External complaint

What can I complain about?

EFSA grants any directly concerned legal or natural person the possibility of filing a complaint against an alleged breach of the rules and principles set out in relevant standards, legislations or other documents and concerning EFSA’s decisions, practices, behaviours or omissions, and affecting their situation, condition or case (e.g. decisions affecting personal data, regulatory data submitted in the context of a scientific evaluation procedure, communications affecting specifically your legal situation or interests, etc.).

Issues on matters to be raised under other specific procedures (e.g. appeals against decisions regarding a selection procedure for a vacancy or comparable position, requests for public access to documents, requests for review of decisions taken in the context of competing interest management, request for confidential treatment of information and for administrative review under Regulations (EC) No 1829, 1831 and 2065/2003 etc.) are to follow the respective procedure.

How can I file a complaint?

  • Submit a complaint to EFSA by sending an email to complaints [at] efsa.europa.eu, providing the Authority with the following information:

    • Your identity (first name, family name, contact details, employer/organization if relevant, etc.);
    • The reason for your complaint
    • The result you are hoping to achieve by filing a complaint; and
    • Any relevant supporting documentation or references to documentation (link to websites or publications, product name, EFSA reference number, document, etc.)
  • Your complaint must be brought up to EFSA within 2 years from the date on which you were informed of or have learnt about the facts on which your complaint is based on. 
  • You have the possibility to request confidential treatment of your complaint or certain parts thereof by indicating such a requirement in the complaint itself and by providing supporting reasoning or justification.

How will EFSA handle my complaint?

  • EFSA will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within 2 weeks, unless it lacks sufficient information (see above), or your complaint is abusive, excessive in number, repetitive or of pointless character: in these cases, EFSA will not process the correspondence received.
  • EFSA commits to reply within 2 months from the receipt of a complete complaint. This deadline may be extended depending on the complexity of the case.
  • EFSA further commits to handle your complaint in line with EFSA’s Code of Good Administrative Behaviour.

Are there any further steps or options available to me?

If you are not satisfied with EFSA’s response to your complaint, further means of action are available: