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Statutory Instrument No.3 of 2014, EUROPEAN UNION (COMMON FISHERIES POLICY) (POINT SYSTEM) REGULATIONS 2014

Adopts the requirements of Article 92 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 and Title VII of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 404/2011 of 8 April 2011.The SI came into effect on 20 January 2014.

The EU regulations require member states to have a point system in place for the holders of fishing licences. The system provides that points will be assigned to the licence of a vessel when a serious infringement of the Common Fisheries policy by that vessel is detected.

 The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is the competent authority for the establishment of the system and the assignment of points. The Sea Fishing Boat Licensing Authority is the competent authority for the recording of points assigned to the licence of an Irish registered fishing vessel and transfer of those points, where appropriate.

This Statutory Instrument provides for the establishment of an independent appeals officer to hear appeals against the assignment of points. A licence holder who has been informed that points are to be assigned will have 21 days in which to appeal the matter and the Appeals Officer must come to a determination in 1 month.

Points will be assigned by the SFPA where the offence is considered serious having regard to the published criteria for offences listed in an Annex of EU Control Regulation, which details the number of points applicable for each offence.

The accumulation of points for persistent serious infringements of the Common Fisheries Policy will lead to the suspension of a sea fishing boat licence for a period from two months to one year. In extreme cases persistent serious fisheries infringements could lead to a permanent withdrawal of a license.

Points expire threeyears from the date of the detection of the last serious infringement, if there is no infringement in the meantime.