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Data Collection Framework - DCF

Guidelines for WP/AR templates

This guidance contains instructions on how to prepare the work plan (WP) and annual report (AR) files. It relates to EU MAP from 2022, set out in Commission Delegated Decision (EU) 2021/1167 and Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/1168. Below the section on format and drafting, you will find descriptions and instructions to all fields from WP and AR table templates. The field names are listed in order of appearance in the WP/AR templates. The fields’ description ordered by table are listed in the Annex of Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/39. The text boxes’ description is listed below the table fields’ description. The grey sections of tables and text boxes relate only to the AR. The white sections relate to the WP. They must be copied to an AR. The yellow sections contain formulas and they fill in automatically in the AR tables.

  • WP tables template  [ .xlsx ]
  • WP text boxes template  [ .docx,  .pdf ]
  • AR tables template  [ .xlsx ]
  • AR text boxes template  [ .docx,  .pdf ]

WP interactive guidelines


AR interactive guidelines

General layout and drafting principles

Use the Excel [WP/AR] and Word [WP/AR] templates provided in the DCF website to draft your WP and AR. In the DCF website, you can also find guidance for WP and AR evaluation, for reference. The evaluation guidance is used during the AR/WP assessment conducted by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). Keep the layout and numbering of tables and text boxes as presented in the templates. They are in line with the Annex of Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/39. Do not add any tables or text boxes. If your Member State does not conduct data collection in sectors covered by certain tables or text boxes, you may delete these tables or text boxes from your WP or AR. Indicate by (Y/N) in the summary Table 0 of the Excel file which tables and text boxes are included and which are not. In your WP and AR text files, include the list of institutes and/or bodies responsible for the WP implementation in your Member State.

Format of the WP and AR files

  • Provide your WP and AR in three files each:
    • a Microsoft Word (or compatible) file containing the text,
    • a PDF file created from the Word (compatible) file,
    • a Microsoft Excel (or compatible) file containing the standard tables.
  • Annexes should be part of the main WP/AR text document; do not provide additional separate files.
  • Naming convention:
    • The WP text file should be named as follows:
      Example: Belgium_WP_2022-2024_Text_ YYYYMMDD.docx.
    • The WP tables file should be named as follows:
      Example: Belgium_WP_2022-2024_Tables_ YYYYMMDD.xlsx
    • The AR text file should be named as follows:
      Example: Belgium_AR_2022_Text_ YYYYMMDD.xlsx
    • The AR tables file should be named as follows:
      Example: Belgium_AR_2022_Tables_ YYYYMMDD.xlsx
  • For plain text use Arial or Times New Roman, font size 11 or 12.
  • Avoid coloured graphs and charts, unless they are too complex to be legible in grey scales. The adopted WP are published as Commission decisions in grey scales.

How to fill in the WP/AR tables

Use the Excel templates provided in the DCF website. To facilitate automatic search in the document, do not delete or merge any cells. Do not add any columns. Add as many rows as you need, but do not add empty rows (e.g. to mark sections in long tables). Follow the guidance to fill in the tables. Do not leave blank cells.

The cells colour code:
white cells = WP cells
grey cells = AR cells to fill in
yellow cells = AR cells with formulas; they will update automatically

Follow the guidance to enter text where requested, and numerical values where requested. Where numerical values (number, percentages) are requested, do not enter numerical expressions (e.g. ‘10-15’, or ‘<60’). If the guidance mentions ‘NA’ as an option, this is the only text that is allowed in those columns.
Insert WP/AR comments into a relevant column at the end of the table. If necessary, elaborate on your comments in a relevant WP/ AR text box in the text file. Use the ‘AR comments’ column for short explanations of deviations from the WP. Provide longer and more complex explanations in the AR text file.
When drafting the annual report, paste WP tables and text boxes as they are. Explain deviations in AR comments and text boxes where necessary. If necessary, specify in the AR text boxes actions your Member State will take to avoid deviations from the WP. Formulate actions concisely; avoid vague and general remarks.
If your Member State decides to introduce changes to an adopted work plan, submit an amended WP in due time for the assessment procedure (October). Do not modify WP content in the AR tables or text boxes. Before submitting the WP/AR tables, unhide any hidden cells and clear any filters, as they may hinder the evaluation process.

Consistent naming and codification, compliance with conventions

Apply consistent naming and coding of gears, species, metiers, fishing grounds etc. throughout the text and tables of the WP/AR files. To this end, follow the instructions and use the MasterCodeList included as a separate sheet in the WP/AR Excel template file. Copy and paste codes from the MasterCodeList to compile your WP/AR tables. Where applicable, use codes and names from relevant tables in the EU MAP decisions and other international conventions, including those agreed by regional co-ordination groups (RCGs).
Examples of conventional codes:

If your Member State operates in several regions, present the data collection activities per region, or supraregion (for economic data). See Table 2 of the Annex to Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/106. Present the activities outside EU waters grouped in regional sections and within the region, by regional fisheries (management) organisation or other international organisation (RFMO/RFO/IO): CECAF, ICCAT etc. Follow the same division in the tables and the text boxes.


To avoid delays in the evaluation process, submit your WP and AR files in English.

Revised versions of work plans and annual reports

Before the STECF assessment, the WP/AR files are screened for omissions and errors. If necessary, you will be asked to resubmit relevant files. The resubmitted files must include the entire WP/AR text or tables file. In the tables file, mark all modified sheet tabs and table entries in red font, to facilitate their detection. In the text file, use tracked changes function to highlight changes in the text, use red font to mark changes in graphs. Change the document’s version number in the front page. Name the revised versions of the WP/AR files following the same rules as for the initial versions (see section ‘Format of the WP and AR files’ above). Add the version number in the file name.

Publication on the DCF website

Once finalised, the WP and AR are published on this DCF website at 'WPs and ARs' web page. The WP are published after the Commission has adopted its decision approving the relevant WP. The AR are published after the Member State has submitted a final version following the STECF assessment and subsequent communication with the Commission.
Prior to their publication, all the documents need to be cleaned of tracked changes, red fonts and other markings. Make sure the Commission receives a clean final version of your files.