PART 11 – Amendments to the Customs Act 2015
Minister for Finance
Provide for –
a Revenue offence where a truck driver entering the State exits a customs port without obeying an instruction to call to Customs.
This Head introduces a new Section 12A of the Customs Act, 2015. This section provides for a Revenue offence where a truck driver entering the State exits a customs port without obeying an instruction to call to Customs.
To provide –
Along with the powers currently provided for in subsection (1)(a), that an officer of customs, and any person assisting such officer, would additionally have the power, at any time and without warrant, to enter upon and inspect any place approved under the Union Customs Code.
This Head amends Section 25 of the Customs Act, 2015 to provide additional powers for an officer of customs to enter upon and inspect a place approved under the Union Customs Code.
Provide that –
A new proposal to provide a legislative basis for the online Customs Roll on Roll off Service. In order to minimise the impact of complying with customs procedures required after the transition period, and in order to assist goods to move swiftly through any import controls required on arrival in the State, the online Customs Roll on Roll off Service has been developed. It will provide online services for businesses carrying goods by ferry from the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) to Ireland. Most trade flows arriving in the State by ferry operate on a just-in-time model. It is critical to assist in maintaining these trade flows where possible to facilitate the ongoing viability of this business model and in order to minimise congestion and delays at Irish ferry ports.
This Head introduces a new Section 12B of the Customs Act, 2015. This section provides for a legislative basis for the online Customs Roll on Roll off Service which provides online services for businesses carrying goods by ferry from the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) to Ireland.
PART 12 – Amendment of Harbours Act 1996
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Head 12-1. Definition
Provide that –
In this Part, “Act of 1996” means the Harbours Act 1996 .
This defines the “Act of 1996” as meaning the Harbours Act 1996 for the purposes of Part 12.
Head 12-2. Amendment of section 72 of Act of 1996
Under Section 72 of the Harbours Act 1996 as amended, a Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) may currently be granted by a harbour company for a period of up to one year, where that person can show competency and sufficient knowledge of the port and its pilotage district to the port company and who hold a valid seafarer certificate.
Holders of seafarer certificates issued by EU Member States enjoy mutual recognition of these qualifications in other EU Member States.
The amendment to Section 72 of the 1996 Act makes it clear that in a Brexit context, a pilotage exemption certificate (PEC) does not become invalid simply because the issuer of the seafarers certificate of competence (the UK) is no longer treated as a member state (after the end of the UK’s transition period). The fact is that the applicant had a relevant valid seafarers certificate at the point of application and therefore was entitled to the pilotage exemption certificate. The amendment to Section 72 makes this unequivocal. In addition, the amendment extends the period of validity of PECs to three years and provides that holders of existing PECS may apply for new certificates
including in the period leading up to the end of the UK’s transition period, notwithstanding the fact that their PECS may not have expired.
Subsection (a) of Head 12-2 sets out that in order for a pilot exemption certificate to be granted, it is a requirement to hold a relevant Irish seafarers’ certificate of competency or to hold a seafarers’ certificate of equivalent competence from another member state at the time of making the application for the pilot exemption certificate.
Subsection (b) of Head 12-2 sets out that in order for a pilot exemption certificate to be granted, it is a requirement to hold a relevant third country seafarers’ certificate of competency at the time of making the application for the pilot exemption certificate.
Subsection (c) of Head 12-2 provides that the upper limit on the duration of a pilotage exemption certificate is altered from the current one year to three years. Pilotage exemption certificates are a matter of domestic law and domestic competence and there is no EU or international instrument which would preclude such a longer term for pilotage exemption certificates.
Subsection (d) of Head 12-2 provides that an application for renewal of a pilotage exemption
certificate may be made ‘at any time’ prior to its expiry. This will, for example, allow a UK holder of a pilotage exemption certificate to apply, before the end of the UK’s transition period, to a harbour authority for a new pilotage exemption certificate, even though the holder’s existing pilotage exemption certificate has not yet expired. This part of the Bill, following enactment, will need to be commenced shortly before the end of the UK’s transition period.New PEC applicants (following the end of the UK’s transition period) who only hold UK Certificates of Competency are not provided for and will not be able to be granted PECs until such time as the UK may be formally recognised as a third country under Article 19 of Directive 2008/106 for the purposes of seafarer certification.
Head 12-3. Amendment of Sixth Schedule to Act of 1996
This Head amends Part 2 of the Sixth Schedule to the Act of 1996, which relates to pilotage bye-laws, to allow a harbour authority through its bye-laws to require the holder of a pilotage exemption certificate of more than one year duration to undergo periodic reviews to ensure that the holder continues to have compliance with the requirements of Section 72(1)(a) of the Harbours Act 1996.
These requirements are that the harbour company must be satisfied that the person has the skill, experience and local knowledge to enable him or her to pilot the ship of which he or she is in charge within the relevant parts of the harbour pilotage district as are specified in the certificate.