Sign in / register

FPC Updates

Latest Events

Nov
1
Event
9:30am - 2:00pm

The New World of Work: The HR event for the future workplace

View Advert (this link will open in a new window)
View Advert (this link will open in a new window)

Proposed changes to fees for statutory plant health services

8 September 2017

The Animal and Plant Health Agency in England and Wales (APHA) has published its proposed changes to its charging structure and fees. 

The changes aim to ensure a risk-based approach to inspections, and to improve the simplicity, transparency and fairness of the fees, including aligning them more closely to the cost of delivering the service to individual customers. All eligible costs are fully recovered.

The proposals cover the following services:

  • inspection of imported plants and plant material and sampling and testing of potatoes imported from Egypt and the Lebanon;
  • seed potato certification;
  • plant passporting;
  • export certification;
  • plant health licensing and
  • certification of fruit propagating material.

The changes aim to ensure a risk-based approach to inspections, and to improve the simplicity, transparency and fairness of the fees, including aligning them more closely to the cost of delivering the service to individual customers. All eligible costs are fully recovered.

In April 2016 FPC successfully pre-empted an automatic increase in fees by persuading the Defra Minister to carry out a fundamental review of the service and to implement identified efficiencies before holding any future consultation on changes to the charging structure and fees.

Now you have the opportunity to comment on the proposals as part of the consultation which will run until 31 October 2017. 

The consultation does not extend to cover fees charged in Scotland and Northern Ireland; nor does it seek any feedback on the potential implications of plant health services and associated fees upon the UK leaving the European Union.

APHA is asking businesses to provide feedback via the online ‘Citizen Space’ site: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-health/proposed-changes-to-fees-for-statutory-plant-healt/

FPC will be coordinating a response on behalf of members and we would be pleased to hear from members if you would like us to reflect any specific views you have, particularly in relation to the impact on your business.  Please send any comments to sian@freshproduce.org.uk by Friday 20 October 2017.

Key changes

  • Combining the separate changes for documentary checks and identity checks into one fee of £9.71
  • Flat fees for each commodity type, irrespective of the size of the consignment
  • Introduction of a separate fee of £157.08 to recover the costs of laboratory testing where samples are taken by APHA inspectors because of the suspected presence of a harmful pest or disease
  • Removal of the additional charge for inspections undertaken outside ‘normal business hours’, with costs being apportioned across all physical inspection fees.

According to APHA the new cost methodology will reduce the overall cost to the 1,012 businesses using import inspection services by £543,000 a year. The amount an individual business is charged will depend on their use of the service and APHA estimates that approximately 73% of businesses will experience an increase in their costs.

Sampling and testing of potatoes from Egypt and Lebanon

Quarantine controls require that potatoes arriving from Egypt and the Lebanon are held at the point of entry into the UK and core samples are taken and sent for testing for latent infection of brown rot and ring rot respectively. Currently this control and associated fee is in addition to the normal plant health checks and fees applied to imported plant material. Under the new cost methodology the overall cost to businesses requiring this service will be reduced.

Fruit propagating material

APHA is proposing to introduce fees for fruit propagating material certification services. Specific requirements for identity, quality, labelling and packaging have been transposed into new EU Implementing Directives which came into force on 1 June 2017. These harmonisation measures facilitate intra-community trade; are cost neutral and are voluntary in so much as they will only apply to producers choosing to certify their produce to EU standards. The regulations will replace the current voluntary certification schemes with statutory schemes.

All the changes are proposed to be introduced in April 2018, with increases in certain fees to be phased in over three steps, to be completed by April 2019.

APHA will continue to monitor and review the service, with input from the Industry Task Force, in order to ensure that any further efficiencies are identified and implemented, and to maintain full cost recovery.

Join the FPC

FPC Linked-in Group

Fresh Live (this link will open in a new window)

Latest FPC Tweets

@Sian Thomas RT @JennyatFPC: Book a seat or a whole table and join us for the Freshawards 2019! Tickets can be purchased by both members and non members…

@FPC FreshtalkDaily News from @fpcfreshtalk is the 'go-to' publication for the fresh produce industry - if you haven't s… https://t.co/zJVGaKzb0s

@Nigel Jenney RT @JennyatFPC: Very early start in the fog this morning, but great to meet with the traders at @western_market once the sun came up! https…

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Fresh Produce Consortium © 2019