This project, funded by the Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission, consisted of the organisation of training sessions on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). The programme consisted in two courses representing a total of 7 three-day training sessions to be organised across the EU in 2014 and 2015. The targeted number of trainees were 285 in total: ? 55 per session for course 1; ? 55 for the first session of course 2; ? 30 for the other sessions in course 2. The course 1 was focused on strengthening collaboration between EU and non-EU countries through RASFF, while the course 2 was about better use of RASFF and successful implementation of iRASFF, with an objective to harmonise practices with regards to the operation of RASFF, in particular regarding recent modifications brought to the system. The Specific objective of the present project was to spread knowledge and best practices in relation with The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and how to work with the new online IT application and platform iRASFF, by strengthening collaboration between EU and trade partners from third countries and Developing countries. The contract requests the provision of training courses addressing the latest legislation, procedures and information with regards to RASFF and iRASFF thanks to users sharing their experiences of implementation and day to day working practices. After more than 34 years of application and keeping consumers safe, RASFF national contact points have notified thousands of cases to the European Commission that led to formal notifications in the system as alerts, information, border rejection or news, and aroused follow up notifications in equal quantities. The number of notification increased from tenth to thousands every year but dropped for the first time in 2012 without any clearly identified factor. Regulation (EC) n°178/2002 is the current legal basis for the RASFF. It does not however specify detailed rules for notification nor harmonises practices and formalises procedures. Each and every year, a small number of notifications is found not to satisfy the criteria for a RASFF notification by the RASFF Team in DG SANCO. It is also likely that some cases in the scope of the RASFF are not notified by RASFF NCPs. Since 2009, the system is however preparing to entirely reshuffle its modus operandi to tackle internal and external contraints: - The RASFF is under the scrutiny not only of EU governments, but also of EU citizens and medias every time there is an alert; - The public information published by the RASFF is identified as a reliable source of information regarding food safety by private food trade operators, and similarly to notation agency, a RASFF notification may impact on food trade, unbeknownst to the system itself; - EU governments tend to reduce their own budget to increase economic competitiveness of their respective countries and use their influence to reduce Commission’s budget. Regulation Reg. (UE) n°16/2011, known as the “RASFF Regulation”, sets requirements for the operation of the RASFF by the EU Member States, but RASFF SOPs are still under development. iRASFF is truly a revolution in the operation of RASFF. Indeed the availability of this tool will change the geography of the network, integrating various levels of users (national / regional / local) in a single virtual structure, modifying the timeframe for notifications and the perception that users get of the state of play of notifications. With all these changes, the RASFF is taking a leap forward, with new requirements on the RASFF members. The present training programme will ensure that the system is not too rapid for its own users, by helping them to understand what the meaning of these changes is, by training them on the application of procedures and operation of new IT tools, and creating a kind of “level playing field” for the RASFF in the EU. This explains why the European Commission organises a new training programme on RASFF and iRASFF in the framework of the BTSF initiative for the 2014-2017 period.

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