Data collection is an important task of EFSA and a fundamental component of many of its risk assessment activities. With the assistance of the Technical Working Group on Data Collection, EFSA has developed two guidance documents to facilitate the exchange of data between Member States and EFSA. The Standard Sample Description for Food and Feed, published in January 2010, aimed at harmonising the data content of submissions. The current document is complementary to the first guideline in that it addresses the transmission mechanisms, file formats, security requirements and message exchange protocols (including validation messages) to be used. These two guidance documents are intended to provide the basis for a general model to harmonise the collection and transmission of a wide range of measurements in the area of food and feed safety assessment.