Food Law News - UK - 2006

FSA Consultation Letter, 25 May 2006

MEAT HYGIENE - Proposal to phase in charges for controls on the removal of specified risk material (SRM)

The Agency seeks comments on possible changes to the current charging arrangements for meat hygiene controls and the possible introduction of charges for SRM controls. Please note that there will be a full, formal, consultation later in the year, but we would welcome your initial views at this point to help inform and develop options for further consultation. Responses are requested by: 7 July 2006

Consultation details

The issues on which we would welcome your comments, include:

SRM charges

Meat hygiene charges

In general terms, the above issues can be divided into two broad themes. The first is a proposal to move closer to full cost recovery by charging a higher proportion of the costs of the meat hygiene and SRM controls that are carried out by the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) in Great Britain and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Northern Ireland .

This reflects the view of the FSA that, as a general principle, it is inappropriate for the FSA to subsidise business and that FSA expenditure should be aligned more closely with strategic priorities. In moving closer to full cost recovery we recognise that control costs must be kept as low as possible, and reduced where possible, to limit the chargeable costs. As part of this the FSA plans to review the level of SRM controls to take a more risk-based approach to enforcement.

The second broad theme is whether the current charging system for meat hygiene controls should be maintained and, if so, whether and how the system might be adjusted to comply with EU requirements and whether other changes might be made to simplify the system.

This is the first stage of developing policy on these issues with stakeholders and will be followed by full public consultation later in the year. It is anticipated that a public consultation on the finance provisions of the OFFC above will be launched in June with a further consultation on the remaining issues to follow in late summer/early autumn.

The appendices to the written consultation that provide details of the issues about which we are seeking comments are available on this site at: SRM Consultation Appendices

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