Restaurant inspection tax thwarted after Brussels U-turn

Currency

Hospitality operators are toasting the news that mandatory charging of fees for restaurant inspections will not be implemented EU-wide.

An announcement by the EU Council has confirmed that the financing of inspections will be decided at a national level, following intensive lobbying from the industry.

The European Commission had proposed that costs of official controls should be covered by all food business operators including restaurants, a position that was not adopted by the Council.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), one of the main lobbyists, said: “This is a fantastic win for the hospitality industry both in the UK and in Europe. The possibility of mandatory fees being rolled out across the continent left businesses facing the possibility of shouldering an even greater financial burden, and has been averted thanks to concentrated lobbying by the ALMR and our partners in HOTREC.”

The ALMR’s membership, which includes pub, club, bar and casual dining operators, runs 17,500 outlets and employ over 375,000 employees, together they account for almost all managed pubs in the UK as well as leading casual dining chains and nightclubs.

“It is absolutely correct that the decision to introduce such a fee should only be made by governments at a national level,” added Nicholls. “The focus of our attention will now turn to the UK Government and we will be working closely with them to ensure that the UK’s hospitality businesses are not faced with an additional cost burden.”

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