Charges for official controls in meat premises

How we charge for activities carried out by us on meat premises.
Last updated

Who we charge

Food Business Operators (FBOs) of approved meat premises are charged for official controls. This is regulated by EC official controls law.

The reason for charging

We are required to charge according to EU law to charge FBOs for official controls.

We have to refer to the Managing Public Money publication by HM Treasury to charge the appropriate customer for the tasks provided to an FBO.

How charges are carried out

We charge by the hour for the use of a resource. There can be discounts made to these charges.


A resource is either an:

  • employed or contracted OV 
  • employed or contracted MHI


The discount system for official control charges in approved meat premises has been developed through the Steering Group on Meat Charging.

In September 2012 we asked the meat industry to work with us to develop a meat industry discount system. 

This system was designed to:

  • promote efficiency
  • support improving compliance (within a de-regulatory remit)
  • appropriately support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 
  • provide balanced discount arrangement 

The aim was to achieve a more balanced and more equitable system.

Industry representatives from the production and processing sectors were then 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 independent Chair and an FSA Board member.

In the second phase our board accepted the suggestion that the Steering Group should continue working with us. The remit for this was Sustainable funding.

The steering group reported to our board and it was agreed that this group and its work would be suspended until after EU Exit.

You can find the specific details of this discount system in the Steering Group for Meat Charges documents. The proposals were consulted on in 2015 and agreed by the government regulatory committees before implementation in April 2016.

Charges Guide

National archives previous charges guides

Cost data

This information will enable anyone to access the Engalnd and Wales hourly charge-out rates for official controls in meat premises. Cost data provides the breakdown of costs on how the hourly charges to industry are calculated.

The figures are shown in two categories. Each category covers the costs of:

  • Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs)
  • Official Veterinarians (OVs)

The total costs are divided by the number of hours worked. This calculates an hourly charge-out rate 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 don’t pay the full rate.

The process of finding out how many indirect costs relate to the meat official controls is developed by our finance department. It is externally audited by RSM UK who are an external audit, tax and consultancy company.

National archives cost data before 2017 - 2018 

Charges calculator

This calculator document relates to 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.