Select Committee on Statutory Instruments Second Report


The Select Committee on Statutory Instruments has agreed to the following Report:[1]

1. The Committee has considered the instruments listed in the Annex to this Report, and has determined that the special attention of the House does not require to be drawn to any of them.


(S.I. 2002/1152)

2. The Committee draws the special attention of the House to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted.

3. These Regulations amend the Climate Change Levy (General) Regulations 2001 by inserting regulations 6A to 6G, which make provision for an annual accounting scheme.

4. Regulation 6A defines the expression "transitional accounting period" as meaning the period commencing on the first day of a person's accounting period in which he is authorised to use the scheme and ending on the day immediately preceding the first day of that person's first accounting year. The expression "first accounting year" is not defined, but the Committee noted that a person is ineligible to apply for authorisation unless he has been registered and trading for at least 12 months, and wondered how such a person's first accounting year could begin at least a year after he had begun trading.

5. In a memorandum printed in the Appendix, the Commissioners for Customs and Excise explain, in effect, that the reference to a person's first accounting year is a reference to the first accounting year assigned by the Commissioners under the scheme. The term "accounting year" therefore corresponds to the term "current accounting year", which is defined in regulation 6A. The Committee considers that the position would have been made clear if the definition of "transitional accounting period" had referred to the "first current accounting year". The omission of the word "current" renders the amendments made by these Regulations incomprehensible, and the Committee accordingly reports regulation 6A for defective drafting.

6. Regulations 6D and 6E refer variously to "transitional period" and "transitional or current accounting year". Neither of these expressions is defined. The Commissioners confirm that these references should have been to "transitional accounting period" and "transitional accounting period or current accounting year", and undertake to correct these errors at the earliest convenient opportunity, which is likely to be in the early autumn. The Committee accordingly reports regulations 6D and 6E for defective drafting, acknowledged by the Commissioners.

1   The Order of Reference of the Committee is set out in the First Report, Session 2001-02 (HC 196-i). Back

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