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Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998

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Offences

10.—(1) Any person who contravenes regulation 3, 4(1), 5(1) or 8 shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Any person who—

(a)intentionally obstructs any person acting in the execution of these Regulations, or

(b)without reasonable cause, fails to give to any person acting in the execution of these Regulations any assistance or information which that person may reasonably require of him for the performance of his functions under these Regulations,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Nothing in paragraph (2)(b) shall be construed as requiring any person to answer any question or give any information if to do so might incriminate him.

(4) Any person who, in purported compliance with any such requirement as is mentioned in paragraph (2)(b)—

(a)furnishes information which he knows to be false or misleading in a material particular, or

(b)recklessly furnishes information which is false or misleading in a material particular,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) Where the commission by any person of an offence under these Regulations is due to an act or default of some other person, that other person shall be guilty of the offence; and a person may be charged with and convicted of the offence by virtue of this paragraph whether or not proceedings are taken against the first mentioned person.

(6) In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall, subject to paragraph (10), be a defence for the person charged to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence by himself or by a person under his control.

(7) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (6), a person charged with an offence under these Regulations who neither—

(a)prepared the plastic material or article in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed, nor

(b)imported it into Northern Ireland,

shall be taken to have established the defence provided by that paragraph if he satisfies the requirements of paragraph (8) or (9).

(8) A person satisfies the requirements of this paragraph if he proves—

(a)that the commission of the offence was due to an act or default of another person who was not under his control, or to reliance on information supplied by such a person;

(b)that he carried out all such checks of the plastic material or article in question as were reasonable in all the circumstances, or that it was reasonable in all the circumstances for him to rely on checks carried out by the person who supplied the plastic material or article to him; and

(c)that he did not know and had no reason to suspect at the time of the commission of the alleged offence that his act or omission would amount to an offence under these Regulations.

(9) A person satisfies the requirements of this paragraph if the offence is one of sale and he proves—

(a)that the commission of the offence was due to an act or default of another person who was not under his control, or to reliance on information supplied by such a person;

(b)that the sale of which alleged offence consisted was not a sale under his name or mark; and

(c)that he did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, at the time of the commission of the alleged offence that his act or omission would amount to an offence under these Regulations.

(10) If in any case the defence provided by paragraph (6) involves the allegation that the commission of the offence was due to an act or default of another person, or to reliance on information supplied by another person, the person charged shall not, without leave of the court, be entitled to rely on that defence unless—

(a)at least seven clear days before the hearing, and

(b)where he has previously appeared before a court in connection with the alleged offence, within one month of his first such appearance,

he has served on the prosecutor a notice in writing giving such information identifying or assisting in the identification of that other person as was then in his possession, and in this paragraph any reference to appearing before a court shall be construed as including a reference to being brought before a court.

(11) Any person guilty of an offence under these Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both and on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

(12) No prosecution for an offence under these Regulations shall be begun after the expiry of—

(a)three years from the commission of the offence; or

(b)one year from its discovery by the prosecutor,

whichever is earlier.

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