How are RASFF notifications made?
RASFF information flow (click to enlarge)
RASFF members each have a designated contact point that is responsible for sending RASFF notifications to the Commission. Before that happens, a lot of work has already been done:
Food or feed inspectors have inspected a product on the market or at the border. They may have taken samples and have received the results from
the laboratory. It is found that the product is non-compliant and needs to be reported inside the national system. The authority decides if the issue
falls under the scope of the RASFF and reports it to the national RASFF contact point. The national contact point verifies and completes the RASFF notification
where necessary and forwards it to the European Commission. It uses a RASFF notification form to provide details of the findings and measures taken
and adds relevant documents such as bills, lists of companies having received the products, analytical reports, etc. Templates are used to collect
all information on the RASFF notification form.
What is the responsibility of the European Commission in the RASFF?
The Commission, responsible for managing the system, is providing knowledge
and a technological platform to facilitate transmission and handling of the RASFF notifications.
It receives all notifications from members of the network and performs the following checks on them,
prior to making them available to all members of the network:
- a completeness check
- legislative requirements
- verification if the subject of the notification falls within the scope of the RASFF
- translation into English of the information on the notification form
- classification of the notification
- members of the network flagged for action
- recurrences of similar problems relating to the same professional operator and/or hazard/country of origin.
The Commission must inform a non-member of RASFF (third countries) if a product subject to
a notification has been exported to that country or when a product originating from that country has
been the subject of a notification. In this way, the country can take corrective measures where needed and appropriate.