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The Fishing Vessels (Decommissioning) (Scotland) Scheme 2003

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Powers of authorised officers

14.—(1) An authorised officer at all reasonable hours and on producing, if required to do so, some duly authenticated document showing the authority of the officer, may exercise the powers specified in this paragraph for the purpose of ascertaining whether and to what extent–

(a)a person is entitled under paragraph 3 to make the application;

(b)the application should be selected under paragraph 5 for approval;

(c)paragraphs 8 to 10 and 13, and any relevant conditions, have been complied with;

(d)the decommissioning of the vessel is being, or has been, carried out;

(e)any amount of grant is recoverable in accordance with paragraph 15;

(f)an offence under section 17 of the Act has been or is being committed.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), an authorised officer may enter upon any premises which are, or which such officer has reasonable cause to believe are, relevant premises.

(3) The power conferred by sub-paragraph (2) may be exercised in relation to premises used as a dwelling house only where reasonable notice of the intended exercise of the power has been given to all residents of that dwelling house.

(4) Any authorised officer who has entered any premises in accordance with sub paragraph (2) may inspect those premises, and any documents on those premises which are or which such officer has reasonable cause to believe are, relevant documents.

(5) An authorised officer entering premises by virtue of this paragraph may be accompanied by such other person as the officer considers necessary and sub-paragraphs (2), (4), (6) and (7) and paragraph 13 shall apply in relation to such other person when acting under the instructions of the officer as if they were authorised officers.

(6) An authorised officer may–

(a)require any applicant or an employee or agent of the applicant to produce any relevant document and to supply such additional information in possession of the person or under the control of that person relating to an application as the officer may reasonably request;

(b)inspect any such document and, where any such document is kept by means of a computer, have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any computer and any associated apparatus or material which is or has been used in connection with that document;

(c)require that copies of, or extracts from, any relevant document be produced; or

(d)remove and retain for a reasonable period any such relevant document which the officer has reason to believe may be required as evidence of proceedings under this Scheme or which the Scottish Ministers may be required to make available to the Commission pursuant to Article 38(6) of Council Regulation 1260/99 and, where any such document is kept by means of computer, require it to be produced in a form in which it may be taken away and in which it is visible and legible.

(7) An authorised officer shall not be liable in any civil or criminal proceedings for anything done in the purported exercise of the powers conferred on the officer by this Scheme if the court hearing such proceedings is satisfied that–

(a)the act was done in good faith;

(b)that there were reasonable grounds for doing it; and

(c)that it was done with reasonable skill and care.

(8) In this paragraph–

“premises” includes any vessel or other vehicle; and

“relevant document” means any document relating to the vessel in respect of which an application has been made;

“relevant premises” includes the vessel in respect of which an application has been made and any premises in which a relevant document is retained or in which an authorised officer has reasonable grounds to believe such a document may be retained.

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