Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fifteenth Report


Memoranda from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs



1. These two Statutory Instruments were made on 6th March 2003. The Feedingstuffs (Zootechnical Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 ("the Zootechnical Regulations") will come into force on Thursday 1st May 2003, with regulation 3 coming into force on Monday 31st March 2003; and the Medicated Feedingstuffs (Amendment) (Scotland, England and Wales) Regulations 2003 ("the Medicated Feedingstuffs Regulations") will also come into force on Monday 31st March 2003.

2. The purpose of this Memorandum is to explain the increase in fees which the two SI's bring into effect.


3. Zootechnical feed additives and veterinary medicinal products are potent substances which must be correctly mixed in animal feed. If not used properly in the production and preparation of feedingstuffs, there are risks to the treated animals, and, through excess residues, to the consumer. Regular inspection minimises the risks to animals, consumers and to the environment from poor hygiene or incomplete or inaccurate mixing of animal feed. EC legislation requires all manufacturers of animal feedingstuffs incorporating veterinary medicines or zootechnical feed additives (antibiotic growth promoters and coccidiostats) to register and be inspected to ensure compliance with certain requirements.

4. In Great Britain the AMI (Animal Medicines Inspectorate) of the RPSGB (Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain) carries out these registration and inspection functions. (In Northern Ireland these functions are the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland.)

5. EC law has required increased level of inspections and other official checks, while the number of feed manufacturing premises registering with the AMI has declined from nearly 7,000 in 1989 to just over 1,800, with a reduction of 634 (26%) in premises registering in the last year. The geographical coverage required of the Inspectorate has remained fixed.

6. The AMI seeks to recover its operating costs through charging registration fees to those it inspects, approves and in respect of which it carries out other official checks. Fees it charges to feed manufacturers are set down in the two sets of Regulations which are amended by the above instruments.

Fee increases

7. There are difficulties in funding a relatively small inspectorate to cover a diminishing number of premises over a fixed geographical area. Although the AMI's overall running costs are expected to fall from £330,000 for 2002/3 to £274,700 for 2003/4, as the number of registered premises has declined each year, there are fewer businesses paying to support the regulatory regime. If fees were kept at current levels, the absolute reduction in income caused by the reduced number of registrations would mean that costs would exceed income from fees by about £80,000.

8. To avoid a shortfall between income and costs, and to allow the current standard of enforcement to be maintained, fees are being increased. This reflects the fact that those remaining on the register are each having to bear an increasing share of the AMI's costs. However, in recognition of the financial difficulties facing the farming industry it was agreed that 50% of the increase in fees for 2002/03 and 25% of the increase in fees for 2003/04 would be directly funded by Government to mitigate the burden on feed manufacturers.

9. The increases have been consulted upon, with consultees recognising the quality of service the AMI provides in performing its statutory duties, although generally being unhappy with the increased financial burden on individual feed manufacturers. Concerns of consultees as to the level of fees have been anticipated by the continuing financial support from Government to meet 25% of the increase from public funds. Other policy options for rationalising the structure of the regulatory and voluntary regimes are also being explored with industry.

7 March 2003


1. This Statutory Instrument was made on 17th March 2003 and will come into force on Monday 31st March 2003.

2. The purpose of this Memorandum is to explain the breach of the 21 day rule.

Background: correction of drafting error in citation of instrument

3. This Statutory Instrument revokes and replaces in almost identical terms the Medicated Feedingstuffs (Amendment) Regulations 2003 which were made on 6th March 2003 with a commencement date of 31st March 2003 (SI 2003/546).

4. Unfortunately, a drafting error crept into regulation 1 ("Title, commencement and extent") in the instrument made on 6th March 2003, in that the intended reference in parentheses to "Scotland, England and Wales" was omitted in the citation, although not in the heading to the SI. Since the heading is not operative, the citation has had to be corrected ­ hence the revocation and replacement by the current instrument of the previous one, which the Department is seeking authority not to print.


5. This Statutory Instrument deals with fees in tandem with an associated instrument, the Feedingstuffs (Zootechnical Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/545), which comes into force on 31st March and which also raises fees, in an associated sector of the animal feed industry. The two instruments cross refer to each other. The cross­reference in the associated instrument is to the intended title of these Regulations, thus mentioning an instrument which, it turns out, did not exist at the time. Consequential provision is therefore added to treat the cross­referencing henceforth as a reference to these Regulations.

6. Both sets of fee increases must be in force by 31st March 2003 to conform to the existing structure of annual charging in connection with implementing the EC regime which controls the manufacture of animal medicated feed and feedingstuffs containing zootechnical products.

7. Accordingly, so that the new fees may be effective on 31st March 2003, and both the associated Statutory Instruments can cross­refer correctly, the Department has been obliged to lay the Statutory Instrument less than 21 days before its commencement. We apologise to the Committee and both Houses for the breach of the rule, and trust that in the circumstances it will accept this as the most sensible course to remedy a drafting oversight.


8. As to the substance of the Statutory Instrument (insofar as it deals with fees increases), we refer the Committee to the Voluntary Memorandum of 7th March 2003 (copy attached for reference) for the explanation for the fee increases, the provisions of the present Statutory Instrument as to fees increases being the same as the Statutory Instrument which it revokes.

17 March 2003

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