Delegated Legislation, Plant Health

On Wednesday 6 July 2022 I sat on the Committee for the Plant Health etc. (Miscellaneous Fees) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2022. 

These Regulations amended similar Regulations made in 2015 and 2018 regarding checks made on the health and identity of plants when they are imported into the UK and transported to Northern Ireland. The amendments concern the frequency of the checks and the fees paid by importers for the Government to carry them out.

I asked the Minister, as these Regulations enable movement for plant products between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, did she agree with me that this means that the Government does not have to break the Northern Ireland Protocol.

I also asked the Minister about Section 2F. This states: “Where an inspector suspects that a third country consignment is infected with a controlled plant pest and takes a sample from the consignment for laboratory testing… the fee payable by the importer of the third country consignment is £147.35 for each sample tested”. I asked if the Minister could set out what the Inspector would have regard to, and whether it means that different Inspectors could come to different conclusions.

I  asked if she could set out which vegetables are covered by Schedule 2A, which listed plants and plant products originating from an EU Member State, Liechtenstein or Switzerland subject to fees for physical and identity checks from the end of the transitional period, as point 8 of the Schedule only describes them as “vegetables”. 

Statutory instruments such as this one can be used by the Government to amend or update existing legislation without having to pass a further Act through Parliament. Statutory instruments are instead scrutinised in Delegated Legislation Committees of 17 Members.