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The Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (Scotland) Regulations 2007

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Explanatory Note

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These Regulations revoke and re-enact with changes the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (Scotland) Regulations 2002 (S.S.I. 2002/445 as amended by S.S.I. 2002/565, 2003/165, 2003/225, 2003/333, 2003/411, 2005/323, 2005/645 and 2006/156). The principal changes are the addition of a new regulation 3, and changes to regulations 5, 17, and to Part 9 (see below). The Schedules have also been reorganised, and revised in order to make reference to Community instruments that have come into force recently.

The Regulations implement for Scotland Council Directive 97/78/EC (laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries) (O.J. No. L 24, 30.1.98, p.9). Commission Decision 2002/349/EC (laying down the list of products to be examined at border inspection posts under Council Directive 97/78/EC) (O.J. No. L 121, 8.5.2002, p.6) specifies the products of animal origin to which the Directive applies – meat, fish (including shellfish), milk, and products made from these, together with egg products and a large number of animal by-products, including casings, skins, bones and blood – from third countries.

The products to which the Regulations apply (defined in regulation 2) must comply with the requirements listed, by reference to the relevant Community legislation, in Schedule 1.

Regulation 3 makes provision (previously in the interpretation provisions) as to the person responsible for a consignment.

Regulation 4 provides for exemptions from Parts 3 to 9 of the Regulations. Regulation 4(7) provides that Part 3, with the exception of regulation 25, and Parts 4 to 9 do not apply to products intended for personal use that comply with the conditions laid down in that regulation.

Regulation 5 defines the authorities that enforce the Regulations. Usually, these will be local authorities who appoint official veterinary surgeons and official fish inspectors to conduct veterinary checks at each border inspection post in their area (regulation 6). Regulation 5 now includes provision that the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs enforce regulation 16 at points of entry other than border inspection posts. Regulation 5(4) amends enforcement provisions in relation to illegally imported products found inland so that local authority enforcement officers who are not authorised officers under the Regulations can take hold of any products of animal origin they suspect of having been illegally imported until an authorised officer can take charge of it. Regulation 5(9) creates a new offence relating to the unlawful disclosure of information received from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Regulations 7, 8, 9 and 11 confer the necessary enforcement powers on the enforcement authorities. Regulation 13 has been revised to enable the approval of Border Inspection Posts to be suspended in part (previously only a full suspension of approval was permitted).

Part 3 establishes the inspection system that will apply to products in general. The bringing into Scotland of products that do not comply with the Schedule 1 requirements is prohibited, unless they are being transported across Scotland (regulation 15). Products must be brought in at border inspection posts, advance notice of their introduction must be given, and they must be made available for inspection, together with required documentation, at a border inspection post (regulations 16 to 19). Regulation 17 has been revised in order to bring requirements for pre notification of imported consignments to Border Inspection Posts into line with Commission Regulation 136/2004 laying down procedures for veterinary checks at Community Border Inspection Posts on products imported from third countries. Regulations 21 to 28 deal with products that are rejected at inspection, are brought in illegally, or present a risk to animal health or public health.

Parts 4 to 8 lay down special provisions that apply to particular categories of product (on-board catering supplies, products intended for free circulation in the Community, products in transit across Scotland, products intended for warehousing under particular Customs regimes, and

products exported from the Community and then returned to it). Regulations 48 and 49 are new provisions, which implement procedures for the direct movement of consignments, intended as food for passengers or crew, that do not meet EU import requirements from Border Inspection Posts to ships operating internationally.

Part 9 deals with the calculation and payment of charges for the veterinary checks provided for in the Regulations; Part 10 confers on the Scottish Ministers and the Food Standards Agency power to prohibit the bringing of products into Scotland from non EEA countries in which there is an outbreak of animal disease; Part 11 establishes offences and penalties; Part 12 deals with the service of notices and with notification of decisions; and Part 13 provides that certain existing provisions do not apply to products to which these Regulations apply, and revokes the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (Scotland) Regulations 2003 together with the instruments which amend it.

Schedule 1 specifies import conditions for different categories of products. Schedule 2 specifies equivalence decisions. Schedule 3 deals with calculation of charges for veterinary checks, and Part I has been amended in relation to Salmonella testing to enable Border Inspection Posts to charge for such tests carried out in accordance with Community legislation. Schedule 4 makes provision as to the availability of the due diligence defence.

A full regulatory impact assessment has not been prepared for this instrument as it has no significant impact on the costs of business.

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