Costs and Fees
Seed Lot Fees – These fees relate to issuing an Official Certificate or a Breeders Confirmation in respect of a seed lot, certifying the seed to be -
(1) of a Multiplication category
(2) of a final generation category
The specific nature of these costs entail documentation processing relating to seed lot applications, preparation and the issuing of official certificates along with invoicing costs. The total costs incurred for these services operated by the Certifying Authority, Scotland was £74,515.14, compared to the total cost recovered of £70,577.60. This resulted in a 94.7% recovery.
Crop Entry Costs – This includes fees per hectare for entering a seed crop into the certification scheme in Scotland, late application fees applicable in addition to crop entry fees.
(1) Pre basic or Basic seed
(2) Certified Seed, Certified Seed of 1st Generation, 2nd Generation or 3rd Generation.
The costing for this area includes documentation processing relating to crop entries, preparation and issue of inspection results, invoicing and Certification Plot Control costs. The total expenditure was £102,949.32, while the total income received was £98,515.19, resulting in a recovery of 95.7%.
As a result of this shortfall and keeping in line with the Scottish Governments policy of achieving full cost recovery, fees for seed certification, it is proposed to increase in fees by 5%.
Seed Testing Fees - The Official Seed Testing Station (OSTS) is the principle centre for seed testing and seed quality information in Scotland. The OSTS Scotland offers a wide range of laboratory tests that provide practical and reliable information for the seed industry:
(1) Certification tests (analytical purity, determination of other seeds by number, germination/STZ, moisture and disease tests if required);
(2) HVS Verification;
(3) Testing of seed for non-statutory purposes;
(4) Training and examination of Seed Analysts and Laboratory Managers and;
(5) Provision of International Certificates.
In a wet harvest, as in 2019, seed quality can be lowered (e.g. poor germination and higher disease). These samples are more difficult to assess and take longer for seed analysts to complete, therefore increasing the amount of staff time taken to conclude these tests. To meet the Scottish Governments objective of achieving full cost recovery for seed testing fees, it is recommended that an increase of 8% would be required.
Licensed Seed Testing Station - The licence fee is levied annually and covers the cost of the official supervision provided by the OSTS to undertake the following functions:
(1) An inspection of the laboratory, the storage areas and equipment to ensure everything meets a satisfactory level for seed testing;
(2) The Analyst in Charge of the LSTS is suitably qualified;
(3) Other analysts have passed official examinations and maintain their competency;
(4) Official records are correctly maintained.
The OSTS, Scotland introduced a new supervision method for LSTS's in 2018. Supervisory visit now take place once year rather than bi-annually, however the proportion of LSTS tested certification samples required for retesting and checking by the OSTS are requested at more frequent intervals. (fortnightly.) These efficiencies still allow for effective monitoring, but at a reduced cost. As a result of these new procedures and the savings made, it is recommended that the reduced overheads are passed on to the LSTS's and a 9% reduction in the fee is proposed (reduced to £1547) to prevent any over recovery of fees by Scottish Government.