Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Sixteenth Report


Memorandum by the Scottish Office


  1. This Memorandum is submitted to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments in response to their letter of 26 November 1997 in which they ask for an explanation of the following point arising in connection with the above Statutory Instrument.

2. The classification and criteria for controlled waters applied by regulation 2 are for the purpose of contributing "to the high quality of shellfish products directly edible by man". Explain what is meant by the bold word.

  3.1 These Regulations, together with the Surface Water (Shellfish) (Scotland) Directions 1997 are intended to transpose Directive 79/923/EEC (on the quality required of shellfish waters) in relation to Scotland. It is clear from the last paragraph of the preamble of this Directive that one of the objectives of the Directive is to increase protection of consumers of shellfish products.

  3.2 In order to ensure as accurate a transposition as possible these regulations reflect the language of the Directive where this was considered necessary or desirable. Regulation 2 reflects to a large extent the wording of Article 1 of the Directive, and regulation 1(2) provides that expressions used both in the Regulations and the Directive have the same meaning as in the Directive.

  3.3 The word "directly" cannot be taken out of context and explained in isolation. In both the Directive and regulation 2, the word "directly" is part of the phrase "shellfish products directly edible by man". The Scottish Office understands that phrase to mean shellfish which may be consumed by man without further processing, such as raw oysters. This meaning would accord with the objective of protection of consumers of shellfish products.

2nd December 1997

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