The Food Standards Agency’s new cost recovery regime for official meat controls will be delayed until October, the agency has said.

The FSA had originally planned for the new regime to come in “on or around 1 April”, but said it had taken longer than expected to receive regulatory clearance for the new charging structure.

“This means the FSA will not be in a position to implement the new charging arrangements with effect from April,” the body said in a statement. “We will now be working towards an implementation date of October 2012.”

The FSA added that postponing the new charging structure until October was in line with “common commencement date requirements”, under which government agencies are encouraged to introduce any measures that are having an effect on business on either 6 April or 1 October.

The FSA has already sent out letters to meat plant operators informing them that they will be charged on the same basis as in 2011-12 from April, subject to European Union minimum charging requirements.

Last May the FSA agreed that it would introduce full cost recovery for official controls on meat over a three-year period starting this April.