Food Law News - UK - 2009

FSA News Item, 26 June 2009

MEAT HYGIENE - Update on charging for official controls

The Food Standards Agency is to proceed with the introduction of regulations for a new system of calculating charges for official controls in meat plants following agreement by Ministers in all four UK countries.

The new system will base charges on the time cost of the inspection process at meat businesses. Subject to the normal Parliamentary procedures, the new system will take effect from 27 September in Northern Ireland and 28 September in Great Britain.

Increases to charges that had been proposed by the FSA are not being introduced at this time. This means that, if official control time remains unchanged, meat businesses will not face an increase in the charges they pay when time-based charging is introduced. Charges could be lower for some businesses where official control time is reduced.

FSA Chief Executive Tim Smith explained: 'We are pleased that we have reached agreement on the move to time-based charging. That provides a good platform for the Meat Hygiene Service [in Great Britain] and DARD [in Northern Ireland] to continue working closely with the industry to deliver the official controls in the most efficient way.

'It was clear from our discussions with Ministers that there was concern about the introduction of a 4% increase and so there will be no increase in charges at this time.'

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