§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 23 February 1998]: Under EC Directive 96/23/EC, any third country wishing to export fresh meat to the European Union (EU) must submit residue testing plans to the EU Commission, as the Commission has competence in this area. The 186W Commission does not publish the residue testing programmes of third countries or the test results that derive from them.
§ Mr. Paice
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated annual cost of the residue testing programme for the United Kingdom poultrymeat sector as required by Directive 96/23/EC; and what estimate he has made of the total cost to the sector of the EU fixed standard charges. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The Charges for Inspections and Controls Regulations 1997 implement in GB the provisions of Directive 96/43/EC. This Directive requires member states to recover the actual costs of surveillance arising from the requirements of Directive 96/23/EC from the industry affected and lays down minimum charges in respect of redmeat, poultrymeat, farmed fish, game and milk. In the case of poultry, the income raised by setting the charge at the EU minimum will exceed the cost of the surveillance programmes and in this situation the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is obliged by Directive 96/43/EC to levy the EU minimum charge.
The VMD currently estimates the cost of the surveillance programme in Great Britain to be £0.811 million and the cost to the industry, based on a charge of £1,0461 per tonne of poultrymeat produced, to be £1.3 million.
The Department of Agriculture, Northern Ireland is responsible for the implementation of Directives 96/23 and 96/43 in Northern Ireland.