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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 85: Breach of requirement for, or conditions of, a licence

268.It is an offence for a person to carry out a licensable activity (as defined in section 66) without a licence or to do so in a manner that breaches any conditions of a licence.

269.With regard to the construction, alteration or improvement of any works, any person who owns, occupies or enjoys the use of the works and is, by virtue of section 71(5), bound by specified conditions in a licence is not to be taken to have committed an offence unless the enforcement authority has served a notice on the person identifying the particular condition and specifying a period within which the condition must be complied with, and the person fails to comply with the condition within that period.

270.Subsection (4) states the penalties for committing any such offence.

Section 86: Action taken in an emergency

271.If a person undertakes a licensable activity without a licence but does so for the purpose of securing the safety of a vessel, aircraft or structure, or for the purpose of saving life, the person has a defence against a charge under section 85(1). However, this is dependent on the person informing the licensing authority within a reasonable time of the matters specified in subsection (2); on the steps taken being necessary and reasonable; and on it not being the person’s fault that the emergency occurred.

Section 87: Electronic communications: emergency works

272.The scope of emergency works under the Electronic Communications Code (Schedule 2 to the Telecommunications Act 1984) (“the Code”) is broader than the defence provided by section 86 of the Act. For example, emergency works under the Code include works to put right any interruption in service provided by an operator’s system. This section therefore provides a defence against any charge brought under section 85(1) of the Act where the activity in question is carried out by an operator or relevant undertaker, within paragraph 23 of the Code, for the purpose of executing emergency works, within the meaning of the Code.

Section 88: Activity licensed by another State

273.There is a further defence to the undertaking of certain activities without a licence. The activities are those mentioned in subsection (2) – namely the depositing or incineration of any substance or object, or the scuttling of a vessel or floating container, from a British vessel, aircraft or structure, in non-UK waters. For the defence to be applicable, the vessel, aircraft or structure must have either been loaded (in the case of making a deposit or incineration), or started its journey (in the case of scuttling) in a State that is party to the international Conventions identified in subsection (5). Under subsection (4) the activity must also have been undertaken in pursuance of, and in accordance with, a licence issued by the appropriate authority in that State.

274.The Secretary of State may amend subsections (5) and (6) to give effect to any international agreement which alters or replaces any Convention or Protocol mentioned in those subsections.

Section 89: Information

275.It is an offence for a person who is applying for a new licence, or for the variation or transfer of an existing licence or who, in complying, or purporting to comply, with obligations imposed either by this Part or a licence, knowingly or recklessly supplies false or misleading information, or intentionally fails to disclose any material particular. Penalties set out in subsection (3) apply if an offence has been committed.

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