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Departments: Orders and Regulations

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Detergents Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/2469) to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126644)

A Regulatory Impact Assessment carried out before the introduction of the Detergents Regulations 2005 estimated that the total one-off compliance costs would be between £8.4 million and £14 million based on compliance testing of 2,800 surfactants. Given the long lead in for these regulations, the costs of additional labelling requirements fell within normal business running costs which were assisted by a six month transition period after the regulations came into force.

As there is relatively little industry development of new surfactants for use in the detergents industry, recurring compliance testing costs are nominal. There are no one-off or recurring administrative costs and no costs to the regulators. These regulations ensure that detergents degrade quickly ensuring high standards of environmental protection.

DEFRA is committed to regulating better and has a target of a 25 per cent. reduction in administrative burdens. The implementation of a more risk based approach to regulation, in conjunction with tougher penalties combined with improved effectiveness via focus on outcomes, and simplification where possible, is fully consistent with this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off cost and (b) ongoing costs of implementing the Genetically Modified Organisms (Traceability and Labelling) (England) Regulations 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126659)

A full Regulatory Impact Assessment was published alongside the Genetically Modified Organisms (Traceability and Labelling) (England) Regulations 2004. Copies were made available in the Library of the House. It is also available from the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/regulat/ria/2004/gmolabelling.pdf

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2003 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126665)

The most recent estimate of the costs of implementing the Water Framework Directive (WFD) were published in the Final Regulatory Impact Assessment (2004). The cost of compliance that could be quantified at that stage amounted to be between £450 million and £630 million per annum. The RIA also assessed the cost of implementation for the Environment Agency to be £7 million per annum

Benefits that could be quantified and valued appeared to be in the region of £560 million per annum. Given the range of benefits which have not been quantified this is considered to be an underestimate and represents a relatively small proportion of the estimated damages that may be avoided.

A revision of the overall RIA for WFD implementation is planned for 2007.

DEFRA is committed to regulating better and has a target of a 25 per cent. reduction in administrative burdens. The implementation of a more risk based approach to regulation, in conjunction with tougher penalties combined with improved effectiveness via focus on outcomes, and simplification where possible, is fully consistent with this.