Next (SCHEDULE An Chomhairle)

26 1968

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Number 26 of 1968


WOOL MARKETING ACT, 1968


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation.

2.

Establishment day.

3.

Prohibition of carrying on business of buyer of wool by unregistered persons.

4.

Prohibition of unlicensed business of exporting wool.

5.

The Register.

6.

Application for and conditions of registration.

7.

Grant of licences for carrying on business of exporting wool.

8.

Fees.

9.

Cancellation, revocation, suspension and restoration of registrations or licences.

10.

Exemption from Act.

11.

Regulations relating to the purchase of wool, to premises, plant and machinery and to the register.

12.

Establishment of An Chomhairle Olla.

13.

Functions of An Chomhairle.

14.

Assignment of additional functions relating to wool to An Chomhairle.

15.

Officers and servants.

16.

Accounts and audits.

17.

Annual Report, etc.

18.

Annual grant.

19.

Levies.

20.

Appeal Tribunal.

21.

Posting of prices offered for wool.

22.

Power to require certain persons to keep certain records or documents and supply information.

23.

Service etc. of notices.

24.

Powers of officers of Minister.

25.

Offences and penalties.

26.

Laying of orders and regulations before Houses of Oireachtas.

27.

Expenses.

28.

Short title.

SCHEDULE

An Chomhairle


Acts Referred to

Public Offices Fees Act, 1879

1897, c. 58

Companies Act, 1963

1963, No. 33

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Number 26 of 1968


WOOL MARKETING ACT, 1968


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE IMPROVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MARKETING OF WOOL AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO MAKE PROVISION ENABLING THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF WOOL TO BE REGULATED AND PROVIDING FOR THE REGISTRATION OF BUYERS OF WOOL AND THE LICENSING OF EXPORTERS OF WOOL; TO ESTABLISH A BODY TO BE KNOWN AS AN CHOMHAIRLE OLLA AND TO DEFINE ITS FUNCTIONS; TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE IMPOSITION OF LEVIES IN RELATION TO THE PURCHASE, SALE OR EXPORT OF WOOL; AND TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE MATTERS AFORESAID. [16th July, 1968.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Interpretation.

1. —(1) In this Act—

brokes” means wool obtained from the edges of a fleece in clipping;

daggings or clarts” means wool naturally clotted with dung or earth;

fallen wool” means wool which has been removed from sheep which have died from natural causes;

fleece wool” means wool removed by shearing or clipping;

flock” includes a flock consisting of one sheep only;

functions” includes powers and duties;

gathered wool” means wool left by live sheep and gathered from hedges or elsewhere;

licensed exporter” means a person to whom a licence has been granted under section 7 and which has not been revoked;

locks” means wool (other than brokes, daggings or clarts) which may have become or has been detached from a fleece;

the Minister” means the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries;

prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister in accordance with this Act;

producer” means the owner of a flock of sheep or any other person engaged in the production of wool;

registered buyer” means a person who pursuant to section 6 is for the time being registered in the register as a buyer of wool;

sheep” includes lambs;

skin wool” means wool which has been removed from the skins of dead sheep;

tailings” means wool removed from the britch end of live sheep;

wool”, except where the context otherwise requires, means any raw wool which has been removed or become detached from sheep in the State and includes brokes, daggings or clarts, fallen wool, fleece wool, gathered wool, locks, skin wool and tailings.

(2) A reference in this Act to performance of functions includes, with respect to powers, a reference to exercise of those powers.

Establishment day.

2. —The Minister may by order appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.

Prohibition of carrying on business of buyer of wool by unregistered persons.

3. —If, after the day mentioned in section 5 (4), any person,

(a) carries on the business of a buyer of wool and is not registered in the register, or

(b) uses as his place of such business any premises other than those in relation to which the person is registered in the register,

the person shall be guilty of an offence.

Prohibition of unlicensed business of exporting wool.

4. —(1) A person shall not carry on the business of an exporter of wool save under and in accordance with a licence issued under this Act in that behalf by the Minister.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) shall come into operation on such day as the Minister may appoint by order.

The Register.

5. —(1) As soon as may be after the passing of this Act, the Minister shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, set up and maintain a register to be known as the Register of Buyers of Wool (in this Act referred to as the register).

(2) There shall be entered in the register the following particulars, namely:

(a) the full name, address and description of the person registered as a registered buyer,

(b) a description of the premises in which such person carries on the business of a buyer of wool which description shall be sufficient to identify those premises and the limits and extent thereof, and

(c) such other particulars as the Minister, in the circumstances of any particular case, considers relevant.

(3) Any change in the name or address of a registered buyer shall be notified by him to the Minister.

(4) On setting up the register the Minister shall by order certify the day of the setting up of the register.

(5) The Minister shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee (if any), permit the register to be inspected during office hours by any person.

Application for and conditions of registration.

6. —(1) On the application, in such form and containing such particulars as the Minister may direct, by or on behalf of a person who proposes to carry on the business of a buyer of wool the Minister may, at his discretion, register the person in the register as a registered buyer.

(2) Before the Minister registers any person under subsection (1) the following conditions shall be complied with, namely:

(a) the application shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee (if any),

(b) the Minister shall be satisfied that—

(i) the premises together with any plant or machinery therein to be used by the person for the weighing, grading or storage of wool are suitable for each of those purposes having regard to the maximum quantity of wool likely to be handled in the premises at any time,

(ii) the said premises, plant and machinery comply with the requirements of any regulations made under this Act and applicable thereto, and

(iii) the person is competent to grade wool or will have in his employment persons who are so competent and that the number of persons grading wool in the said premises will be sufficient to properly grade the quantity of wool likely to be handled therein at any time.

(3) Whenever the Minister proposes to refuse an application for registration in the register he shall, before doing so, notify in writing the applicant for registration of his intention and of the reasons therefor, and, if any representations are made to the Minister by the applicant within seven days after the giving of the notification, the Minister shall consider them.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a person who carries on the business of a buyer of wool and who, immediately before the passing of this Act, carried on that business, shall, if in relation to the premises in which such business is so carried on or any plant or machinery therein, any regulations under this Act and applicable thereto are complied with, be entitled, on payment of the prescribed fee (if any), to be registered in the register as a registered buyer.

Grant of licences for carrying on business of exporting wool.

7. —(1) On the application by or on behalf of a person who proposes to carry on the business of an exporter of wool, the Minister may, at his discretion, grant or refuse to grant a licence authorising the carrying on by the person of the business of exporting wool.

(2) An application under this section shall be in such form and shall contain such particulars as the Minister may direct and shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee (if any).

(3) The Minister may, at the time of the granting of a licence under this section, attach to the licence such conditions as he shall think proper and shall specify in the licence.

(4) The Minister may, if he so thinks fit, amend or revoke a condition attached to a licence.

(5) Whenever the Minister proposes to refuse to grant a licence he shall, before doing so, notify the applicant for the licence of his intention and of the reasons therefor, and, if any representations are made by the applicant to the Minister within seven days after the date of the giving of the notification, the Minister shall consider them.

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a person who carries on the business of an exporter of wool and who, immediately before the passing of this Act, carried on that business, shall, on payment of the prescribed fee (if any), be entitled to be granted a licence under this section.

Fees.

8. —(1) There shall be paid to the Minister in respect of every application for registration in the register under section 6 or for a licence under section 7 or for inspection of the register under section 5 (5), as the case may be, such fee (if any) as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may fix by regulation.

(2) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to all fees payable under this section, namely:

(a) the fees shall be collected in money and taken in such manner as the Minister for Finance may from time to time direct, and shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the Minister for Finance;

(b) the Public Offices Fees Act, 1879, shall not apply in respect of such fees.

Cancellation, revocation, suspension and restoration of registrations or licences.

9. —(1) The Minister shall—

(a) cancel the registration of any person in the register,

(b) revoke a licence granted to a person under this Act,

upon the application of the person or, in the case of a deceased person, his personal representative, or in the case of a body corporate, the liquidator.

(2) The Minister may, if he so thinks fit, cancel or suspend the registration of any person in the register or revoke or suspend a licence granted under this Act, if—

(a) he is satisfied that the registration or licence, as the case may be, was procured by fraud or misrepresentation,

(b) the person so registered or licensed has ceased to carry on the business of a buyer of wool or an exporter of wool, as may be appropriate,

(c) the person so registered or licensed, if an individual, has died, or if a body corporate, has been dissolved,

(d) the person so registered has been adjudicated a bankrupt,

(e) he is satisfied that—

(i) the premises in respect of which the person is so registered or any plant or machinery in such premises does not comply with the requirements of any regulations made under this Act and applicable thereto, or

(ii) the condition mentioned in section 6 (2) (b) (iii) is not being complied with,

(f) he is satisfied that a condition attached to such a licence has not been complied with,

(g) the person so registered or licensed has committed an offence under this Act.

(3) Whenever the Minister proposes to cancel, revoke or suspend under subsection (2) the registration of or a licence granted to any person, he shall, before doing so, give at least one month's notice in writing to the person or his personal representative (if any) or its liquidator, as may be appropriate, of his intention and the reasons therefor and in case the Minister intends to so suspend the registration or licence the period for which the Minister intends to so suspend the registration or licence shall be specified in the notice.

(4) Whenever the Minister gives a notice mentioned in subsection (3) the following provisions shall have effect, namely:

(a) the Minister shall not cancel, revoke or suspend the registration or licence to which the notice relates until the expiration of the notice;

(b) in case representations are made to the Minister before the expiration of the notice by the person to whom the notice is given, the Minister shall consider them;

(c) if, within seven days after the date of the notice, the person to whom the notice is given makes a request to the Minister for the holding of an inquiry in relation to the matter, the Minister shall cause an inquiry to be held (unless, as a result of the consideration of representations made to him, the Minister has decided not to cancel, revoke or suspend the registration or licence, as the case may be);

(d) where an inquiry is held under this subsection, the Minister shall not cancel, revoke or suspend the registration or licence until he has considered the report of the person making the inquiry;

(e) the Minister shall appoint a person who is a practising barrister of at least ten years' standing to hold any inquiry under this subsection and the person so appointed shall have power to take evidence on oath which he is hereby authorised to administer and shall make a report to the Minister of his findings at the inquiry;

(f) the Minister shall give to the person who requested the holding of the inquiry notice of the time and place of the holding of the inquiry and the person shall be entitled to appear at the inquiry personally or by counsel or solicitor and to adduce evidence;

(g) there shall be paid to a person holding an inquiry under this subsection such remuneration as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may fix.

(5) Whenever the Minister cancels, revokes or suspends a registration or licence, he shall cause a statement of his reasons for doing so to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(6) In case the Minister cancels, revokes or suspends under this section a registration or licence he may subsequently, if he so thinks fit—

(a) in the case of a suspension—lift the suspension,

(b) in the case of a cancellation or revocation—restore the registration or grant (without payment of the prescribed fee (if any)) a new licence, as may be appropriate.

Exemption from Act.

10. —(1) The Minister may, if he so thinks fit, by regulation grant exemption from the provisions of this Act in relation to businesses of a particular class and to which this Act would otherwise apply.

(2) This Act shall not apply in relation to a business of a class in respect of which an exemption under this section has been granted and has not been withdrawn.

(3) The Minister may at any time withdraw an exemption under this section.

Regulations relating to the purchase of wool, to premises, plant and machinery and to the register.

11. —(1) The Minister may make regulations—

(a) providing for the purchase of wool on a graded basis,

(b) prescribing standards (expressed in methods of construction, types of material, terms of performance or otherwise) in relation to premises used for the weighing, grading or storage of wool or any plant or machinery in such premises which may be used in connection with such weighing, grading or storage,

(c) providing for the correction of errors in the register, for the alteration of names or addresses therein which have been changed, for the deletion or alteration of descriptions of premises in the register, and for the inclusion in the register of descriptions of premises not already therein described.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) (a) may—

(a) provide for either or both of the following, namely, the payment of a specified increase in price in relation to wool of specified quality or the making of a specified reduction in price in relation to wool with specified defects,

(b) in relation to every sale of wool by a producer, provide for the supply to the producer by the relevant registered buyer of a statement by such buyer containing such particulars as may be prescribed,

(c) subject to paragraph (b), apply in relation to the purchase of wool generally, to the purchase of wool of a specified class or to the purchase of wool in specified circumstances.

(3) Any person who purchases wool in contravention of regulations under subsection (1) (a) or who fails or neglects to comply with a provision mentioned in subsection (2) (b) shall be guilty of an offence.

Establishment of An Chomhairle Olla.

12. —(1) On the establishment day there shall be established a body to be known as An Chomhairle Olla (in this Act referred to as An Chomhairle) to perform the functions assigned to it by this Act.

(2) An Chomhairle shall consist of a chairman and either ten other members, or the number of other members specified in an order under this section and for the time being in force.

(3) The Minister may by order specify the number of members other than the chairman of which An Chomhairle shall partly consist, provided that in no case shall the number of such members so specified be less than six.

(4) The provisions of the Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to An Chomhairle.

(5) The Minister may by order revoke or, subject to the proviso contained in subsection (3), amend an order under this section (including an order under this subsection).

Functions of An Chomhairle.

13. —An Chomhairle shall have the following functions, namely:

(a) to advise the Minister in relation to the fixing of grades, price increases relating to quality and price reductions relating to defects, to be used, paid or deducted in respect of the purchase of wool from producers;

(b) to advise the Minister in relation to the fixing of standards to be applied in relation to the registration of registered buyers;

(c) after consultation with the Minister, to fix a code of practice to be observed by wool exporters;

(d) to provide or secure the provision of courses for the training of persons in the grading of wool;

(e) to consider, devise or implement methods to increase exports of wool; and

(f) to consider methods of securing the maximum use of home produced wool by manufacturers in the State.

Assignment of additional functions relating to wool to An Chomhairle.

14. —The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, from time to time by order—

(a) assign to An Chomhairle such additional functions relating to wool as he thinks fit,

(b) make such provisions as he considers desirable or necessary in relation to matters ancillary to or arising out of the assignment to or fulfilment by An Chomhairle of functions assigned to it under this section.

Officers and servants.

15. —(1) The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may appoint such officers and servants as he thinks necessary to assist An Chomhairle in the performance of its functions.

(2) The officers and servants so appointed shall hold office on such terms and receive such remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.

Accounts and audits.

16. —(1) An Chomhairle shall keep, in such form as may be approved by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, all proper and usual accounts of all moneys received or expended by it.

(2) Accounts kept in pursuance of this section shall be submitted by An Chomhairle to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit at such times as the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, directs.

(3) Immediately after audit under this section of the accounts of An Chomhairle, a copy of those accounts, certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and a copy of the Comptroller and Auditor General's report shall be presented to the Minister.

(4) The Minister shall cause copies of the documents mentioned in subsection (3) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Annual Report, etc.

17. —(1) An Chomhairle shall in each year, at such date as the Minister may direct, make a report of its proceedings during the preceding twelve months ending on that date, and An Chomhairle shall, within ninety days after such date or such longer period as the Minister shall in any particular case allow, furnish the report to the Minister who shall cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(2) An Chomhairle shall supply the Minister with such information as he may from time to time require.

Annual grant.

18. —In each financial year there may be paid to An Chomhairle, out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, a grant of such amount as the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, may sanction in relation to the expenses incurred by An Chomhairle in the performance of its functions.

Levies.

19. —(1) For the purpose of defraying expenses in relation to the performance by An Chomhairle of its functions under this Act the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, make an order (in this Act referred to as a levy order) imposing in relation to all or any of the following, namely, any purchase, sale or exportation of wool, a levy on the purchaser, seller or exporter of the wool, and whenever a levy order is made there shall be paid in accordance with the levy order to An Chomhairle by the person on whom it is imposed a levy of such amount as may be appropriate having regard to the provisions of the levy order.

(2) A levy order shall give any person assessed to the levy a right of appeal to the appeal tribunal constituted under section 20 and in addition may provide for all or any of the following:

(a) the exemption of a particular class of purchase or sale from the provisions of the order;

(b) the exemption of a particular class of exportation from the provisions of the order;

(c) the imposition of a levy of a specified class, at a specified rate or in respect of a specified period;

(d) the evidence by which a person's liability to the levy or his discharge from that liability may be established;

(e) the time or times at which a levy shall become due and payable to An Chomhairle.

(3) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, by order amend or revoke a levy order or an order under this subsection.

(4) Every sum payable by a person to An Chomhairle under this section for and on account of a levy imposed by a levy order shall be a simple contract debt due to An Chomhairle and shall be recoverable accordingly by An Chomhairle from the person in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Appeal Tribunal.

20. —(1) The Minister shall make regulations providing for the establishment of a tribunal to determine appeals by persons assessed to any levy imposed under this Act and such regulations may include—

(a) provision as to the procedure to be followed on such an appeal;

(b) provision for summoning persons to attend and give evidence and produce documents; and

(c) provision for authorising the administration of oaths to witnesses.

(2) If, on an appeal, the appellant satisfies the tribunal established in accordance with regulations under this section that he ought not to have been assessed to the levy or ought to have been assessed in a smaller amount, the tribunal shall rescind, or as may be appropriate, reduce the assessment, but in any other case shall confirm it, and any decision of the tribunal shall be final.

(3) A person who is a member of a tribunal established in accordance with regulations under this section shall be paid, out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, such fee for attendance at meetings of the tribunal and such allowances for expenses incurred by him as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines.

Posting of prices offered for wool.

21. —(1) The Minister may make regulations requiring every registered buyer to post and keep posted, in accordance with subsection (2), notice of the prices he is currently offering for the purchase of wool.

(2) Where the Minister makes regulations under subsection (1) the notice mentioned therein shall be posted—

(a) prominently in the premises in relation to which the person is registered in the register,

(b) in such characters and in such position or positions so that it may be conveniently read by any person who is in the premises for business purposes.

(3) Any registered buyer who fails or neglects to comply with a requirement of regulations under this section or any person who wilfully pulls down, injures or defaces any notice posted in pursuance of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

Power to require certain persons to keep certain records or documents and supply information.

22. —(1) The Minister may by notice in writing served on any person who is a registered buyer or licensed exporter of wool require the person—

(a) to furnish to the Minister within a specified period such specified information relating to the purchase, storage or export, as may be appropriate, of wool,

(b) to keep and produce for examination on behalf of the Minister such specified records or other documents relating to the purchase, storage or export, as may be appropriate, of wool,

as the Minister determines.

(2) Where a person on whom a notice is served under subsection (1) fails or neglects to comply with the requirements of the notice, he shall be guilty of an offence unless, in case and in so far only as the notice relates to information, he satisfies the court, that the information was not in his possession.

Service etc. of notices.

23. —(1) A notice under this Act or regulations made thereunder may be served on or given to a person—

(a) by delivering it to him, or

(b) by sending it by registered post in an envelope addressed to him at the address at which he ordinarily resides or carries on business.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a company registered under the Companies Act, 1963 , shall be deemed to carry on business at its registered offices and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body shall be deemed to carry on business at its principal office or place of business.

Powers of officers of Minister.

24. —(1) An officer of the Minister authorised in writing by the Minister to exercise the powers conferred on an officer of the Minister by this section may do all or any of the following things, namely:

(a) enter, inspect and examine at all reasonable times by day any premises in which wool is weighed, graded, cleansed or otherwise processed, or stored together with any plant or machinery therein;

(b) require any person having in his possession or control any records or other documents relating to the purchase of wool by a registered buyer or by a person carrying on a business exempted for the time being under section 10 or relating to the export of wool by a licensed exporter to produce such records or other documents, and inspect, examine or copy any of them, and for those purposes enter at all reasonable times by day any premises in which he has reason to believe such records or other documents are kept.

(2) If any person wilfully delays an officer of the Minister in the exercise of any power under this section, or fails without reasonable cause to produce any record or other document which he is required in pursuance of this section to produce or refuses without reasonable cause to give to the officer any information which such officer may reasonably require with regard to the entries in such record or document, the person shall be deemed to obstruct an officer of the Minister in the execution of his duties under this Act.

(3) Where an officer of the Minister is obstructed in the execution of his duties under this Act the person obstructing such officer shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) An officer of the Minister performing functions under this Act shall be furnished with a certificate of his authorisation to perform those functions, and when exercising a power or carrying out a duty under this Act shall, if so required, produce the said certificate to any person affected.

Offences and penalties.

25. —(1) Every person who attempts or aids, abets, assists, counsels or procures another person, or conspires with another person, to commit an offence under this Act shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body corporate or by a person purporting to act on behalf of a body corporate or an unincorporated body of persons, and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been facilitated by any default on the part of any person being, in the case of a body corporate, a director, manager, secretary or other officer thereof, or in the case of an unincorporated body, a member of the committee of management or other controlling authority thereof, that person shall also be guilty of the offence.

(3) Every person who commits an offence under this Act shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds (together with, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding ten pounds for every day on which the offence is continued) or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both to the fine and the imprisonment.

Laying of orders and regulations before Houses of Oireachtas.

26. —Every order and regulation made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order or regulation is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the order or regulation is laid before it, the order or regulation shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Expenses.

27. —The expenses of the Minister in the administration of this Act shall to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Short title.

28. —This Act may be cited as the Wool Marketing Act, 1968.