Who we charge
Food Business Operators (FBOs) of approved meat premises are charged for meat official controls. These premises are:
- cutting plants
- game handling establishments
- cutting premises
This is regulated by EU official controls law and implemented by the domestic legislation that applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The reason for charging
We are required to charge FBOs for official controls by EU law.
We are also required by HM Treasury, as stated in the Managing Public Money publication, to charge businesses for the services we provide to them.
How charges are carried out
We charge by the hour for the use of our staff resources. Discounts may by applied to some of these charges.
Discounts may be applied to official control charges for red meat slaughterhouses, poultry slaughterhouses and game handling establishments. Charges to cutting plants are not discounted.
In September 2012, we asked the meat industry to work with us to develop a meat industry discount system which would:
- promote efficiency
- support improving compliance (within a de-regulatory remit)
- appropriately support small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
- provide more balanced and equitable discount arrangements
Industry representatives from the production and processing sectors were invited to set up the Steering Group for Meat Charging ('Steering Group') under an independent Chair.
For the first phase, the Steering Group consisted of fifteen representatives from across the production and processing sectors, the Chair and an FSA Board member.
The group’s proposals were consulted on in 2015 and agreed by the government regulatory committees before implementation in April 2016.
You can find the specific details of the developed discount system in the Steering Group on Meat Charging documents.
The second phase of the Steering Group’s work was the development of a sustainable funding model for meat official controls.
The Steering Group reported to our Board in March 2017 and it was agreed that this group and its work would be suspended until after EU Exit.
This information provides the breakdown of costs and explains how charges to industry are calculated for each financial year.
The FSA’s meat related costs are shown in two categories: direct costs and indirect costs. They are also broken down by the costs of:
- Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs)
- Official Veterinarians (OVs)
The total budgeted costs are divided by the budgeted number of hours worked to calculate the hourly charge-out rates for MHIs and OVs.
These charge-out rates are used to determine the monthly bill for each meat plant. The majority of plants have their bills discounted so they do not pay the full rate.
The cost data process is used to identify the proportion of FSA indirect costs that relate to meat official controls and which are apportioned to the OV and MHI rates. The cost data process and the calculation of the charge rates is subject to an external audit. For 2020-21 this was carried out by Mazars which is an external accountancy, audit, tax and consultancy company.
This calculator is for FBOs in England and Wales considering changes to their operating hours and/or practices. It can be used before meeting with our field managers to find out how the changes would affect the charges for official controls.
The calculator has been divided into three sections to provide indicative estimates for:
- red meat slaughterhouses
- poultry slaughterhouses
- game handling establishments
These tools can only be used to calculate estimates for the specific year stated.