In June 2016, EFSA received a mandate from the national food competent authorities of five European countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) to provide a dietary reference value (DRV) for sugars, with particular attention to added sugars. A draft protocol was developed with the aim of defining as much as possible beforehand the strategy that will be applied for collecting data, appraising the relevant evidence, and analysing and integrating the evidence in order to draw conclusions that will form the basis for the Scientific Opinion on sugars. As EFSA wished to seek advice from stakeholders on this draft protocol, the NDA Panel endorsed it for public consultation on 12 December 2017. The consultation was open from 9 January to 4 March 2018. A technical meeting with stakeholders was held in Brussels on 13 February 2018, during the consultation period. After consultation with stakeholders and the mandate requestors, EFSA interprets this mandate as a request to provide scientific advice on an Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for (total/added/free) sugars, i.e. the maximum level of total chronic daily intake of sugars (from all sources) judged to be unlikely to pose a risk of adverse health effects to humans. The assessment concerns the main types of sugars (mono‐ and disaccharides) found in mixed diets (i.e. glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose, lactose, maltose and trehalose) taken through the oral route. The health outcomes of interest relate to the development of metabolic diseases and dental caries. The final version of the protocol was endorsed by the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on 28 June 2018.