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Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Forty-Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Forestry Commission



1.  The Committee has requested the Forestry Commission to submit a memorandum on the following point:

    Given that both these instruments are to implement Commission Directive 98/22/EC, Annex paragraph 3(b), please explain why the second instrument does, but the first does not, authorise the inspector to require the provision at the premises of inspection tables (as well as the two facilities mentioned).

2.  Council Directive 77/93/EEC (OJ No.L 26, 31.1.1977, p 20) is concerned with protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community. It is implemented in relation to forest trees, wood and bark by the Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993/1283) and in relation to other plants and plant products by the Plant Health (Great Britain) Order 1993 (S.I. 1993/1320).

3.  Commission Directive 98/22/EC is supplemental to Council Directive 77/93/EEC and sets out the minimum standards for carrying out the health checks relating to imports referred to in Article 12(6) fourth sub-paragraph of that Directive.

4.  Commission Directive 98/22/EC is implemented by the Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) (Amendment) Order 1998 and the Plant Health (Great Britain) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 1998.

5.  The Forestry Commission did not include a requirement to provide inspection tables in the Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) (Amendment) Order 1998 because it is impracticable to use an inspection table for the purpose of examining the products covered by the Plant Health (Forestry) (Great Britain) Order 1993, especially packs of timber which may each weigh around 4 tonnes, and logs, which could easily roll off and cause serious injury. For reasons of practicality and safety, therefore, established work practices are to keep these commodities on the ground and to carry out plant health checks wherever they are stored on the dockside.

6.  The situation is somewhat different when inspecting, for example, fruit or vegetables and it is therefore appropriate to give inspectors power by means of the Plant Health (Great Britain) (Amendment) (No.3) Order 1998 to require inspection tables, which are necessary for this purpose, to be provided.

7.  This memorandum has been agreed with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Scottish Office and the Welsh Office.

9th November 1998

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