Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Sixth Report


Memorandum by the Department of Trade and Industry


1.  In the letter dated 20 May 1998 from the Commons Clerk of the Committee, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has requested a Memorandum from the Department on the following points:

(1)  Regulation 2(2) provides that "the services referred to in these Regulations are those services mentioned or referred to in Schedule 1 hereto". Identify those services by reference to the contents of Schedule 1.

On the first point, regulation 2(2) of these Regulations refers to the provisions of its Schedule 1. Schedule 1 to the Regulations identifies the range of Community legislation, the subject matter of that legislation and the services provided by the Department of Trade and Industry in respect of the legislation and in respect of which the fees are prescribed. The services are identified in columns three and four of the tables set out in both Part 1 and Part 2 of Schedule 1 to these Regulations, those services being pattern approval, initial verification, type approval or unit verification.

(2)  Paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 provides for a fixed fee of £52 for initial verification under regulation 7 of the Alcoholometers and Alcohol Hydrometers (EEC Requirements) Regulations (S.I. 1977/1753). The fee is payable "as indicated in paragraphs 3 and 4 below". Explain how paragraph 3, which provides for monthly invoices and is limited to variable fees under paragraphs 1(a) and (b), can be applicable in the case of a fixed fee under paragraph 2.

On the second point, the reference to paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the Regulations in its paragraph 2 was retained when consolidating the instrument in error and the Department accepts that the reference to paragraph 3 should not have appeared. The Department will rectify the position at the first available opportunity.

(3)  No indication is given in the text of the Instrument or in the Explanatory Note of the extent of the increases represented by the new fee amounts. Indicate the amount and percentage increase for each item and explain why the requirements of paragraph 2.77 of the Statutory Instrument Practice were not complied with.

On the final point, the Department accepts that the Statutory Instrument Practice states that the Explanatory Memorandum should normally identify the extent of any increase in fees. The omission of such identification in the Explanatory Note to these Regulations is a regrettable oversight in part occasioned by the fact that certain fees are payable in respect of new services introduced by updated regulations.

5.  By reference to the paragraph numbering in the Explanatory Note, the Department can advise of the following -

    (a)  paragraph 3(i), initial verification, an increase of £2 per hour or 3 per cent;

    (b)  paragraph 3(ii), initial verification, no change;

    (c)  paragraph 3(iii), pattern approval, an increase of £2 per hour or 3 per cent;

    (e)  paragraphs 4(i) and (ii) refer to the services provided by the Department under the updated legislation with regard to non-automatic weighing instruments; the increases to the comparable services provided under the earlier legislation are -

        (i) paragraph 4(i), approved bodies, an increase of £60 or 30 per cent (this is the first increase in fees since 9 April 1993);

        (ii) paragraph 4(ii), type approval and unit verification, an increase of £2 or 3 per cent; and

        (iii) paragraph 4(ii), environmental testing chamber and electromagnetic compatibility, no change.

6.  The Department will ensure that paragraph 2.77 of the Statutory Instrument Practice will be followed on the next occasion of the increase of the fees payable under these Regulations.

27th May 1998

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