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EA and The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) continue their cooperation for accreditation of plant pest diagnostic laboratories

During its 36th meeting in September 2018, the EA Laboratory Committee (LC) decided to endorse a revised version of the communiqué published after the signature of the Recognised Stakeholder agreement signed between EA and EPPO in 2011, which marked a new step in an active cooperation that had started in 2007.

Objective: 29 April 2022. At that date, official control laboratories will have to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025.

With the growing need for harmonised practice in that field, EA and EPPO decided to enhance cooperation between their two organizations.

The development of robust quality management systems and the provision for accreditation are essential for laboratories around the world. Laboratories performing official diagnostics for regulated pests (insects, diseases etc.) need to achieve high quality standards because of the impact of their diagnosis on international trade, on the agricultural sector, and on the environment.

Many laboratories within the EPPO region are already accredited and there is an increase in applications for accreditation among plant pest diagnostic laboratories. It should be also mentioned that the Regulation EU 2017/625 stipulates that official control laboratories in the area of protection and protective measures against pests of plants have until the 29th of April 2022 to become accredited. Accreditation of plant pest diagnostic laboratories is based on ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories with additional guidance being provided in EPPO Standard PM 7/98 Specific requirements for laboratories preparing accreditation for a plant pest diagnostic activity. Accreditation is given by national accreditation bodies.

The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for European cooperation in plant protection in the European and Mediterranean region. Under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), EPPO is the regional plant protection organization (RPPO) for Europe. One of EPPO’s fundamental roles is to encourage harmonization in all areas of official plant protection action.

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