European Communities (Cut Flowers, Flowering Bulbs and Ornamental Foliage) Regulations, 1977 [S.I. No. 129 of 1977]
An Roinn Talmhaíochta.
I am directed by Mr. Mark Clinton, T.D., Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities, to refer to the European Communities (Cut Flowers, Flowering Bulbs and Ornamental Foliage) Regulations, 1977 [S.I. No. 129 of 1977] which came into operation on 1st June, 1977.
I am to request you to be good enough to furnish your observations on the following points in respect of Regulations 4 and 6 of S.I. No. 129 of 1977.
This Regulation appears to be inconsistent with the provisions of the Council Regulations cited therein in the following respects:
(a) Council Regulation No. 316/18 refers only to Community trade “at wholesale stage” and only in this Regulation is there a prohibition on imports from a third country.
(b) Only in Article 1 of Council Regulation No. 338/77 (amending Article 2 of Council Regulation 315/68) is there any prohibition on produce being held or transported and there the prohibition is on produce which does not conform to the required standards being “held or transported with a view to sale, at any marketing stage, in packs intended for the consumer”.
(c) Council Regulation No. 338/77 is expressed to come into force only on 1st July, 1977.
The business of exporting the specified produce to third countries would appear to be covered by Council Regulation No. 315/68, as amended, but not by regulation 6 (6) (g) of S.I. No. 129 of 1977.
Regulations 4 and 6:
The restrictions on exports in Council Regulation No. 315/68, as amended, and on imports and exports in Council Regulation No. 316/68 are confined to imports from and exports to third countries but regulations 4 and 6 of S.I. No. 129 of 1977 are not so expressly limited.
I am also to enquire if prior to 1st June, 1977 there were any provisions in force for penalties for the contravention of Council Regulations Nos. 234/68, 315/68 and 316/68.
M. G. KILROY,
Cléireach an Chomhchoiste.
12 Eanáir, 1978.
8 June, 1978.
An Comhchoiste faoi Reachtaíocht
Thánaisteach na gComhphobal Eorpach,
Baile Átha Cliath.
I refer further to your minute of 12 January, 1978 regarding your Joint Committee’s questions relating to certain aspects of the above-mentioned Regulations. Having consulted the Office of the Attorney General in the matter we can now comment as follows on the points raised.
Regulation 4 creates penalties for contraventions of the Council Regulations. It is not suggested that each of the acts mentioned in Regulation 4 is capable of being a contravention of all the Council Regulations referred to; rather Regulation 4 leaves it to the reader to consult the Council Regulations therein mentioned in order to ascertain the precise prohibitions under each of them for which penalties are imposed by Regulation 4. We are advised, therefore, that Regulation 4 is not in any way inconsistent with the Council Regulations but that it gives full effect to their provisions in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Rome by emphasising and reaffirming their direct effect.
As regards the date of entry into force of Regulation 338/77, I am to point out that the text as published in OJ No. L48 of 19 February, 1977 was incorrect and was subsequently amended by means of corrigendum published in OJ L69 of 16 March, 1977. This laid down that the Regulation entered into force on 15 March, 1977.
It is correct to say that the specific case of exportation to third countries of the products mentioned in Article 1 of Council Regulation 315/68 is not mentioned in Regulation 6 (6) (a) of S.I. No. 129 of 1977. However, it is considered that any enterprise involved in exporting the produce in question to third countries would be regarded as being involved in “selling or supplying” that produce and would in any event be caught by Regulation 6 (6) (a). Therefore, no breach of the State’s obligations under Council Regulation 315/68 is involved.
Regulations 4 and 6:
Insofar as the point raised under this heading concerns Regulation 4 reference is made made to paragraph two above. Regulation 4 refers to imports and exports in contravention of the Council Regulations and these references are to be construed in accordance with the corresponding particular reference in those Regulations. Insofar as your question concerns Regulation 6, I would point out that EEC Regulations apply to the Community as a unit and reference to imports and exports relate to third countries. When we come down to national level in our implementing Regulations, the terms import and export are broadened by the fact that imports from and exports to other Member States are also subject to the quality standards. In this context the unqualified references to importing and exporting are considered a proper exercise by the Minister of his powers under Section 3 (2) of the European Communities Act, 1972.
Finally I am to confirm that there were no provisions in force for penalties for contraventions of the Council Regulations prior to the coming into operation effect of S.I. No. 129 of 1977 on 1 June, 1977.