FSA Consultation Letter, 27 April 2007
For a copy of the FSA consultation document relating to this item, see: Amendments to Official Control Regulations
The Official Feed and Food Controls ( England ) Regulations 2007 will update and replace the Official Feed and Food Controls ( England ) Regulations 2006. Responses are requested by: 20 July 2007
The reasons for introducing the new Statutory Iinstrument (SI) are to:
Views are also sought on a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for the SI and on draft guidance on the application of the provision on charging businesses for expenses arising from 'additional official controls'.
Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls
The proposed SI will apply certain elements of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls. This regulation sets out requirements for the authorities in EU Member States that have responsibility for monitoring and verifying compliance with, and enforcement of, feed and food law (and animal health and animal welfare rules), i.e. the ‘competent authorities' responsible for organising and undertaking ‘official controls'. Most of the provisions applied from 1 January 2006 and the others from 1 January 2007. Detailed information on the feed and food elements of the Regulation is provided in Q&A Notes published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The provisions in Regulation 882/2004 that are of particular relevance to this consultation relate to the financing of official controls, and to administrative assistance and co-operation between the Member States and the Commission. Detailed background information on these provisions is given in the partial RIA and in the draft guidance document.
Application of Regulation 882/2004 in the UK
Regulation 882/2004 is directly applicable in the Member States (that is its provisions are in themselves the law in Member States) but some measures are required at national level to give effect to its provisions. For the most part, responsibility for applying the feed and food elements of the Regulation in the UK lies with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the agriculture/rural affairs departments in the devolved administrations have responsibility between them for those feed and food elements that fall outside the FSA's remit (for example beef labelling, standards for organic products, protected food names; residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs, medicated feed etc.). As regards FSA areas of responsibility, most of the provisions of Regulation 882/2004, which applied from 1 January 2006, are given effect by the Official Feed and Food Controls ( England ) Regulations 2006. Separate but parallel legislation is in place in Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland .
Details of this consultation
The draft Official Feed and Food Controls ( England ) Regulations 2007
The proposed new SI will update and replace the 2006 SI. Separate but parallel SIs will be made in Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland . These will be subject to separate consultations. The exercises in Scotland and Wales will not run in parallel to the consultations in England and Northern Ireland because of restrictions in place in the run up to the forthcoming elections. It is not possible, at this stage, to agree on a date for the new SIs in each of the four UK countries to come into force but the aim will be to have the same date in all four countries if at all possible.
The principal changes from the 2006 Regulations are:
A partial RIA for the proposed SI is attached. The purpose of the RIA is to assess and record the likely costs and benefits for enforcement authorities, businesses and consumers of the proposed new and amended measures in the draft SI. It focuses on the provision relating to charging of businesses by the competent authorities for expenses arising from 'additional official controls'.
Comments on any aspect of the partial RIA are welcome. We would also welcome your views on the specific points and questions that are highlighted in the partial RIA itself. This will help us asses, in particular, the financial impact on both the enforcement authorities and businesses of the requirement for the competent authorities to charge feed/food businesses for expenses arising from 'additional official controls'.
Draft Guidance Notes on expenses arising from 'additional official controls'
These draft Guidance Notes are being developed in order to help ensure that charges for expenses arising from 'additional official controls' under regulation 41 of the Draft Official Feed and Food Controls ( England ) Regulations 2007 are applied in a fair and consistent manner.
Before the advice contained in the guidance may be finalised, there are a number of important issues and questions on which stakeholders' views are needed – these are highlighted at the relevant sections of the draft document. Any comments are welcome.