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Charging policy

Scale of charges for copies and services

This document is based on the NERC Policy on charging fees under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Data Protection Act 1998 and the NERC Policy on Licensing and Charging for Environmental Data and Information Products , and should be read in conjunction with them. It covers information and data supplied by the BAS Archives Service, Polar Data Centre, Library, the Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC), and via the online image database.

1. Key charging principles

BAS, as a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is bound by the statutory requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA), the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) and the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). As such, the costs of complying with requests for information will, in the majority of cases, be met by BAS. All environmental data and information products held by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are considered to be a public good and they will normally be made available for others to use and re-use.

Cases when BAS charges for the provision of information are explained in more detail in the policies above. Examples include:

  • covering the costs of the disbursement (or communication) of information;
  • when BAS agrees to service a request under FoIA even though it exceeds the cost limit as laid out in the Act;
  • supplying copies for commercial or further use, i.e. use which falls outside of the responsibilities to provide access to information under the FoIA and EIRs;
  • meeting third-party and contractual obligations.

BAS also reserves the right to charge for the use of its information products, especially for commercial applications.

Where charges apply, they (and any related licensing arrangements) will be clearly explained, will be compliant with Government legislation and guidance, and applied in a consistent manner. A quote will be provided and agreed before work is undertaken.

BAS reserves the right to waive charges in circumstances where the cost of their recovery is uneconomical.

No charges will be made for on-site access to information, or for accessing registers, lists or catalogues of information held.

When visiting, and under certain conditions, researchers are also permitted to take photographs of the records held free of charge, subject to agreeing to any applicable terms and conditions, for example, those laid out in a self-service photography agreement.

2. Copies supplied under the requirements of the FoIA and EIRs

Please note, these will usually be supplied as low-resolution copies or, where these are unavailable, in their original format (for digital files).

Photocopies and print-outs (produced in-house, and including self-service photocopying)

  • Black and White (A4 / A3) – £0.10 / £0.20 per sheet
  • Colour (A4 / A3) – £0.20 / £0.40 per sheet
  • Printed (non-glossy) – A4/A3 £0.10 / £0.20 per sheet

Digital copies (produced in-house)

  • supplied on CD or DVD – £1.00
  • supplied on memory stick (4GB) – £10.00
  • emailed or placed on FTP area – free of charge

Please note that no quality enhancement (e.g. removal of scratches from photographs) will be undertaken.

Copies produced by an external agency

Where items require copying by an external agency (due to size or format) the actual costs incurred will be charged.

Staff time

In rare circumstances, and only when the NERC Policy on Charging Fees and the FoIA and EIRs allow, staff time responding to enquiries may be charged for at a flat rate of £40 per hour or part thereof.

3. Copies supplied for further use / commercial use

A separate scale of charges applies to the supply of copies which fall outside of the responsibilities to supply information under the FoIA and EIRs, such as for commercial or further use (for example, publication or broadcast).

The charges for all material supplied in these cases are available via the BAS online image database. Charges depend upon the use to which the copy will be put.

Where items require copying by an external agency (due to size or format) additional charges, based on the actual costs incurred, may be made.

Staff time

In certain circumstances, and only when the NERC Policy on Charging Fees and the FoIA and EIRs allow, an administrative charge for staff time may be applied. These will be calculated on an hourly rate based on the pay band of the staff involved in the supply of material. Information on the salaries of pay bands.

4. VAT and postage & packing

Prices quoted do not include VAT (applicable for orders made within the European Union). VAT will not be charged for material supplied under the FoIA and EIRs if the only available source is a public authority.

A £1.00 minimum charge for postage and packing applies. Postage is by second class unless otherwise specified.

5. Other scales of charges

Charges for subject access requests

For subject access requests (i.e. requests by individuals for information held about them), the maximum fee prescribed in the Data Protection (Subject Access) (Fees and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2000 is £10. BAS will normally waive this fee. If, however, the request requires us to search unstructured manual data a fee may be charged if the cost of locating and extracting the information would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ set by The Fees Regulations – currently £450 (18 hours of staff time).

BAS maps

The BAS Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC) sells a selection of BAS maps, and also has a bespoke map service. More information is available via the BAS map catalogue.