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The Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018

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PART 1Introduction

Citation, commencement, extent and application

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018.

(2) These Regulations come into force on the 30 June 2018.

(3) These Regulations extend to England and Wales, but apply in relation to Wales only.

Interpretation

2.  In these Regulations—

“authorised purpose” (“diben awdurdodedig”) means the purpose of determining whether an offence under regulation 3(1) or 3(2) has been or is being committed, or any requirement of a compliance notice, a stop notice or an enforcement undertaking under these Regulations has been, or is being contravened;

“compliance notice” (“hysbysiad cydymffurfio”) has the meaning given by paragraph 1(1)(b) of the Schedule;

“enforcement undertaking” (“ymgymeriad gorfodaeth”) has the meaning given by paragraph 17 of the Schedule;

“microbead” (“microbelen”) means any water-insoluble solid plastic particle of less than or equal to 5mm in any dimension;

“plastic” (“plastig”) means a synthetic polymeric substance that can be moulded, extruded or physically manipulated into various solid forms and that retains its final manufactured shape during use in its intended applications;

“the regulator” (“y rheoleiddiwr”), for the purposes of the enforcement of an offence under regulation 3(1), 3(2) or 10(1) means, in relation to any place at which a rinse-off personal care product is manufactured or supplied, the local authority with responsibility for the area in which the place is situated;

and for this purpose “local authority” (“awdurdod lleol”) means a county or county borough council constituted under section 21 of the Local Government Act 1972;

“rinse-off personal care product” (“cynnyrch gofal personol i’w rinsio i ffwrdd”) means any substance, or mixture of substances, manufactured for the purpose of being applied to any relevant human body part in the course of any personal care treatment, by an application which entails at its completion the prompt and specific removal of the product (or any residue of the product) by washing or rinsing with water, rather than leaving it to wear off or wash off, or be absorbed or shed, in the course of time;

and for this purpose—

(a)

a “personal care treatment” (“triniaeth gofal personol”) means any process of cleaning, protecting or perfuming a relevant human body part, maintaining or restoring its condition or changing its appearance; and

(b)

a “relevant human body part” (“rhan berthnasol o’r corff dynol”) is—

(i)

any external part of the human body (including any part of the epidermis, hair system, nails or lips);

(ii)

the teeth; or

(iii)

mucous membranes of the oral cavity;

“stop notice” (“hysbysiad stop”) has the meaning given by paragraph 9(2) of the Schedule;

“supply”, (“cyflenwi”) in relation to a rinse-off personal care product, means supply by way of sale or its presentation as a promotional prize or gift in the course of a business;

“third party undertaking” (“ymgymeriad trydydd parti”) has the meaning given by paragraph 3(1) of the Schedule;

“Wales” (“Cymru”) has the meaning given under section 158 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

PART 2Offences

Offences

3.—(1) A person who, in the manufacture of any rinse-off personal care product, uses microbeads as an ingredient of that product is guilty of an offence.

(2) A person who supplies, or offers to supply, any rinse-off personal care product containing microbeads is guilty of an offence.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) or (2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

Defence of due diligence for suppliers

4.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (4), in proceedings for an offence under regulation 3(2) it is a defence for a person (“P”) to show that P took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

(2) P may not rely on a defence under paragraph (1) which involves a third party allegation unless P has—

(a)served a notice in accordance with paragraph (3); or

(b)obtained the leave of the court.

(3) The notice must—

(a)give any information in P’s possession which identifies or assists in identifying the person who—

(i)committed the act or default; or

(ii)supplied the information on which P relied; and

(b)be served on the person bringing the proceedings not less than 7 clear days before the hearing of the proceedings.

(4) P may not rely on a defence under paragraph (1) which involves an allegation that the commission of the offence was due to reliance on information supplied by another person unless it was reasonable for P to have relied upon the information, having regard in particular—

(a)to the steps that P took, and those which might reasonably have been taken, for the purpose of verifying the information; and

(b)to whether P had any reason to disbelieve the information.

(5) In this regulation, “third party allegation” means an allegation that the commission of the offence was due—

(a)to the act or default of another person; or

(b)to reliance on information supplied by another person.

Time limit for the prosecution of offences

5.—(1) Any information relating to an offence under regulation 3 or 10 that is triable by a magistrates’ court may be so tried if it is laid within twelve months after the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to justify the proceedings comes to the knowledge of the prosecutor.

(2) No proceedings are to be brought more than three years after the commission of the offence.

PART 3Enforcement and Civil Sanctions

Enforcement

6.—(1) The regulator may authorise any person to exercise, for an authorised purpose and in accordance with the terms of the authorisation, any of the powers specified in regulation 8 and 9, if that person appears to the regulator suitable to exercise them.

(2) An authorisation under paragraph (1) must be in writing.

(3) In this Part, “enforcement officer” means a person authorised under paragraph (1).

Civil sanctions

7.  The Schedule (civil sanctions) has effect for the purpose of the enforcement of an offence under regulation 3(1), 3(2) or 10(1).

Enforcement Officer Powers

8.—(1) The powers which an enforcement officer may be authorised to exercise are—

(a)to make such examination and investigation as may in any circumstances be necessary;

(b)to require any person whom an enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe to be able to give any information relevant to any examination or investigation under paragraph (a) above to answer (in the absence of persons other than a person nominated by that person to be present and any persons whom the authorised person may allow to be present) such questions as the enforcement officer thinks fit to ask and to sign a declaration of the truth of their answers; and

(c)to require the production of, or where the information is recorded in computerised form, the furnishing of extracts from, any records which it is necessary for the enforcement officer to see for the purposes of an examination or investigation under paragraph (a) above and to inspect and take copies of, or of any entry in, the records.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be taken to compel the production by any person of a document of which that person would on grounds of legal professional privilege be entitled to withhold production on an order for discovery in an action in the High Court.

Powers of entry and examination etc.

9.—(1) The powers which an enforcement officer may be authorised to exercise are—

(a)to enter at any reasonable time any premises (other than premises used wholly or mainly as a dwelling) which the enforcement officer has reason to believe it is necessary to enter for an authorised purpose;

(b)when entering any premises under sub-paragraph (a)—

(i)to be accompanied by another enforcement officer; and

(ii)to bring any equipment or materials required for the authorised purpose in question;

(c)on entering any premises under sub-paragraph (a)—

(i)to exercise the powers in regulation 8(2); and

(ii)to take such measurements and photographs and make such recordings as the enforcement officer considers necessary for the purpose of any such examination or investigation.

(d)as regards any premises which an enforcement officer has power to enter under sub-paragraph (a), to direct that those premises or any part of them, or anything in them, be left undisturbed (whether generally or in particular respects) for so long as is reasonably necessary for the purpose of examination or investigation under sub-paragraph (c);

(e)to take any samples, or cause samples to be taken, of any articles or substances found in or on any premises which an enforcement officer has power to enter under sub-paragraph (a), and to cause any such articles or substance to be analysed or tested;

(f)in the case of any such sample, to take possession of it and to retain it for so long as is necessary for all or any of the following purposes—

(i)to examine it, and subject it to any process or test, or cause it to be examined;

(ii)to ensure that it is not tampered with before the examination is completed;

(iii)to ensure that it is available for use as evidence in any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations.

(2) Except in an emergency, where an enforcement officer proposes to enter any premises and—

(a)entry has been refused or the enforcement officer apprehends on reasonable grounds that entry is likely to be refused, and

(b)the enforcement officer apprehends on reasonable grounds that the use of reasonable force may be necessary to effect entry,

any entry onto those premises by virtue of paragraph (1)(a) may only be effected under the authority of a warrant.

(3) Nothing in paragraph (1)(c)(iii) compels the production by a person of any documents of which that person would on grounds of legal professional privilege be entitled to withhold production on an order for disclosure in an action in the County Court or High Court.

(4) An enforcement officer may only exercise the powers in paragraph (1) in the reasonable belief that an offence under regulation 3 has been or is being committed.

(5) An enforcement officer seeking to exercise a power under paragraph (1) must produce evidence of identity and authority if requested by a person who is, or appears to be—

(a)a supplier of a rinse-off personal care product or an employee of such a supplier;

(b)a manufacturer of a rinse-off personal care product or an employee of such a manufacturer; or

(c)the owner or occupier of any premises in which the enforcement officer seeks to exercise the power concerned.

Offences

10.—(1) A person commits an offence if in response to powers exercised under regulations 8 and 9 that person—

(a)fails to supply an enforcement officer with any information, documents or records requested;

(b)gives false or misleading information to an enforcement officer; or

(c)intentionally obstructs an enforcement officer.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

Publication of enforcement action

11.—(1) Where the regulator imposes a civil sanction under these Regulations in relation to an offence under regulation 3 or 10, the regulator must from time to time publish—

(a)the cases in which the civil sanction has been imposed;

(b)where the civil sanction is a variable monetary penalty or compliance notice, the cases in which a third party undertaking has been accepted; and

(c)the cases in which an enforcement undertaking has been entered into.

(2) In paragraph (1)(a), the reference to cases in which the civil sanction has been imposed does not include cases where the sanction has been imposed but overturned on appeal.

(3) This regulation does not apply in cases where the regulator considers that publication would be inappropriate.

PART 4Guidance

Guidance

12.—(1) The regulator must publish guidance about its use of civil sanctions under these Regulations in relation to an offence under regulation 3 or 10.

(2) In the case of guidance relating to a variable monetary penalty, compliance notice or stop notice, the guidance must contain the relevant information set out in paragraph (3).

(3) The relevant information referred to in paragraph (2) is information as to—

(a)the circumstances in which the requirement is likely to be imposed;

(b)the circumstances in which it may not be imposed;

(c)rights to make representations and rights of appeal; and

(d)in the case of a variable monetary penalty, the matters likely to be taken into account by the regulator in determining the amount of the penalty (including any discounts for voluntary reporting by any person of that person’s non-compliance).

(4) The regulator must revise the guidance where appropriate.

(5) The regulator must consult such persons as it considers appropriate before publishing any guidance or revised guidance under this regulation.

(6) The regulator must have regard to the guidance or revised guidance in exercising its functions.

Additional guidance

13.—(1) Guidance under section 64 of the 2008 Act relating to the use of non-compliance penalties and enforcement recovery costs must (in addition to the matters specified in section 64(2)) specify—

(a)the circumstances in which they may not be imposed;

(b)matters to be taken into account in determining the amount involved; and

(c)rights of appeal.

(2) In this regulation, “non-compliance penalty” has the meaning given by paragraph 24(1) of the Schedule.

PART 5Review

Review

14.—(1) The Welsh Ministers must—

(a)as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the period of three years from the date on which these Regulations come into force carry out a review of the operation of the provisions in Part 3 (Enforcement and Civil Sanctions) and the Schedule;

(b)from time to time carry out a review of the regulatory provision contained in these Regulations (including Part 3 and the Schedule); and

(c)publish a report setting out the conclusions of any review.

(2) In the case of a review under paragraph (1)(a)—

(a)section 67 of the 2008 Act requires that the review must in particular consider whether the provision has implemented its objectives efficiently and effectively;

(b)the Welsh Ministers, in conducting the review, must consult such persons as the Welsh Ministers consider appropriate; and

(c)the Welsh Ministers must lay a copy of the report under paragraph (1)(c) before the National Assembly for Wales.

Hannah Blythyn

Minister for Environment, under authority of the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, one of the Welsh Ministers.

19 June 2018

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