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Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]


Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]
Part 8 — Enforcement
Chapter 4 — Fisheries enforcement powers

172

 

265     

Procedure in relation to seizure under section 263 or 264

(1)   

An enforcement officer who seizes any property under section 263 or 264 must,

if it is reasonably practicable to do so, serve a notice on each of the following

persons—

(a)   

every person who appears to the officer to have been the owner, or one

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of the owners, of the property at the time of its seizure;

(b)   

in the case of property seized from a vessel, the master, owner and

charterer (if any) of the vessel at that time;

(c)   

in the case of property seized from premises, every person who appears

to the officer to have been an occupier of the premises at that time;

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(d)   

in any other case, the person (if any) from whom the property was

seized.

(2)   

The notice must state—

(a)   

what has been seized;

(b)   

the reason for its seizure;

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(c)   

the offence which the officer believes has been committed;

(d)   

any further action that it is proposed will be taken;

(e)   

that, unless the property is liable to forfeiture under section 270 or 271,

it is to be detained until such time as it is released or its forfeiture is

ordered by the court.

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(3)   

Subsections (4) and (5) apply in a case where the property was seized following

an inspection carried out in exercise of the power conferred by section 259.

(4)   

The officer must serve a copy of the report referred to in section 260 on every

person falling within paragraph (a) of subsection (1) above at the same time as

the officer serves a notice on that person under this section.

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(5)   

In a case where the officer, after taking reasonable steps to do so, is unable to

identify any person as owning the property—

(a)   

any reference in this section to a requirement to serve a notice on that

person is to be read as a reference to a requirement to take such steps as

the officer thinks fit to bring the contents of the notice to the attention

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of persons likely to be interested in it, and

(b)   

the reference in subsection (4) to serving a copy of the report referred to

in section 260 is to be read as a reference to taking the steps referred to

in subsection (10)(a) of that section.

266     

Retention of property seized under section 263 or 264

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(1)   

Any property seized by an enforcement officer under section 263 or 264 may

be retained by the relevant authority.

(2)   

If either of the grounds for release in subsection (3) applies, the relevant

authority must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, make the property

available for collection.

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(3)   

The grounds for release referred to in subsection (2) are—

(a)   

that the relevant authority has decided not to take proceedings in

respect of any offence in relation to which the property was seized;

(b)   

that any proceedings taken in respect of such an offence have

concluded without any order for forfeiture having been made.

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Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]
Part 8 — Enforcement
Chapter 4 — Fisheries enforcement powers

173

 

(4)   

But subsection (2) does not apply if the property is liable to forfeiture under

section 270 or 271.

267     

Bonds for release of seized fish or gear

(1)   

This section applies to any property which is being retained by the relevant

authority under section 266.

5

(2)   

The relevant authority may enter into an agreement with any person falling

within subsection (3) for security for the property to be given to the relevant

authority by way of bond in return for the release of the property.

(3)   

The persons referred to in subsection (2) are—

(a)   

the owner, or any of the owners, of the property;

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(b)   

in the case of property seized from a vessel, the owner or charterer, or

any of the owners or charterers, of the vessel.

(4)   

Any bond given under this section is to be—

(a)   

for such amount as may be agreed, or

(b)   

in the event of a failure to agree an amount, for such amount as may be

15

determined by the court.

   

“The court” means a magistrates’ court in England and Wales.

(5)   

A person who gives a bond under this section must comply with such

conditions as to the giving of the bond as the relevant authority may

determine.

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(6)   

If either of the grounds for release mentioned in subsection (7) applies, then

any bond given under this section must be returned as soon as possible.

(7)   

The grounds for release referred to in subsection (6) are—

(a)   

that the relevant authority has decided not to take proceedings in

respect of any offence in relation to which the property was seized;

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(b)   

that any proceedings taken in respect of such an offence have

concluded without any order for forfeiture having been made.

(8)   

Any power which a court has to order the forfeiture of any fish or any fishing

gear may instead be exercised in relation to any bond given under this section

as security for that fish or fishing gear.

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268     

Power of relevant authority to sell seized fish in its possession

(1)   

Any fish which are being retained by the relevant authority under section 266

may be sold by the authority.

(2)   

Any power which a court has to order the forfeiture of any fish may instead be

exercised in relation to the proceeds of any sale of the fish under this section.

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(3)   

Subject to subsection (6), the proceeds of any sale under this section may be

retained by the relevant authority until such time as—

(a)   

a court exercises any power it has to order the forfeiture of the

proceeds, or

(b)   

either of the grounds for release mentioned in subsection (4) applies.

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(4)   

The grounds for release referred to in subsection (3) are—

 
 

Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]
Part 8 — Enforcement
Chapter 4 — Fisheries enforcement powers

174

 

(a)   

that the relevant authority has decided not to take proceedings in

respect of any offence in relation to which the fish were seized;

(b)   

that any proceedings taken in respect of such an offence have

concluded without any order for forfeiture having been made.

(5)   

If either of the grounds for release mentioned in subsection (4) applies, the

5

relevant authority must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, release the

proceeds of sale to any person who appears to the authority to have been the

owner, or one of the owners, of the fish at the time of the seizure of the fish.

(6)   

If the proceeds of sale are still in the relevant authority’s possession after the

end of the period of six months beginning with the date on which the fish were

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sold, the relevant authority may retain the proceeds and apply them in any

manner it thinks fit.

   

The relevant authority may exercise its power under this subsection to retain

and apply the proceeds of sale only if it is not practicable at the time when the

power is exercised to dispose of the proceeds by releasing them immediately

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to the person to whom they are required to be released.

(7)   

Subject to subsection (9), any fish sold under this section must be sold at

auction.

(8)   

Before selling the fish, the relevant authority must give the owner of the fish a

reasonable opportunity to make representations as to the manner in which the

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fish are sold.

(9)   

If—

(a)   

the owner of the fish requests that the fish be sold—

(i)   

at a particular auction, or

(ii)   

by a method of sale other than auction,

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and

(b)   

the relevant authority does not consider that it would be unreasonable

to comply with that request,

   

the relevant authority must comply with the request when selling the fish.

(10)   

The relevant authority may deduct any reasonable expenses it has incurred in

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selling any fish under this section from the proceeds of the sale.

(11)   

In a case where there is more than one owner of the fish, subsection (9) applies

only if the request is made by or on behalf of all of them.

269     

Disposal of property seized under section 263 or 264

(1)   

This section applies to any property seized under section 263 or 264 which the

35

relevant authority—

(a)   

no longer wishes to retain for any purpose, or

(b)   

is required to make available for collection by virtue of section 266.

(2)   

In this section a “notice of collection” is a notice stating that—

(a)   

the property specified in the notice is available to be collected from the

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location so specified, and

(b)   

if the property is not collected before the end of the period of three

months beginning with the date specified in the notice, the relevant

authority will dispose of the property.

 
 

Marine and Coastal Access Bill [HL]
Part 8 — Enforcement
Chapter 4 — Fisheries enforcement powers

175

 

(3)   

The relevant authority must serve a notice of collection on every person who

appears to the authority to be the owner, or one of the owners, of the property.

(4)   

The relevant authority may take any other steps it considers appropriate to

notify every such person that the property is available to be collected.

(5)   

If the relevant authority, after taking reasonable steps to do so, is unable to

5

identify any person as owning the property, the relevant authority must—

(a)   

if it is reasonably practicable to do so, serve a notice of collection on

every person who is an appropriate person for the purposes of this

subsection, and

(b)   

take such steps as it thinks fit to bring the information contained in the

10

notice of collection to the attention of persons likely to be interested in

it.

(6)   

For the purposes of subsection (5), the following persons are “appropriate

persons”—

(a)   

in the case of property seized from a vessel, the master, owner and

15

charterer (if any) of the vessel at the time of the seizure of the property;

(b)   

in the case of property seized from premises, every person who appears

to the relevant authority to have been an occupier of the premises at

that time;

(c)   

in any other case, the person (if any) from whom the property was

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seized.

(7)   

If the relevant authority complies with subsection (3) or subsection (5), as the

case may be, the relevant authority may, at the end of the period mentioned in

subsection (2)(b), dispose of the property in whatever way it thinks fit.

Forfeiture

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270     

Forfeiture etc of prohibited items

(1)   

Any item to which this section applies is liable to forfeiture under this section

if the use of that item for sea fishing would in any circumstances constitute an

offence under the law of England and Wales.

(2)   

This section applies to any item seized on board a vessel or from the sea by an

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enforcement officer in the exercise of any power conferred by this Act.

(3)   

Any item forfeited under this section is to be forfeited to the relevant authority

and may be disposed of by that authority in any manner it thinks fit.

271     

Forfeiture etc of fish failing to meet size requirements

(1)   

Any fish to which this section applies are liable to forfeiture under this section

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if, by virtue of the fish failing to meet requirements as to size, an offence under

the law of England and Wales has been committed in respect of the fish.

(2)   

This section applies to fish seized by an enforcement officer in the exercise of

any power conferred by this Act.

(3)   

Any fish forfeited under this section are to be forfeited to the relevant authority

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and may be disposed of by that authority in any manner it thinks fit.

 
 

 
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