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Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

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Part IILicences

Categories of entitlement

Classification of vehicles

3.—(1) Subject to regulation 4, the Department shall grant licences authorising the driving of motor vehicles in accordance with the categories and sub-categories specified in column (1) and defined in column (2) of Schedule 1 and those categories and sub-categories are designated as groups for the purposes of Article 5(1)(b) and 6(4)(a) of the Order.

(2) In these Regulations, expressions relating to vehicle categories have the following meanings—

(a)any reference to a category or sub-category identified by letter, number or word or by a combination thereof is a reference to the category or sub-category defined in column (2) of Schedule 1 opposite that letter or combination in column (1);

(b)“sub-category” means, in relation to category A, B, C, C + E, D or D + E, a class of vehicles comprising part of the category and identified as a sub-category thereof in column (2) of Schedule 1; and

(c)unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to a category includes a reference to sub-categories of that category.

Classes for which licences may be granted

4.—(1) A licence authorising the driving of motor vehicles of a class included in any category or sub-category mentioned in Part I of Schedule 1 may be granted to a person who is entitled thereto by virtue of—

(a)holding or having held a full licence, a full Great Britain licence, full British external licence, full British Forces licence, exchangeable licence or Community licence authorising the driving of vehicles of that class; or

(b)having passed a test authorising the driving of motor vehicles of that class or a Great Britain or Gibraltar test corresponding to such a test.

(2) A licence authorising the driving of motor vehicles of a class included in any category or sub-category mentioned in Part 2 of Schedule 1 may not be granted to a person unless, at a time before 1st January 1997—

(a)in the case of an application for a full licence—

(i)he held a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in that category, or

(ii)he passed a test which at the time it was passed authorised the driving of motor vehicles of that class or a Great Britain test corresponding to such a test;

(b)in the case of an application for a provisional licence, he held a provisional licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in that category.

Competence to drive classes of vehicle

5.—(1) Where a person holds, or has held, a licence authorising him to drive vehicles of a class included in any category or, as the case may be, sub-category he is deemed competent to drive—

(a)vehicles of all classes included in that category or sub-category unless by that licence he is or was authorised to drive—

(i)only motor vehicles of a specified class within that category or sub-category, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only vehicles of that class,

(ii)invalid carriages, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only invalid carriages,

(iii)only motor vehicles adapted on account of a disability, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such classes of vehicle included in that category or sub-category as are so adapted (and for the purposes of this paragraph, a motor bicycle with a side-car may be treated in an appropriate case as a motor vehicle adapted on account of a disability; and

(b)all classes of vehicle included in any other category or sub-category which is specified in column (3) of Schedule 1 as an additional category or sub-category in relation to that category or sub-category unless by that licence he is or was authorised to drive—

(i)only motor vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such classes of motor vehicle included in the additional category or sub-category as have automatic transmission,

(ii)only invalid carriages, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only invalid carriages,

(iii)only motor vehicles adapted on account of a disability, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such classes of vehicle included in the additional category or sub-category as are so adapted.

(2) A person who has held a full licence to drive vehicles in category C for a period of at least 2 years may also drive a motor vehicle of a class included in category D which is—

(a)being operated by the holder of a road service licence; and

(b)not being used for the carriage of any person who is not connected with the holder of that licence,

and is either—

(i)damaged or defective and being driven to a place of repair, or

(ii)being road tested following repair.

(3) A person who holds a full licence to drive vehicles in category C, may also drive a dual purpose vehicle if—

(a)he is a member of the armed forces of the Crown; and

(b)the vehicle is—

(i)adapted to carry not more than 36 persons in addition to the driver, and

(ii)used to carry passengers for naval, military or air force purposes.

(4) A person who is a holder of a full passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence may drive a passenger-carrying vehicle recovery vehicle unless by that licence he is or was authorised to drive only passenger-carrying vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such passenger-carrying vehicle recovery vehicles as have automatic transmission.

(5) A person may drive an incomplete large vehicle if he holds a licence authorising the driving of motor vehicles of a class included in category B (except a licence authorising only the driving of vehicles in sub-category B1 and B1 (invalid carriages)) unless by that licence he is authorised to drive only motor vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such incomplete large vehicles as have automatic transmission.

(6) A person who is the holder of a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in category B (except a licence authorising only the driving of vehicles in sub-category B1 and B1 (invalid carriages)) may drive—

(a)an exempted goods vehicle, other than a passenger-carrying vehicle recovery vehicle; and

(b)an exempted military vehicle,

unless by that licence he is authorised to drive only motor vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such vehicles as have automatic transmission.

(7) A person who—

(a)is the holder of a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in category B (except a licence authorising only the driving of vehicles in sub-category B1 or B1 (invalid carriages));

(b)has held that licence for an aggregate period of not less than 2 years;

(c)is aged 21 or over,

may drive a mobile project vehicle on behalf of a non-commercial body—

(i)to or from the place where the equipment it carries is to be, or has been, used, or the display or exhibition is to be, or has been, mounted,

(ii)to or from the place where a mechanical defect in the vehicle is to be, or has been, remedied,

(iii)in such circumstances that by virtue of paragraph 22 of Schedule 2 to the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 the vehicle is not chargeable with duty in respect of its use on public roads,

unless by that licence he is or was authorised to drive only vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such mobile project vehicles as have automatic transmission.

(8) A person who—

(a)is the holder of a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in category B (except a licence authorising only the driving of vehicles in sub-category B1 or B1 (invalid carriages));

(b)has held that licence for an aggregate period of not less than 2 years;

(c)is aged 21 or over; and

(d)receives no payment or consideration for so doing, other than out-of-pocket expenses,

may drive, on behalf of a non-commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or reward, a vehicle of a class included in sub-category D1 which has no trailer attached and has a maximum authorised mass—

(i)not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, excluding any part of that weight which is attributable to specialised equipment intended for the carriage of disabled passengers, and

(ii)not exceeding 4.25 tonnes otherwise,

unless by that licence he is or was authorised to drive only vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only vehicles included in sub-category D1 having automatic transmission.

(9) A person who is a holder of a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in category B (except a licence authorising only the driving of vehicles in sub-category B1 or B1 (invalid carriages)) may drive a vehicle of a class included in category B + E where—

(a)the trailer consists of a vehicle which is damaged or defective and is situated in such a position as to represent a road safety hazard or obstruction to other road users; and

(b)the vehicle is driven only so far as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances to remove the hazard or obstruction,

unless by that licence he is authorised to drive only vehicles having automatic transmission, in which case he shall be deemed competent to drive only such vehicles as have automatic transmission.

Minimum ages for holding or obtaining licences

Minimum ages for holding or obtaining licences

6.—(1) Paragraph (1) of Article 17 of the Order(1) (which specifies the minimum age for holding or obtaining a licence to drive certain classes of motor vehicles) shall have effect as if for the classes of vehicle and the ages specified in the table there were substituted classes of vehicle and ages in accordance with the following provisions.

(2) In item 4 (agricultural and forestry tractors), in the case of an agricultural or forestry tractor which—

(a)is so constructed that the whole of its weight is transmitted to the road surface by means of wheels;

(b)has an overall width not exceeding 2.45 metres;

(c)is driven either—

(i)without a trailer attached to it, or

(ii)with a trailer which has an overall width not exceeding 2.45 metres and is either a two-wheeled or close-coupled four-wheeled trailer; and

(d)is driven on any road other than a special road within the meaning of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993(2),

the age of 16 is substituted for the age of 17 in the case of a person who has passed a test prescribed in respect of category F, but in the case of a person who has not passed the test of competence to drive such a tractor, only while—

  • (A) taking, proceeding to or returning from such a test; or

  • (B) engaged in the course of agricultural operations on any road which is not a road where the maximum speed limit under Article 50 of the Order is 30 miles per hour or less.

(3) In item 5 (small vehicles), the age of 16 is substituted for the age of 17 in the case of—

(a)a person to whom an award of the higher rate component of the disability living allowance has been made in pursuance of section 73 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act (Northern Ireland) 1992(3) (whether before or after his 16th birthday) which is still in force; and

(b)a small vehicle driven without a trailer attached.

(4) In item 6 (medium sized goods vehicles), the age of 21 is substituted for the age of 18 in the case of a vehicle drawing a trailer where the maximum authorised mass of the combination exceeds 7.5 tonnes.

(5) In item 7 (other vehicles, including large goods and passenger-carrying vehicles), the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in the case of a person employed by a Health and Social Services Board or by the Eastern Ambulance Service Health and Social Services Trust when driving a vehicle for the purposes of an ambulance service of such a Board or that Trust.

(6) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in relation to a motor vehicle driven by a constable for the purpose of removing or avoiding obstruction to other road users or danger to other road users or members of the public, for the purpose of safeguarding property, including the motor vehicle and its load, for other similar purposes or for police purposes.

(7) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in the case of a motor vehicle and trailer combination which is in sub-category C1 + E and the maximum authorised mass of the combination does not exceed 7.5 tonnes.

(8) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in the case of a person who is a registered employee of a registered employer, in relation to a large goods vehicle which is—

(a)of a class to which the training agreement applies; and

(b)owned and operated by his employer or by a registered LGV training establishment.

(9) In item 7, the age of 18 is substituted for the age of 21 in relation to a passenger-carrying vehicle where—

(a)the driver of the vehicle holds a provisional licence authorising the driving of the vehicle and is not engaged in the carriage of passengers; or

(b)the driver holds a full passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence and—

(i)is engaged in the carriage of passengers on a regular service over a route which does not exceed 50 kilometres, or

(ii)where he is not so engaged, is driving a vehicle of a class included in sub-category D1,

and the vehicle is operated under a road service licence granted under section 4 of the Transport Act (Northern Ireland) 1967(4) or a permit granted under section 10B of that Act.

(10) In items 6 and 7, the age of 17 is substituted for the ages of 18 and 21 respectively in the case of—

(a)motor vehicles owned or used by or for any service of the Crown; or

(b)persons driving such vehicles.

(11) In this regulation—

(a)for the purposes of paragraph (2)—

(i)any implement fitted to a tractor shall be deemed to form part of the tractor notwithstanding that it is not a permanent or essentially permanent fixture, and in that paragraph,

(ii)“close-coupled”, in relation to wheels on the same side of a trailer, means fitted to that at all times while the trailer is in motion the wheels remain parallel to the longitudinal axis of the trailer and that the distance between the centres of their respective areas of contact with the road surface does not exceed 840 millimetres, and

(iii)“overall width”, in relation to a vehicle, means the width of the vehicle measured between vertical planes parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and passing through the extreme projecting points thereof exclusive of any driving mirror and so much of the distortion of any tyre as is caused by the weight of the vehicle;

(b)in paragraph (5) “ambulance service” means the carriage of persons to or from a place where they will receive or have received medical or dental treatment, in a vehicle constructed or adapted for such use; and

(c)for the purposes of paragraph (8), “registered” and “training agreement” have the meanings respectively given in regulation 43.

Applications for licences

Application for the grant of licences: general

7.—(1) The Department may consider an application for the grant of a licence before the date on which the grant of the licence is to take effect if the application is received by it—

(a)in the case of an application for a Group 2 licence, during the period of 3 months ending on that date;

(b)in any other case, during the period of 2 months ending on that date,

and may during such period grant the licence so that it takes effect on that date.

(2) For the purposes of paragraphs (1)(f) and (1A)(b) of Article 5 of the Order(5) the holder of an exchangeable licence satisfies the relevant residence requirement if he has been normally resident in Northern Ireland for a period of not more than five years.

(3) An applicant for a licence who before the licence is granted is required to satisfy the Department that he has passed a test shall at the time when he applies for the licence deliver to the Department, in support of that application—

(a)a certificate furnished under regulation 37(1)(a);

(b)a certificate corresponding to the certificate mentioned in sub-paragraph (a) furnished under the law of Great Britain;

(c)where paragraph (2) of regulation 30 applies, certificates furnished under regulations 36(2)(a) and 37(2) in accordance with regulation 30(3); or

(d)certificates corresponding to the certificates mentioned in sub-paragraph (c) furnished under the law of Great Britain.

(4) A person may not present a certificate in support of an application as evidence that he has passed—

(a)a test, a theory test or a practical test; or

(b)a test corresponding to any of those tests conducted under the law of Great Britain,

if the applicant took the test in respect of which the certificate was issued at a time when he was ineligible, by virtue of an enactment contained in the Order or these Regulations or a corresponding provision of the law of Great Britain, to take the test to which the certificate relates.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6) an application for the grant of a licence shall be accompanied by—

(i)one clear unmounted facial photograph of the applicant of recent date, approximately 40 millimetres × 35 millimetres in size and endorsed on the back with the applicant’s name and address, and

(ii)the appropriate fee as prescribed in regulation 10.

(6) A licence may be granted to a member of the naval, military or air forces of Her Majesty without requiring him to furnish a photograph but such licence shall permit him to drive or ride a motor vehicle only when he is on duty and the motor vehicle is the property of the Crown.

(7) An applicant for a Group 2 licence shall, if required to do so by the Department, send in support of his application a report (in such form as the Department may require) signed by a qualified medical practitioner, prepared and dated not more than 4 months prior to the date on which the licence is to take effect, for the purpose of satisfying the Department that he is not suffering from a relevant or prospective disability.

(8) In this regulation, “Group 2 licence” has the meaning given in regulation 48.

Eligibility to apply for provisional licence

8.—(1) Subject to the following provisions, an applicant for a provisional licence authorising the driving of motor vehicles of a class included in a category or sub-category specified in column (1) of the table must hold a relevant full licence authorising the driving of vehicles of a class included in the category or sub-category specified in column (2) in relation to the first category.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply in the case of an applicant who is a full-time member of the armed forces of the Crown.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a licence authorising the driving only of vehicles in sub-categories D1 (not for hire or reward), D1 + E (not for hire or reward) and C1 + E (8.25 tonnes) shall not be treated as a licence authorising the driving of motor vehicles of a class included in sub-categories D1, D1 + E and C1 + E.

(4) In this regulation, “relevant full licence” means a full licence granted under Part II of the Order, a full Great Britain licence, a full British external licence, a full British Forces licence, an exchangeable licence or a Community licence.

TABLE
Column (1)Column (2)
Category of licence applied forCategory of full licence required
B + EB
CB
C1B
DB
D1B
C1 + EC1
C + EC
D1 + ED1
D + ED
GB
HB

Restrictions on the grant of large goods and passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licences

9.—(1) An applicant for a large goods or passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence shall not, subject to paragraph (2), be granted a licence if, at the date from which the licence applied for is to take effect, any—

(a)large goods or passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence held by him is suspended; or

(b)Great Britain large goods or passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence held by him is suspended,

under Article 73 of the Order or, as the case may be, under the provision of the law for the time being in force in Great Britain corresponding to that Article.

(2) A person may apply for a large goods vehicle driver’s licence notwithstanding that, at the date from which the licence applied for is to take effect, any passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence held by him is suspended and such suspension relates to his conduct other than as a driver of a motor vehicle.

(3) An applicant for an LGV trainee driver’s licence—

(a)must be a registered employee of a registered employer within the meaning of regulation 43;

(b)must not be a person who—

(i)has been convicted (or is to be treated as if he had been convicted) of an offence by virtue of which he has incurred any further relevant endorsements, or

(ii)has at any time been disqualified by a court for holding or obtaining a licence or by a court in Great Britain for holding or obtaining a Great Britain licence; and

(c)must satisfy the Department that he holds a Certificate of Professional Competence issued by the Road Haulage and Distribution Training Council stating that the applicant has completed a course of induction training in the driving of goods vehicles which meets the requirements of Council Directive 76/914/EEC(6).

Fees for licences

10.—(1) An applicant for a licence shall pay a fee (if any) determined in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) The fee payable upon an application for a licence shall, in the case of a licence of a description, and (as the case may be) in the circumstances, specified in column (1) of the table set out in Schedule 2, be the fee specified in relation to that licence in column (2).

Provisional licences

Provisional licences: interpretation

11.—(1) In regulations 12 and 13—

  • “provisional licence”, in relation to a class of vehicles, includes a full licence which is treated, by virtue of Article 14 of the Order, as authorising its holder to drive vehicles of that class as if he held a provisional licence therefor;

  • “qualified driver” means—

    (a)

    in the case of the supervision of the driver of a motor vehicle of a class included in category B, other than a vehicle in sub-category B1, by a person whose licence is limited by virtue of a notice served under Article 9(5)(b) of the Order to vehicles of a particular class, a person who holds a full licence authorising him to drive a vehicle of a class included in category B, other than a vehicle in sub-category B1, and who would in an emergency be able to take control of the steering and braking functions of that vehicle;

    (b)

    in any other case, a person who holds—

    (i)

    a full licence (other than an LGV trainee driver’s licence),

    (ii)

    a full Great Britain licence, or

    (iii)

    a Community licence,

    authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of the same class as the vehicle being driven by the holder of the provisional licence, and who is either—

    • (A) at least 21 years of age and has (unless paragraph (2) applies) held the licence referred to above for an aggregate period of 3 years or more, or

    • (B) a member of the armed services of the Crown acting in the course of his duties for naval, military or air force purposes.

(2) In the case of the supervision of a driver of a large goods or passenger-carrying vehicle of any class, it shall not be a requirement that he shall have held the licence for an aggregate period of 3 years or more.

Conditions attached to provisional licences

12.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs, the holder of a provisional licence shall comply with the following conditions in relation to motor vehicles of a class which he is authorised to drive by virtue of the provisional licence, that is to say he shall not drive or ride such a motor vehicle—

(a)otherwise than under the supervision of a qualified driver who is present with him in or on the vehicle;

(b)unless a distinguishing mark in the form set out in Part 1 of Schedule 3 is displayed on the vehicle in such manner as to be clearly visible to other persons using the road from within a reasonable distance from the front and from the back of the vehicle; or

(c)while it is being used to draw a trailer.

(2) The condition specified in paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply when the holder of the provisional licence—

(a)is driving a motor vehicle of a class included in sub-category B1 or B1 (invalid carriages) or in category F, G or H which is constructed to carry only one person and not adapted to carry more than one person;

(b)is riding a moped or a motor bicycle with or without a side-car.

(3) The condition specified in paragraph (1)(b) shall not apply when the holder of the provisional licence is driving a motor vehicle and a distinguishing mark in the form set out in Part 2 of Schedule 3 is displayed on the motor vehicle in the manner described in paragraph (1)(b).

(4) The condition specified in paragraph (1)(c) shall not apply when the holder of the provisional licence is driving a vehicle of a class included in category B + E, C + E, D + E or F, in relation to motor vehicles of that class.

(5) The holder of a provisional licence authorising the driving of—

(a)a moped; or

(b)a motor bicycle with or without a side-car,

shall not drive such a vehicle while carrying on it another person.

(6) The holder of a passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s provisional licence shall not drive a vehicle which he is authorised to drive by that licence while carrying any passenger in the vehicle other than—

(a)the person specified in paragraph (1)(a); or

(b)a person who holds a passenger-carrying vehicle driver’s licence and either is giving or receiving instruction in the driving of passenger-carrying vehicles, or has given or received or is to give or receive, such instruction.

(7) The conditions specified in paragraphs (1)(a) and (6) shall not apply when the holder of the provisional licence is undergoing a test.

(8) The conditions specified in paragraphs (1), (5) and (6) shall not apply in relation to the driving of motor vehicles of a class in respect of which the provisional licence holder has been furnished with a certificate under regulation 37(1)(a) or, as the case may be, certificates under regulations 36(2)(a) and 37(2) stating that he has passed a test for the grant of a licence authorising him to drive vehicles of that class.

(9) In the case of an LGV trainee driver’s licence, this regulation shall apply as modified by regulation 43.

Conditions attached to provisional licences: holders of driving permits other than licences granted under Part II of the Order

13.  A holder of a provisional licence authorising the driving of vehicles of any class who also holds a permit by virtue of which he is at any time—

(a)treated, by virtue of regulation 55, as the holder, for the purposes of Article 3 of the Order, of a licence authorising the driving of vehicles of that class; or

(b)entitled, pursuant to Article 3(1) of the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Order (Northern Ireland) 1990(7), to drive motor vehicles of that class,

need not comply with regulation 12 at that time.

Full licences not carrying provisional entitlement

14.—(1) Article 14(2) shall not apply to a licence—

(a)which authorises the driving only of motor vehicles adapted on account of a disability, whether pursuant to an application in that behalf made by the holder of the licence or pursuant to a notice served under Article 9(5)(b) of the Order;

(b)in so far as it authorises its holder to drive vehicles of a class included in category B + E, C + E, D + E, K or P or sub-category B1 (invalid carriages), C1, C1 + E, C1 + E (8.25 tonnes), D1 (not for hire or reward), D1 + E or D1 + E (not for hire or reward).

(2) Subject to the following provisions, the holder of a full licence authorising him to drive motor vehicles of a class included in a category or sub-category specified in column (1) of the table may drive—

(a)in the case where the full licence authorises only the driving of vehicles with automatic transmission, motor vehicles of all classes included in that category or sub-category which have manual transmission; and

(b)motor vehicles of all classes included in a category or sub-category specified in relation to that category or sub-category, in column (2) of the Table,

as if he were authorised by a provisional licence to do so and the application of Article 14(2) of the Order to those classes of vehicle is limited accordingly.

(3) In the case of a provisional large goods vehicle driver’s licence, this regulation shall apply as modified by regulation 43.

TABLE
Column (1)Column (2)
Full licence heldProvisional entitlement included
A1A, B, F and K
AB and F
B1A, B and F
BA, B + E, G and H
CC1 + E, C + E
D1D1 + E
DD1 + E, D + E
FB and P
GH
HG

Miscellaneous

Signature of licences

15.  Every person to whom a licence is granted shall forthwith sign it in ink with his usual signature.

Lost or defaced licences

16.—(1) If the holder of a licence—

(a)satisfies the Department that—

(i)the licence or its counterpart has been lost or defaced; and

(ii)the holder is entitled to continue to hold the licence; and

(b)pays the fee prescribed by regulation 10,

the Department shall, on surrender of any licence or counterpart that has not been lost, issue to him a licence in place of the licence or its counterpart and shall endorse upon the counterpart any particulars endorsed upon the original licence or counterpart, as the case may be, and the replacement so issued shall have the same effect as the originals.

(2) If at any time while a replacement licence is in force the original licence is found, the person to whom the original licence was issued, if it is in his possession, shall return it to the Department, of if it is not in his possession, but he becomes aware that it is found, shall take all reasonable steps to take possession of it and if successful shall return it as soon as may be practicable to the Department.

(3) The obligation in paragraph (2) shall apply in respect of the counterpart of a licence as if for the words “original licence” in each place where they occur there were substituted the words “original counterpart”.

(1)

Article 17(1) was substituted by S.R. 1996 No. 426 Schedule 1 paragraph 10

(4)

1967 c. 37 (N.I.); section 10B was inserted by S.I. 1990/994 (N.I. 7) Article 3

(5)

Article 5(1A) was inserted by S.R. 1996 No. 426 Schedule 1 paragraph 2

(6)

O.J. No. L357, 29.12.76, p. 36

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