About the ACN
The Alert and Cooperation Network (ACN) facilitates the exchange of administrative information and the cooperation between Member States on official controls in the agri-food chain. The ACN is composed of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation Network (AAC) and the EU Agri-Food Fraud Network (FFN) as established by Commission Regulation 2019/1715 (IMSOC Regulation). Each network is responsible for different aspects of the agri-food chain, respectively: non-compliances with possible health risk (RASFF), non-compliances without health risk (AAC) and suspicions of fraud (FFN).
Each network member is represented by a Single Contact Point (SCP). One specialised AAC network in operation is the Agri-Food Fraud Network.
The ACN is governed by the rules for administrative assistance and cooperation set out in Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council, also known as the Official Controls Regulation.
Information exchanges between ACN contact points are made in the iRASFF platform in the form of notifications.
The ACN in practice
Since March 2021, the three networks composing the ACN (RASFF, AAC and FFN) work together to allow a smooth exchange of information between Members States’ competent authorities, and ease cooperation among them.
The European Commission is the manager of the ACN. It provides technological support to ACN, mainly through the iRASFF IT platform, which allows the exchange of information between members via ACN notifications. The European Commission maintains Standard Operating Procedures for the ACN giving guidance and good practices to the network members.
The cooperation among ACN members and with the European Commission is essential. Meetings of the members are regularly organised. Standard Operating Procedures are agreed and regularly adapted based on experience and iRASFF updates.
The European Commission remains attentive to the quality of the information circulated by members, asking for clarification and additional elements, as necessary, from the notifying member so that other concerned members can take well-informed follow-up measures. The European Commission ensures that RASFF notifications are immediately available to all network members.
The Commission ensures daily communication with non-member countries as regards RASFF notifications in different ways, either directly through RASFF Window (to which nearly 100 countries have access), by exchanging e-mails, or through the INFOSAN network. The European Commission must inform a non-member of RASFF (third countries) if a product notified has been exported to that country or when a product originating from that country has been notified so that that country can take appropriate measures.
ACN in 2022 at a glance
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