MCERTS implementation still set for 1 March 2005

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In view of the fact that many companies will find that no laboratory has MCERT accreditation for all the tests they require, the EA has been asked for clarification and guidance about what interim measures may be applied.

The response indicates that moving implementation deadlines has not proved productive in increasing the number of MCERTS laboratories, and may in fact be counter productive, as some labs may believe the scheme will never be fully implemented and enforced. Therefore, the scheme will be fully implemented from 1st March.

The EA concede however, that some pragmatism may be required in the short term. In general, procurers of analytical services will be expected to choose the laboratory that best meets their requirements, i.e. the one that can carry out the highest percentage of the required Annex A parameters to MCERTS standard. In order for this to be accepted, evidence may be required in order to demonstrate that steps were taken to find the most appropriate laboratory.