Expert Working Groups (EWGs)

In 2016, five Expert Working Groups (EWGs) were established, comprising more than 45 representatives from national food safety authorities in the Arab region


The overall mandate of the EWGs is the formulation and implementation of roadmaps, to further support the food safety standards harmonization process in the Arab region.


The scope of work is guided by five key food safety priority areas, identified by the ATF members. Each EWG is tasked with one of the following priority areas:


  1. Risk Assessment

  2. Inspection & Certification Systems

  3. Country Needs Assessment

  4. Codex Coordination

  5. Arab Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (ARASFF)


The EWGs function under the umbrella of national food safety competent authorities of the lead country.

Risk Assessment 
To develop a common Arab food safety risk assessment approach, to support a sustainable and consistent coordination and harmonization of food safety standards in the Arab region, in alignment with international best practices.
Lead country: Morocco
Member countries (5): Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Qatar, UAE
Inspection & Certification Systems
To establish a harmonized process of developing and applying common import and export certificates, in line with Codex standards, particularly guidelines on public and official certificate certification formats (CAC/GL38-2001).
In addition, the objective is to capitalize on successful regional and international best practices.
Lead country: Jordan
Member countries (5): Egypt, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen
Country Needs Assessment
To explore the development and implementation of a tool that assesses the current status of the regulatory framework for food safety and food control systems in Arab countries, in order to identify priority areas for investment in the development of regulatory capacities in food safety.
The tool will aim to further enhance the use of existing tools and methodologies, in order to better suit the pattern of food production and consumption in Arab countries.
Lead country: Egypt
Member countries (4): Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia
Codex Coordination
To improve food safety and facilitate trade by enhancing the contribution of Arab countries and their impact on the Codex Alimentarius activities, being the international entity designated to develop food international standards.
Lead country: Lebanon
Member countries (5): Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait
Arab Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (ARASFF)
To develop a harmonized mechanism to facilitate information and document exchange on the safety of food and feed in the Arab region.
Lead country: Saudi Arabia
Member countries (4): Algeria, Libya, Qatar, UAE