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Organic Farming Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001

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Interpretation

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(1), except sections 20(2) and (3) and 39(2), shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In these Regulations—

“aid” means the payments under the agri-environment measure referred to in Chapter VI of Title II of Council Regulation 1257/1999 in so far as it relates to farmers who undertake to introduce organic farming methods;

“agriculture” includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, livestock breeding and keeping and the use of land for grazing, meadow land, market gardens and nursery grounds, but does not include the use of land—

(i)

as osier land; or

(ii)

for woodlands, except where that use is ancillary to any other use of land for the purposes of agriculture;

“agri-environment scheme” means an arrangement which is—

(a)

regulated by statutory rule providing for the payment of aid to persons who give an undertaking or enter into an agreement in relation to the use or management of land; and

(b)

approved by the Commission of the European Communities under Article 44.2 of Council Regulation 1257/1999 as part of a rural development plan drawn up pursuant to Article 41 of that Regulation;

“application” means an application for aid made in accordance with regulation 9 in respect of one or more organic parcels and “applicant” and “apply” shall be construed accordingly;

“approved” means approved by an inspection authority;

“authorised person” means a person (whether or not an officer of the Department) who is authorised by the Department, either generally or specifically, to act in matters arising under these Regulations;

“beneficiary” means—

(a)

a person whose application in respect of land comprising one or more organic parcels has been accepted by the Department; or

(b)

a person who occupies the whole or any part of an organic unit following a change of occupation of the holding, who has given an undertaking to comply with all the obligations assumed by its previous occupier under these Regulations, in so far as they relate to land comprised in that organic unit or the part of that organic unit occupied by him, and whose undertaking in such terms has been accepted by the Department;

“certificate of registration” means a certificate issued by an inspection authority in respect of an organic parcel, specifying the conversion period which applies in relation to that organic parcel, or the date on which that conversion period begins; and for this purpose a certificate so issued is issued “in respect of” an organic parcel if it relates to that organic parcel, whether or not it also relates to any other organic parcel;

Commission Regulation 3887/92” means Commission Regulation (EEC) No. 3887/92 laying down detailed rules for applying the integrated administration and control system for certain Community aid schemes(2);

Commission Regulation 1750/1999” means Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1750/1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)(3);

“conversion” in relation to an organic parcel, means the conversion of that organic parcel to being fully organic;

“conversion period”, in relation to an organic parcel, means the period determined by the inspection authority as the period in which the conversion of that organic parcel is expected to be completed, being a period starting—

(a)

in relation to the first organic parcel, not later than the date of receipt; and

(b)

in relation to any other organic parcel, not later than the fifth anniversary of the date of receipt;

Council Regulation 2092/91” means Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs(4), as supplemented and last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1804 /1999(5);

“Council Regulation 1257/1999” means Council Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and amending and repealing certain Regulations(6);

“date of receipt”, in relation to an organic parcel, means the date on which the Department received an application in accordance with regulation 9 in respect of that organic parcel;

“Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development;

“first organic parcel” means, of all the organic parcels comprised in an application, the organic parcel the conversion period for which begins first;

“first year” means—

(a)

in relation to an organic parcel—

(i)

in a case where the conversion period in respect of the organic parcel has commenced no later than the date of receipt, the year beginning with the date of receipt; and

(ii)

in any other case, the year beginning with the anniversary of the date of receipt which is the first such anniversary to occur during the conversion period relating to the organic parcel in question; and

(b)

in relation to an organic unit, the first year in relation to the first organic parcel to which an application relates, being the first such application relating to land comprised in that organic unit;

and any reference to any successive year is a reference to the relevant successive year following in sequence from the first year;

“fully organic” in relation to an organic parcel or organic unit means that—

(a)

the inspection authority is satisfied that the conversion of that organic parcel or organic unit is completed; and

(b)

notification having been given under Article 8 of Council Regulation 2092/91, details of such organic parcel or organic unit have appeared in the list referred to in that Article;

“grazing year” means any period of twelve months beginning with the date of receipt or any anniversary of the date of receipt;

“holding” means all the production units managed by a producer situated within the territory of the same member State;

“inspection authority”, in relation to an organic unit or organic parcel, means—

(a)

the authority designated by the Organic Products Regulations 1992(7) for the purposes of Article 9 of Council Regulation 2092/91, or

(b)

a private inspection body approved by that authority in accordance with Article 9 of that Regulation (which concerns the inspection system to which organic farming is subject),

being the authority or private inspection body to whom the applicant has applied to carry out inspection functions in relation to that organic unit or organic parcel;

“land” means land which is used for agriculture;

“landlord”, in relation to the tenant of a holding, means any person who either solely or jointly owns, or has a superior tenancy of, that holding and “immediate landlord” means the landlord from whose title (or, as the case may be, joint title) the tenant directly derives his title;

“last organic parcel” means, of all the organic parcels which are the subject of an application, the organic parcel the conversion period for which begins last;

“livestock” means any animal or fowl kept for the production of food, wool or skins or for the breeding of any animal for any such purpose;

“livestock undergoing conversion” means livestock which are identified in an approved plan as being in the process of being converted into organic livestock, and which fully conform to those UKROFS standards which apply in relation to the organic farming of livestock undergoing conversion;

“organic farming” means farming by organic farming methods;

“organic livestock” means livestock that are identified in an approved plan as being livestock that fully conform to those UKROFS standards which apply in relation to the organic farming of livestock;

“organic parcel” means an area of land which comprises the whole or part of an organic unit and which is identified in an approved plan by reference to such system of field numbering as the Department may direct;

“organic unit” means an area of land which comprises the whole or part of a holding, and which has been established as an organic unit in accordance with Annex III to Council Regulation 2092/91 (which concerns the delineation of the organic unit by any inspection authority in a report countersigned by the producer);

“owner” means the person who owns the fee simple of the holding;

“plan” means a schedule in writing specifying, in relation to an organic unit—

(a)

those parcels which have been registered by the inspection authority;

(b)

those parcels which it is intended to register in the future;

(c)

the dates on which such organic parcels have been or (as the case may be) are to be registered; and

(d)

where the plan relates to land on which livestock are kept, the livestock that are undergoing conversion or are organic livestock;

“specified period”, in relation to an application, means the period beginning with the date of receipt and ending on the expiry of the period of five years from the date on which the first payment becomes payable in respect of the last organic parcel which is the subject of that application;

“statutory provision” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954;

“tenant” means a person who occupies a holding or part of a holding under a contract of tenancy for a fixed term of years of which at least 5 years remain unexpired at the commencement of the specified period;

“UKROFS standards” means the standards for organic farming of the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards published in January 1999 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and known as the UKROFS Standards for Organic Food Production and the additional standards published in August 2000 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and known as the UKROFS Standards for Organic Food Production–Standards for Organic Livestock and Organic Livestock Products.

(2)

O.J. No. L391, 31.12.92, p. 36 as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2801/1999 (O.J. No. L340, 31.12.1999, p. 29)

(3)

O.J. No. L214, 13.8.1999, p. 31

(4)

O.J. No. L198, 22.7.91, p. 1

(5)

O.J. No. L222, 24.8.1999, p. 1

(6)

O.J. No. L160, 26.6.1999, p. 80

(7)

S.I. 1992/2111, the relevant amending instrument is S.I. 1994/2286

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