Food Law News - UK - 2005

FSA Consultation Letter, 19 May 2005

HYGIENE - Draft Fishery Products (Hygiene Charges) (England) Regulations 2005

The draft regulation continues the application of hygiene inspection charges for direct landings of fish and fishery products into England . Views on similar draft regulations are being sought in Northern Ireland , Scotland and Wales . Responses are requested by: 9 August 2005

Consultation details

The key proposal is to introduce new national regulations, effective from 1 January 2006 , to allow for the continued application of current hygiene inspection charges and provisions for fish and fishery products as set down below.

No new rates of charge are being applied and no changes are to be made to current practices. This national measure is required as the current Food Safety (Fish and Shellfish) (Hygiene) Regulations 1998, which contain the current charging provisions for England and Wales, are being revoked at the end of this year due to the implementation of new EU Hygiene Regulations on 1 January 2006. The current EU provisions for charging are set out in Council Directive 85/73/EEC (as amended).

New EU legislation (European Parliament and Council Regulation 882/2004 on Official Feed and Food Controls) sets down a new framework for financing of official controls including provisions relating to hygiene inspection charges that will apply from 1 January 2007 . The Food Standards Agency is considering the options for implementing these provisions and will consult with stakeholders in the normal manner.

When responding please state whether you are responding as a private individual or on behalf of an organisation/company.

The legal provisions, in England and Wales, for the current hygiene inspection charges regime for fish and fishery products are contained in The Food Safety (Fishery Products and Live Shellfish) (Hygiene) Regulations 1998 (as amended) SI No 994 of 1998 and No 399 of 1999.

These regulations implement the charging requirements of Council Directive 85/73/EEC (as amended). The regulations also implement the current EU fish and shellfish hygiene Directives (91/492/EEC and 91/493/EEC). New EU hygiene regulations, which will apply across the EU as from 1 January 2006 , will revoke the current EU hygiene directives for fish and shellfish and therefore the 1998 regulations are being revoked.

We are therefore required by the EU to introduce national measures to maintain the current charging regime set out in Council Directive 85/73/EEC but by reference to the relevant provisions of the new hygiene regulations rather than to the superseded fish hygiene directives.

The attached draft regulations contain the national measures to be introduced in England on 1 January 2006 . The new EU hygiene regulations do not contain any provisions for the continuation of the current hygiene inspection charges as these are set down in the new Official Feed and Food Control Regulation (No.882/2004). This regulation will also apply across the EU from 1 January 2006 ; however, the provisions on financing of official controls, including those relating to hygiene inspection charges do not apply until 1 January 2007 .

The Food Standards Agency is considering the options for applying the provisions on financing and will consult with stakeholders in due course.

The new national measure makes provision for food authorities to recover a contribution towards the costs of carrying out hygiene inspections in respect of fish and fishery products caught in their natural environment and landed directly in England from:

The draft regulations also make provision for additional charges in relation to fishery products landed from factory ships, the inspection of factory ships abroad, fishery products entering preparation or processing establishments and fishery products entering other establishments in which fishery products are only chilled, frozen, packaged or stored. The rates for these charges remain the same as in the current legislation.

All the hygiene control requirements for which these charges are made are currently set down in Council Directive 91/493/EEC. With effect from 1 January 2006 the control requirements are set down in Annex II to Council Regulation 854/2004.

For a copy of the draft text, see:

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