5. A fundamental principle of Scottish Government accounting procedure and practice is that fees and charges should be set for all statutory or commercial services with a financial objective of achieving full cost recovery. A recent review of the Plant Health (Export Certification) Fees established that the fees currently being charged by the Scottish Government do not fully cover the costs incurred in providing the service. Overall, the level of cost recovery for inspections carried out in recent years has been less than 70%.
6. The aim of a full cost recovery charging regime for the export certification services is to relieve the burden on the taxpayer of providing this service. It is intended that this will be achieved by transferring the costs of issuing phytosanitary certificates from the general taxpayer to the users of the service. The aim is to achieve this without compromising the Scottish Government’s obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention ( IPPC), of preventing the movement of plant pests and diseases across international borders.