FSA Consultation Letter, 25 November 2009
A copy of the consultation document is available on this site as well as a separate flow chart. See: Meat Products Regulations - Reducing the Burden and Annexe E – Proposed step-by-step flow diagram guidance (England)
Responses are requested by: 3 March 2010
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Industry (i.e. manufacturers, retailers, butchers), consumers and enforcement authorities.
What is the subject of this consultation?
Proposals for reducing the administrative burden when applying Regulation 5 of the Meat Products Regulations 2003 (MPRs).
What is the purpose of this consultation?
To obtain comments and views on the proposals and, where possible, any further supporting evidence on the four options set out for reducing administrative burdens.
The Food Standards Agency is seeking views and comments on the proposal to reduce the administrative burden associated with the application of Regulation 5 of the Meat Products (England) Regulations 2003 (MPRs) (as amended).
Administrative Burdens Measurement Exercise
In 2005 the Agency took part in the cross-Government Administrative Burdens Measurement Exercise (ABME), which measure the administrative burden to business of complying with information obligations (i.e. form filling, record keeping, notifying activities, requesting authorisation, providing information to third parties for example labelling, etc.) required under the legislation. This estimated that the information obligation of Regulation 5 of the MPRs costs business in England around £11.2 million annually. Further details of costs are provided in the draft Impact Assessment (IA) at Annexe D.
The FSA has been considering ways to reduce the administrative burden while maintaining the current level of information provided to consumers. In doing this, we have had the following policy aims:
We are consulting on four options which are summarised below:
These options, along with a brief summary of what they achieve, are as follows:
1. Do nothing
No legislative changes.
No planned changes to existing guidance on the 'Labelling of 'added ingredients' in meat products covered by MPR Regulation 5'.
No savings on administrative burdens.
2. Remove all of Regulation 5 and Schedule 3
By removing Regulation 5 and Schedule 3 there will be no specific requirements for added ingredients to be included in the name of a product, other than those set out in Regulation 8 of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 (as amended).
No changes to existing guidance on the 'Labelling of "added ingredients" in meat products covered by MPR Regulation 5'.
This option provides the maximum savings on administrative burdens in the region of £11.2M.
3. Amend current MPRs retaining the key provisions of Regulation 5
The key provisions for added water and animal proteins in Schedule 3 are retained in Regulation 5. Schedule 3 is revoked.
Specific thresholds for declaring added water in the name of a product are maintained.
Declaring the ingredients of animal origin, if of different species to that in the product, will continue to be mandatory.
No changes to guidance are planned.
Savings on administrative burdens are expected to be in the region £5.6M.
4. Guidance with step by step flow diagrams (Regulation 5 unchanged)
There will be no changes to the existing legislation. Regulation 5 and Schedule 3 will be retained.
A set of step by step flow diagrams will be issued as additional guidance to allow easy and quick compliance.
Thresholds for added water will be maintained. Animal ingredients of different species will be required in the name of a product.
Savings on administrative burdens is expected to be the second highest (after option 2) in the region of £9.7M.
The details of each of these options, together with the costs and benefits of each, are set out in the Impact Assessment at Annexe D.
Stakeholders are asked to provide comments regarding the impacts of all the options set out in the IA. To facilitate this, we recommend stakeholders give particular attention to the contents of Annexe E – the step by step flow diagram guidance for option 4 – Annexe F regarding the current situation, and the proposed SI for option 3 in Annexe G.
The IA (Annexe D) asks a number of questions on specific issues on which stakeholders’ responses would be welcome, as well as a request for information in relation to costs and assumptions behind the calculations.
Annexe E includes a pro-forma for stakeholder evaluation and comments on the guidance diagrams; views on which of the two sets of charts are preferred are particularly welcomed.
Annexe F provides further explanation of labelling requirements, including Regulation 5 of the Meat Products Regulations 2003.
Annexe G provides a draft SI for option 3.
There are two additional annexes B and C, which provide general information on the consultation and a list of consultees.