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The Genetically Modified Organisms (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

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Risk assessment and notification requirements

5.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (7), no person shall import or acquire, release or market any genetically modified organisms unless, before doing that act—

(a)he has carried out an assessment of any risks there are (by reference to the nature of the organisms and the manner in which he intends to keep them after their importation or acquisition or, as the case may be, t o release or market them) of damage to the environment being caused as a result of doing that act; and

(b)in such cases as may be prescribed, he has given the Department such notice of his intention of doing that act and such information as may be prescribed.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a person proposing to do an act mentioned in that paragraph who is required under Article 8(1)(a) to have a consent before doing that act.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (7), a person who is keeping genetically modified organisms shall, in such cases and at such times or intervals as may be prescribed—

(a)carry out an assessment of any risks there are of damage to the environment being caused as a result of his continuing to keep them;

(b)give the Department notice of the fact that he is keeping the organisms and such information as may be prescribed.

(4) Paragraph (3) does not apply to a person who is keeping genetically modified organisms and is required under Article 8(2) to have a consent authorising him to continue to keep the organisms.

(5) It shall be the duty of a person who carries out an assessment under paragraph (1)(a) or (3)(a) to keep, for the prescribed period, such a record of the assessment as may be prescribed.

(6) A person required by paragraph (1)(b) or (3)(b) to give notice to the Department shall give the Department such further information as the Department may by notice in writing require.

(7) Regulations under this Article may provide for exemptions, or for the granting by the Department of exemptions to particular persons or classes of person, from the requirements of paragraph (1) or (3).

(8) The Department may at any time—

(a)give directions to a person falling within paragraph (1) requiring that person to apply for a consent before doing the act in question; or

(b)give directions to a person falling within paragraph (3) requiring that person, before such date as may be specified in the direction, to apply for a consent authorising him to continue keeping the organisms in question;

and a person given directions under sub-paragraph (a) shall then, and a person given directions under sub-paragraph (b) shall from the specified date, be subject to Article 8 in place of the requirements of this Article.

(9) Regulations under this Article may—

(a)prescribe the manner in which assessments under paragraph (1) or (3) are to be carried out and the matters which must be investigated and assessed;

(b)prescribe minimum periods of notice between the giving of a notice under paragraph (1)(b) and the doing of the act in question;

(c)make provision allowing the Department to shorten or to extend any such period;

(d)prescribe maximum intervals at which assessments under paragraph (3)(a) must be carried out.

(10) In this Article “prescribed” means prescribed by the Department in regulations under this Article.

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