Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Fourth Report


Memorandum by the Department of Health


1. The Committee requested a Memorandum by its letter of 6 May 1998 on the following points:

    (1)  Regulation 19(1) prohibits the placing on the market for immediate human consumption of live shellfish unless (g) they have been stored and transported in accordance with the applicable requirements of Chapter VIII of Schedule 2. In view of the underlined words, ought paragraph (g) to refer also to Chapter IX (Transport) of the Schedule?

    (2)  Regulation 53(1) makes contraventions of specified regulations offences. Explain why contravention of regulations 42, 43. 44 and 45 are not included in the list of regulations. If their omission is intended, what creates a criminal (or any) sanction in their cases?

2. On point (1), it is agreed that a reference to Chapter IX of Schedule 2 should appear in regulation 19(1)(g). The Department intends to include that reference when the Regulations are next amended. In the meantime, as the transport requirements of Chapter IX apply to the proprietors of storage and transport facilities (regulation 17), the omission would not appear to compromise food safety.

3. On point (2), regulations 42, 43, 44 and 45 relate to the importation of fishery products and live shellfish and are enforceable by virtue of regulation 56 (enforcement of Part IV). Regulation 56 provides that the conditions set out in Part IV are to be treated as "health conditions" for the purposes of the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/3124) ("the POAO Regulations"), a term which by regulation 1(2) of the POAO Regulations includes conditions relating to both animal health and public health. Regulations 16 and 25 of the POAO Regulations provide procedures for the issue of notices to persons who appear to own goods which do not meet health conditions and for the destruction of the goods if the notice is not complied with. Regulation 56(b)(iii) of the Food Safety (Fishery Products and Live Shellfish) (Hygiene) Regulations 1998 applies those provisions to the breach of the conditions in regulations 42, 43, 44 and 45. It is appreciated that breaches of those conditions are not criminal offences.

11th May 1998

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