Meat (Official Controls Charges) (Scotland) (No.2) Regulations 2007
Thursday 2 August 2007
The proposed ragulations will implement in Scotland the throughput categories and minimum meat hygiene official control charges required by 1 January 2008 under European Commission (EC) law. The proposals are intended to come into force on 31 December to coincide with the start of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) January charging period.
All comments and views should be sent to:
Animal Food Chain & Novel Foods Branch
Food Standards Agency Scotland
St Magnus House
25 Guild Street
Aberdeen AB11 6NJ
Tel: 01224 285105
Fax: 01224 285168
Responses are requested by: 24 October 2007
The key proposals are:
- to implement the throughput categories required by Regulation (EC) 882/2004 on Official Feed and Food Controls (OFFC Regulation)
- to increase certain throughput fees applicable to hygiene official controls in approved meat establishments by the minimum amounts necessary to achieve compliance with the OFFC Regulation
- to state all throughput rates in Sterling, instead of in Euros
We are proposing to implement the financing provisions of Regulation (EC) 882/2004 on Official Feed and Food Controls (OFFC Regulation) that relate to the requirement to charge minimum fees, for specified throughput categories for meat hygiene official controls at approved meat establishments, by 1 January 2008. The proposed regulations will apply in Scotland only. England, Wales and Northern Ireland are making similar legislation.
The charges to which these Regulations relate are currently implemented in Scotland by the Meat (Official Controls Charges) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (current regulations). These charges are paid to the MHS, an Executive Agency of the Food Standards Agency.
From 1 January 2008 amended domestic legislation is required to implement the EC OFFC throughput charging categories and to increase the current throughput charging rates where necessary so that at least the specified EC OFFC minima are charged. The majority of the current throughput rates applicable in Scotland and the rest of the UK are above the OFFC minima and the regulations would not increase these.
Throughput rate categories
In implementing the EC OFFC throughput categories we propose to maintain the current charges structure as far as is possible. This will enable the regulations to continue to specify different throughput rates for different weights of animals (e.g. poultry) so that current differentials are maintained, as far as possible, to take into consideration the types of businesses concerned. However, the OFFC throughput categories for cattle will need to change from bovine animals of more or less than six weeks of age at slaughter to young and adult bovine animals (adult being aged eight months or more at slaughter). This will mean that bovines aged between six weeks and eight months at slaughter that would have been charged at the higher throughput rate will, from 31 December 2007, be charged at the lower rate.
Changes to throughput charging rates
The changes that are required to meet OFFC requirements will affect slaughterhouses that process cattle, boars and some ruminants (mainly deer), slaughterhouses that process turkeys and game handling establishments that process boars and/or ruminants (mainly deer). The throughput rates applicable to adult bovines, boars, low/middle weight ruminants and low/middle weight turkeys, will be increased to the required EC minimum level of charge. The proposed rates are set out in Sterling and are considered in more detail in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) available in the accompanying document.
All operators will continue to pay the lesser of time costs or throughput charges.
Proposal to state all throughput rates in Sterling
We also propose for the first time to state all throughput rates in the Regulations in Sterling. The rates in Schedule 2 to the proposed Regulations have been converted from Euros to Sterling at the exchange rate applicable to 2007. These rates may need to be revised if the exchange rate published at the beginning of September is different from that currently applicable. We will write to stakeholders at this time to set out any changes that are required.
This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
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