Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Lord Bach, Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum of 15 March 2006 which Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) examined at its meeting on 29 March.

  The Committee are concerned that implementation of the proposal could have a significant impact on businesses who specialise in supplying mercury-containing instruments to the domestic market. We have received views from a specialist in restoration of mercury barometers which we enclose (not printed). What impact would the propoosal have on those businesses which restore mercury instruments; and would such businesses be allowed to continue to sell restored mercury instruments to the public?

  We look forward to receiving your reply and, in due course, the full Regulatory Impact Assessment. In the meantime, the Committee decided to retain the proposal under scrutiny.

24 April 2006

Letter from Lord Rooker, Minister of State for Sustainable Farming and Food, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 24 April 2006 regarding the Explanatory Memorandum of 15 March 2006 on the above.

  The European Commission state in their revised proposal that the directive would only restrict the placing on the market of new measuring devices and that the restriction would not apply to devices already in use or sold second hand. Specialist firms would therefore be able to continue to restore instruments and sell them to the public, so these aspects of their business would not be impacted.

  However, devices imported into the European Union would be affected by the proposal, as they would be considered as "first time onto the market".

  Thank you also for the enclosed letter from Barometer World. My officials have discussed Mr Collins' proposed licensing scheme with him and have advised him to forward a fully-costed proposal to the European Commission.

2 June 2006

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