tested in the UK to be accepted in Europe and worldwide without the need for additional testing. Increasingly, accreditation is the means of achieving this.
UKAS is recognised internationally through European and world multilateral recognition agreements. This recognition enables government to use accredited bodies to meet obligations under world trading agreements e.g. compliance with EU Directives and the WTO TBT (World Trade Organisation Technical Barriers to Trade) Agreement.
UKAS represents the United Kingdom on three European and international bodies - the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA), the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).