Written Answers. - Proposed Statutory Instruments.
186 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the proposed statutory instruments being prepared in, or under the auspices of, her Department; the proposed effect of each; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19615/00]
Statutory instruments are being prepared, or will be prepared, to transpose the EU directives due for implementation by secondary legislation, which are referred to in my reply today to the Deputy's Question No. 188. Details of other statutory instruments being prepared are as set out below.
Draft Regulations (Suppliers of Life Assurance Order) will be finalised when the Insurance Bill has passed all Stages, later this year. The effect of these regulations will be to require disclosure of information to consumers about charges made by insurance companies and sales intermediaries in respect of life assurance policies.
Draft regulations are at present being prepared under the Irish Takeover Panel Act, 1997, to widen the panel's remit to cover public limited companies incorporated in the State which are quoted on stock exchanges, other than the Irish Stock Exchange.
Draft regulations are at present being prepared under the Companies Act, 1990, to require the provision of additional information in the annual insider dealing report of the Irish Stock Exchange.
A statutory instrument is at present being prepared under the Companies Acts, 1963-1999, to set fees in respect of certain data submitted to the Registrar of Companies by means of computer diskette.
Revisions to the European Communities (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) Regulations, 1989-1999, are in preparation for the purpose of: updating the Central Bank's powers to supervise and regulate UCITS, disapplying various company law provisions to UCITS consistent with changes made for Part XIII investment companies in the Companies (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1999 and making various miscellaneous changes to the present regulations.
As part of my consideration of the final report of the Competition and Mergers Review Group, specifically Recommendation No. 40, a draft commencement order has been prepared for my consideration the effect of which would be to abolish the below cost selling provisions of the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order, 1987. I will make my position on the matter known when I have completed my deliberations.
My officials are currently awaiting from the Office of the Parliamentary Draftsman a draft of a statutory instrument which will set out in law the timescales within which the Competition Authority will be required to deal with agreements related to the sale of an undertaking or the business of an undertaking.
A Consumer Information (Advertisements for Airfares) Order, 2000, is to be made under the Consumer Information Act, 1978. The purpose of the proposed order is to enhance the transparency of advertised airfare prices and their availability.
Trade Marks (Madrid Protocol) Regulations, 2000 – the Madrid Protocol is an international treaty under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. It provides for a simple and inexpensive method of obtaining international registration of a trademark. At present companies in Ireland wishing to obtain protection for trademarks abroad must apply for registration individually in each of the countries concerned. The purpose of these regulations is to provide for the implementation of the Madrid Protocol in Ireland.
Trade Marks Act, 1996 (Section 66) Regulations, 2000 – Community trademarks are valid in all EU member states. They are registered by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, OHIM, based in Alicante, Spain. It is possible for an earlier trademark registered in Ireland to subsequently become a Community trademark. In such cases the proprietor of the Community trademark may claim the seniority of the earlier Irish trademark.
When seniority is claimed in this way OHIM notifies the Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks. These regulations provide for the Controller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks to record notifications of such seniority claims in the register of trademarks.
An order is being prepared under the provisions of section 1 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, for the purpose of commencing the Act. Consideration as to what other orders may need to be made under the provisions of that Act is ongoing in my Department.
A statutory instrument entitled European Communities (Control of Exports of Dual-Use Goods) Regulations, 2000, to give effect to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1334/2000 of 22 June 2000, setting up a Community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology, is being prepared.
A statutory instrument entitled European Communities (Prohibition on the Importation into the Community of Rough Diamonds from Sierra Leone) Regulations, 2000, to give effect to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1745/2000 of 3 August 2000, is being prepared.
A code of practice and accompanying ministerial regulations under section 6 of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996, which will allow young persons – 16 and 17 year olds – to work until 11.00 p.m. in licensed premises and catering establishments, is being prepared.
Ministerial regulations under section 8 of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996, which will allow bar apprentices work until 12 midnight, are being prepared.
Ministerial regulations amending the European Communities (Safeguarding of Employees Rights on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations, 1980 (S.I. No. 306 of 1980) are being prepared. These regulations provide for the representation of employees in the absence of a trade union, staff association or excepted body and to provide for a right of appeal to a rights commissioner where an employer contravenes Regulation 7 of the 1980 Regulations (Information and Consultation of Employees).
Ministerial regulations entitled European Communities (Protection of Employment) Regulations, 2000, which amend the Protection of Employment Act, 1977, as amended to provide for representation of employees in the absence of a trade union, staff association or excepted body and to provide for a right of appeal to a rights commissioner where an employer contravenes section 9 or 10 of the Act of 1977 (Information and Consultation of Employees in relation to proposed collective redundancies), are being prepared.
The Organisation of Working Time (Records) (Prescribed Form and Exemptions) Regulations, 2000 – the proposed effect of these regulations will set out the type and form of the records which employers need to keep under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, and exemptions from the need to keep such records. The details of these regulations are currently being discussed with the social partners.
Draft regulations with revised forms are being prepared to update and revise the statutory forms used to make claims-applications to the insolvency payments scheme under the Protection of Employees (Employers' Insolvency) Act, 1984.
A statutory instrument entitled European Communities (Machinery) Regulations, 2000, is being prepared to consolidate previous machinery directives which have been transposed into Irish law.
Prompt Payment of Accounts Act, 1997 (2 S.I.s) – One statutory instrument will be made to update the Schedule to the Act. The Schedule contains a list of public bodies to whom the Act applies. A second statutory instrument will be made to change the interest rate applicable to late payments under the Act.
Cement (Repeal of Enactments) Bill, 1999 (1 S.I.) – It is expected that this Bill will complete remaining stages during the next Dáil term and should be then signed by the President. A commencement order will have to be made to bring the Act into operation.
A statutory instrument entitled Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Amendment Regulations concerning licensing of petrol stations is being prepared.
A statutory instrument entitled Chemical Weapons (Licensing of Schedule Toxic Chemicals and Precursors) Regulations, 2000, concerning the implementation of a system to allow importation, possession and use of certain Schedule 1 chemicals (Chemical Weapons Act 1997), is being prepared.
A statutory instrument entitled the Customs-Free Airport (Extension of Laws) Regulations, 2000, the effect of which is to extend the Control of Exports Order, 2000, to the Customs-Free Airport, has been signed by me and is awaiting the signatures of the Ministers for Finance and Public Enterprise.
I have recently signed two Statutory Instruments:
(1)European Communities (Prohibition on the Sale, Supply, and Export to Burma/Myanmar of Equipment which might be used for Internal Repression or Terrorism) Regulations, 2000. The effect of this S.I. is to prohibit the sale, supply and export to Burma/Myanmar of equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism and to freeze the funds of certain persons related to important governmental functions in that country.
(2)Control of Exports Order, 2000. The purpose of this Order is to provide for controls on the exports of military goods from Ireland. These SIs have yet to be assigned an SI number. They will shortly be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.