Meat (Official Controls Charges) (Wales) Regulations (No. 2) 2007
Tuesday 31 July 2007
The proposed regulations will implement in Wales 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 2007 to coincide with the start of the January charging period of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS).
All comments and views should be sent to:
Food Standards Agency Wales
11th Floor, Southgate House
Cardiff CF10 1EW
Tel: 029 2067 8959
Fax: 029 2067 8918
Responses are requested by: 22 October 2007
The key proposals are:
- to implement the throughput categories required by Regulation (EC) 882/2004 on Official Feed and Food Controls (the OFFC Regulation)
- to increase certain throughput fees applicable to 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
The charges to which these Regulations relate are currently implemented in Wales by the Meat (Official Controls Charges) (Wales) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/843 (W.75)) (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 OFFC Regulation’s throughput charging categories and to increase the current throughput charging rates where necessary so that at least the specified OFFC Regulation’s minima are charged. The majority of the current throughput rates applicable in Wales and the rest of the UK are above the OFFC Regulation’s minima and the Regulations would not increase these.
The Agency is 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 Wales only. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are making similar legislation.
Throughput rate categories
In implementing the OFFC Regulation’s 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 Regulation’s 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 the OFFC Regulation 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 ruminants (mainly deer). The throughput rates applicable to adult bovines, low/middle weight turkeys, feral wild boar and low/middle weight ruminants 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).
All operators will continue to pay the lesser of time costs or throughput charges.
Proposal to state all throughput rates in Sterling
It is also proposed 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. The Agency will write to stakeholders at this time to set out any changes that are required.
We would be grateful for comments and information on any aspects of the RIA, but, in particular in respect of:
Para 16 – the number of cattle that are slaughtered between six weeks and eight months of age that would be charged at the rate that currently applies to cattle aged less than six weeks at slaughter;
Para 17 - the impact of the proposed charge in increases for boars and 'other' ruminants (mainly deer) on those slaughter houses that process these animals;
Paras 17 and 21– views on whether to make the minimum changes to the charging structure for 'other' ruminants, as is proposed, or whether to charge a single rate. We ask this because applying the minimum OFFC Regulation’s throughput fee for 'other' ruminants requires us to charge that minimum (£0.3371) for all animals with a carcase weight of no more than 18kg (i.e. to amalgamate the 'less than 12kg' and '12 – 18kg categories'). This leaves the current rate for animals over 18kg (£0.3534) only a little higher than the fee for the smaller animals.
In view of this, we could take the opportunity to move to a single rate, which we would propose to set at the OFFC Regulation’s minimum of £0.3371.
In considering this, we would be grateful if you would bear in mind that we will take the 31 December changes into account when setting throughput fees for 2008/09 (this will the subject of a later consultation). Keeping two rates now would enable the differential between them to be reinstated to some extent.
Paras 18 to 20 – the impact of the proposed charge increase for turkeys for which we have insufficient data to carry out a detailed analysis;
Para 222 – the impact of the proposed charge in increases for boars and 'other' ruminants (mainly deer) processed by game-handling establishments for which we have insufficient data to carry out a detailed analysis
Para 27 – we would appreciate information on typical numbers of animals processed by low throughput slaughterhouses and game handling establishments.
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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