Following the publication of Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/222 the responsibilities of the EURL for Monitoring Bacteriological and Viral Contamination of Bivalve Molluscs at Cefas have been transferred to the EU Reference Laboratories for the analysis and testing of zoonoses (salmonella) (, the EU reference laboratory for Escherichia coli, including verotoxigenic E. coli (vtec) (, and the EU reference laboratory for foodborne viruses The EU reference laboratory for the monitoring of marine biotoxins has taken over the activities related to the classification and monitoring of production areas for bivalve molluscs ( Information on Cefas’ International Reference Laboratory activities can be found at

European Union Reference laboratory Proficiency Testing Programme 2018

The European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs organises regular proficiency testing (PT) amongst National Reference Laboratories (NRL’s) and other international laboratories. PT schemes allow a laboratory to assess their performance against other participants and is an important part of a laboratory quality system.  

The EURL PT schemes involve the testing of shellfish matrix and laboratory constructed material for various parameters including: E. coli, Salmonella spp., Vibrio spp., norovirus and hepatitis A virus.  Distribution of material will be arranged by the EURL and will be open to all interested laboratories. For non-NRL laboratories the material is provided on a cost recovery basis.  The charge for each distribution is given in the table below in UK pound sterling, excluding Value Added Tax (VAT).  VAT will not be charged if a valid VAT number is provided.


For all laboratories please carry out the following:

  1. Review the PT distribution details in the table 1 below.
  2. Complete the registration form.
  3. If required, obtain import permits to enable PT material to enter the country.

Please note that:

  • Registering to the scheme means that you are accepting to participate in the distribution and all costs associated with the scheme (Where relevant).
  • Any charges incurred in the payment process (e.g. bank charges) must be paid by the participants and not be deducted from the stated cost. These will need to be added at the time of payment.
  • A purchase order number, if required, should be included on the registration form.
  • Where payment for PT material is required, an invoice will be issued shortly after registration has been processed. Please note if payment has not been received before the distribution date, no material will be released.
  • It is the responsibility of the end user laboratory to ensure that all relevant import permits are in place in advance of the distribution. Failure to supply the import permit will result in the material not being sent. 

If you have any queries, please contact us using our contact page.

Table 1

Ref No. Description Distribution date

Distribution costs for Non-NRL participants (This charge includes transport costs)

PT 76

Whole animal distribution of live bivalve molluscs for the examination of E. coli and Salmonella spp. Week commencing 26th November 2018

EU = £680

Third = £880 *

* Please note where import permits are required, if not received before the distribution date, the material will not be sent.