ANNEX 1: TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR STUDY
OF ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR TACKLING ILLEGAL IMPORTS IN
ANIMAL AND PLANT PRODUCTS
The Machinery of Government Secretariat of the Cabinet
Office will carry out a study looking at the organisational arrangements
for regulating legitimate trade in and tackling the illegal import
of products of animal origin, nonanimal origin (food), plants
and plant products (including forestry products) which may pose
risks to the health and life of the UK's human, animal and plant
populations; as well as trade in endangered species and nonnative
The study will also touch on the illegal import of
live animals (mainly because of the presence of State Veterinary
Service enforcement organisations at locations where live animals
are imported, rather than concerns about existing arrangements)
and live fish.
In the context of this study, 'illegal' will mean
bringing animals, plants or their products into the UK, contrary
to the prohibitions, restrictions or controls set out under Community
law where this applies. This will not include the importation
of human health threats via the nonfood import of diseases,
wider biological hazards or prohibited goods such as drugs.
The study will:
i. Explore the roles and responsibilities
of the various organisations within central and local
government, with a view to identifying areas of overlap, or gaps;
ii. Identify options for better organising or streamlining
the way the system for legal and illegal imports works,
with a particular focus on finding ways to increase cooperation
Within this overall remit it will be important to
ensure that both personal imports (typically brought in via luggage),
and commercial imports are considered. It may be that separate
recommendations and options are appropriate for different forms
of illegal activity.
The study will need to take into account the range
of EU legislation, together with any proposals that are likely
to emerge from the EC.
A key principle that should underpin the work will
be the need to take into account the business needs of all legitimate
port and airport users (including traders and passengers). It
may be that there is scope to reduce the existing regulatory burden
for such traders.
The study will be taken forward by the Central Secretariat,
Cabinet Office, with a small project team, and a Cabinet Office
chaired steering board to ensure all departments with a policy
interest are involved. It is envisaged that the study will take
some 68 weeks to complete, and be completed during the Summer
Recess, so that its findings can feed into the Government's response
to the various Foot and Mouth Disease inquiries.