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The Fishing Vessels (Decommissioning) Scheme (Northern Ireland) 2001

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Scheme.)

This Scheme provides for the making of grants by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in respect of the decommissioning, by scrapping, of vessels.

Applications for grant will be considered in respect of vessels meeting the requirements set out in Article 3 of the Scheme.

Articles 4 to 6 of the Scheme lay down a procedure for the making and approval of applications and the amount of grant. Applications must be in respect of one vessel only and include a bid by the applicant of the amount of grant for which he offers to scrap the vessel. Bids will be selected for approval in accordance with Article 5.

Eligibility for grant is dependent on proof of scrapping by a method approved by the Department, surrender of licences relating to the vessel and removal of the vessel from the register (Articles 8 and 9). In the event of substantial damage or destruction of the vessel the applicant is required to provide the Department with certain information (Article 10).

Provision is made concerning the method of payment of grant (Article 11). The Department will require an undertaking not to purchase another vessel, other than a Northern Ireland vessel within a specified period and may require other undertakings to be given by a person whose application is approved (Article 12).

Applicants are required, on request, to give assistance to authorised officers of the Department, who are given powers of entry and inspection for specified purposes (Articles 13 to 15), and provision is made for the reduction, withholding and recovery of grant in certain circumstances (Article 16). Provision is also made for the recovery of interest (Article 17).

Article 16(4) of the Agriculture and Fisheries (Financial Assistance) (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 creates offences in respect of the production of false statements or documents in purported compliance with any requirement imposed by the Scheme and wilful refusal to supply information, make returns or produce documents when required to do so by or under the Scheme.

This Scheme is made by virtue of Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2792/99 laying down the criteria and arrangements regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries sector (O.J. No. L337 30.12.99, p. 3).

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