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Time limit for prosecutionsF4F5F6U.K.

7.—(1) No proceedings for an offence under these Regulations are to be commenced after—

(a)the end of the period of three years beginning with the date of the commission of the offence; or

(b)the end of the period of one year beginning with the date of discovery of the offence by the prosecutor,

whichever is earlier.

(2) For the purpose of paragraph 1(b), a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor and stating the date on which the offence was discovered by the prosecutor is to be conclusive evidence of that fact and a certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed is to be treated as so signed unless the contrary is proved.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in section 127(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 F1 (limitation of time), an information relating to an offence under these Regulations which is triable by a magistrates' court in England and Wales may be so tried if it is laid at any time before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the date of the commission of the offence.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in section 136 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 F2 (time limit for certain offences) summary proceedings in Scotland for an offence under these Regulations may be commenced at any time before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the date of the commission of the offence.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (4) section 136(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 shall apply as it applies for the purposes of that subsection.

(6) Notwithstanding anything in Article 19(1) of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 F3 (time within which complaint charging offence must be made to give jurisdiction), a complaint charging an offence under these Regulations which is triable by a magistrates court in Northern Ireland may be so tried if it is made at any time before the end of the period of twelve months beginning with the date of the commission of the offence.

F11980 c 43.

F21995 c 46.

F5OJ No L272, 18.10.2011, p.1.

F61972 c.68. section 2(2) was amended by section 27(1)(a) of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (c.51) and Part 1 of the Schedule to the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 (c.7).