FSA Consultation Letter, 25 July 2007
For a copy of the consultation documents, see: Proposed Meat Charges Regulations
The Agency seeks comments on proposals to implement in England the throughput categories and minimum meat hygiene official control charges required by 1 January 2008 under European Commission (EC) law. Responses are requested by: 17 October 2007
The key proposals are:
The proposals are intended to come into force on 31 December 2007 to coincide with the start of the Meat Hygiene Service's January accounting period.
The proposed regulations will apply in England only. Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland are making similar legislation.
The charges to which these Regulations relate are currently implemented in England by the Meat (Official Controls Charges) ( England ) Regulations 2007 (current regulations). These charges are paid to the Meat Hygiene Service (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 England 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 6 weeks of age at slaughter to young and adult bovine animals (adult being aged 8 months or more at slaughter). This will mean that bovines aged between 6 weeks and 8 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 at Annexe B and are considered in more detail in the Impact Assessment (IA) at Annexe C.
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.