MSFD 2020 data request for Article 17 updates of Article 11


image.png Ref. Ares(2020)3456782 - 01/07/2020

Quality of Life
Marine Environment & Water Industry



To: Nominated Reporters for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Cc: Environment Attachés of Permanent Representations

Marine Directors of the EU 28 Member States

Members of the Marine Strategy Coordination Group (MSCG)

Members of the Working Group on Data, Information and Knowledge Exchange (WG DIKE)


Subject: Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2020 data request for Article 17 updates of Article 11


Dear colleagues,

In accordance with Article 17(2) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Member States have to review and update their marine strategies every six years. This requires information on Article 11 (monitoring programmes) to be updated by 15 July 2020, and to be notified to the European Commission by 15 October 2020 at the latest.

The MSFD Guidance Document 17 for Reporting on the 2020 update of Article 11 for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive sets out the way in which this reporting is to be undertaken. The types of reports to be uploaded as part of the notification and the reporting procedure are further explained in Annex 1 to this letter. All of the resources highlighted in this data request are available at

You are strongly encouraged to provide e-reports (XML files) as this helps to ensure the quality and consistency of the information reported. This facilitates its dissemination via WISE-Marine and its assessment by the Commission in accordance with Article 12. The Commission’s assessment is expected to consider the adequacy of the reports, their consistency between the articles and their coherence across the subregion, region and Europe.

You are reminded that it is a legal obligation to report by the date indicated above; you are urged to do your utmost to notify the reports by this deadline. If you consider there is a significant risk of not being able to meet this obligation, we would be grateful if you could indicate, for our planning purposes, by when you intend to report, via email to

We take this opportunity to thank you for your support and look forward to receiving your reports in due course.


Yours faithfully,

Head of Unit   


Enclosure: Annex: Reporting and notification procedures for the 2020 data request on Article 17 updates of MSFD Article 11


c.c.: M. Sponar, F. Pirotta, D. Connor



Annex: Reporting and notification procedures for the 2020 data request on Article 17 updates of MSFD Article 11

Guidance Document

The MSFD Guidance Document 17 ‘Reporting on the 2020 update of Article 11 for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive’ provides details about the reporting requirements. It is accompanied the enumerations listed in the guidance and by a reference list of elements.

Schemas, data specifications and QA/QC 

Two XDS schemas have been developed for reporting the information related to Article 11: one on “Monitoring strategies” and one on “Monitoring programmes”. They can be found here:

Member States are expected to submit only one file (XML) per schema.

The MSFD 2020 Data Model for Art. 11 (UML) and other resources are available on the resource web page:

Quality control checks have been developed to ensure good quality of the data reported and are available as descriptions.

Reporting tools

In order to generate XML files for e-reporting, two web-forms [1] can be used to directly update and edit the XML files. There is a web-form User guide.

To facilitate the 2020 updating of the monitoring programme information, the relevant information from the 2014 e-reports for Article 11 has been used to prefill XML files for the 2020 reporting. These prefilled XML files are accessible in the CDR Help page under “Prefilling resources”. These files can be uploaded to the web-forms for editing and updating.

An Access database has been prepared as an alternative mechanism to hold the reporting information. An AccessToXML converter enables export of the information into XML files.

It is possible to prepare multiple XML files per schema, for example per Descriptor, but these need to be merged into a single XML file per schema. The Merge tool allows merging of several XML files belonging to the same schema into a single one.

A XMLToPDF/RTF converter has been developed to allow an export of the fiches for each Monitoring strategy and Monitoring programme from XML into PDF or RTF formats. These fiches can be useful to help validate the reporting information before it is finalised, and for use during the Article 19(2) public consultation process.

Where to report

The reports need to be uploaded to the corresponding country folder in the European Environment Agency’s Central Data Repository (CDR; Under each country folder, in the EU obligations envelope, there is a sub-collection “Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Article 17 (updates)”, under which there is a folder “2020 Reporting - Article 11 (monitoring programmes)”. This folder contains the following 3 folders: “MSFD - Article 11 - XML data” (where the XML files have to be uploaded), “MSFD - Article 4 - Spatial data” (in case the Member State is using new Marine Reporting Units, in order to update them) and “MSFD – Article 11 – Text report” (for an optional upload of any official or technical documents).

Whenever the Marine Reporting Units need to be updated, Member States need to upload to CDR both a shapefile with their geographical delineation (using a template, for which there is also a guidance), as well as an XML to be created using the 4geo schema.

Within the corresponding folder, the reporter (logged in with an Eionet account) needs to create an envelope in order to upload the files; this has to be ‘released’ in order to finalize the reporting.

Who can report

Only the experts nominated by Member States as MSFD reporters are allowed to create and release envelopes in the CDR. The list of reporters is held in the Eionet website (Eionet login required):

If you wish to change the list of reporters for your country please contact the MSFD helpdesk.


For questions and help related to content and guidance on MSFD reporting, please contact the MSFD helpdesk:

For technical support related to EIONET in general (e.g. login problems), please contact the EIONET helpdesk:



[1]  Available in