Data collection is an important task of EFSA and a fundamental component of many of its risk assessment activities. Transparency and openness regarding the way in which data are collected and analysed are underlying principles of EFSA’s operations. This guidance, for use in conjunction with the Standard Sample Description for Food and Feed version 2.0 guidance document (SSD2), published in October 2013, addresses the transmission mechanisms, file formats, security requirements and message exchange protocols (including validation messages) to be used to facilitate the exchange of data between Member States and EFSA. These two guidance documents, updated since their original publications in January and October 2010, have been enhanced to cover additional data domains and improvements in processes and technology. They are intended to provide a transparent basis to harmonise the collection and transmission of a wide range of measurements in the area of food and feed safety assessment across all data domains for which EFSA collects and analyses data. The documents are intended to ensure the efficient flow of data into the EFSA data warehouse where EU-wide food safety data will be stored and made accessible for appropriate scientific purposes.