Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (975, 976, 977, 1002)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

975. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the primary legislation enacted since May 2016; and if in each case, the legislation placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31475/19]

View answer

Tom Neville

Question:

976. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31499/19]

View answer

Peter Burke

Question:

977. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status and plans for the deployment of a SME test in respect of primary and secondary legislation. [31506/19]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1002. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the way in which the proposed new SME test as committed under Future Jobs Ireland will work in practice; if this will be in operation by the end of 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32439/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 975 to 977, inclusive, and 1002 together.

Details of my Department’s primary legislation enacted since May 2016 and secondary legislation enacted since January 2018, and whether this placed any additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises, are set out in the following tables.

As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation my Department I am acutely aware of the concerns within our SME business sector when it comes to regulatory burden. That is why my Department is leading on the development, roll out and implementation of the SME Test.

The European Commission’s Small Business Act requires each Member State to create and implement its own SME Test. The draft Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) proposed for Ireland by the EU Commission recommend a focus on reducing regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship in Paragraph 20. Therefore, it is important at this point of an increasingly uncertain external environment, that we make every effort to make the business environment as competitive as possible for our SMEs.

Research on regulatory burdens and compliance costs indicates that where a large company may spend one euro per employee to comply with a regulatory duty, a medium-sized enterprise might have to spend around four euros and a small business up to ten euros.

This is particularly relevant to Irish SMEs who make up 99.8% of Ireland’s business sector with a further 92.2% percent of that total being in the microenterprise category. Time and running costs are paramount to all business at any stage of development. I want to ensure our indigenous enterprises continue to flourish and be competitive.

Therefore, it is important to recall why we are promoting the adoption and implementation of the SME Test.

The SME Test forms part of Regulatory Impact Assessments and asks legislators and policy makers to use the “Think Small First” Principle. Policymakers are required to consider the potential impact of any new legislation or regulation on the regulatory burden on SMEs.

The main thrust of the Test is to assess and design-in possible less stringent requirements for smaller companies and the simplification of regulatory adherence, for example through the use of templates, reduced thresholds for SMEs and use of plain English in forms etc.

My Department sought best practice through other Member States regarding the development of the SME Test and a guidance approach was taken. In 2017, consultation took place with the Advisory Group on Small Business, of which my colleague Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Business chaired, and a public consultation followed thereafter. Up to the end of 2018, my officials main focus was to complete a pilot of the Test. This was done within my Department through application of the Test to the Copyright Directive.

I am pleased that the application and use of the SME Test across Government is now a deliverable action in the Future Jobs 2019 work programme. The adoption of the Test is included under action 2.3 which states:

"Raise awareness and promote the SME Test throughout Government Departments. Workshops will be available for policymakers”.

To that end, in July 2019, Minister Breen wrote to each Government Department in his role as Minister of State for Business requesting that policymakers and those responsible for drafting relevant legislation in each Department utilise the Test. Nomination of a relevant Official in each Department has also been sought so that my officials can engage and assist with the adoption of the SME Test.

To date, my Department Officials have received a very positive response and details of relevant points of contact are currently being received. Furthermore, I have requested officials within the Indigenous Enterprise Development Division of my Department be available to assist other Departments in using the Test and answering any questions they may have.

Primary Legislation enacted since May 2016

Did this place additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises? Yes/No

Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 (No. 9 of 2017)

No

Competition (Amendment) Act 2017 (No. 12 of 2017)

No

Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 (No. 13 of 2017)

No

Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018 (No. 22 of 2018)

No

Hallmarking (Amendment) Act 2019 (No. 2 of 2019)

No

Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 (No. 3 of 2019)

No

Companies (Amendment) Act 2019 (No. 10 of 2019)

No

Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 (No. 19 of 2019)

No

Knowledge Development Box (Certification of Inventions) Act 2017 (No. 6 of 2017)

No

Industrial Development (Amendment) Act 2018

No

European Investment Fund Agreement Act 2018

No

Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Act 2017

No

Secondary Legislation enacted since January 2018

Did this place additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises? Yes/No

S.I. 34/2018 - Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2018

No

S.I. No. 84/2018 - Companies Act 2014 (Accounting Standards) (Prescribed Body) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 95/2018 – Companies Act 2014 (Forms) Regulations 2018

No

SI No 126/2018 - European Union (Appliances Burning Gaseous Fuels) Regulations 2018

No

SI 295/2018 - European Union (Safety of Toys) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 308/2018 - European Union (Casual Trading Act 1995) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 324/2018 - Friendly Societies (Fees) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 325/2018 - Industrial and Provident Societies and the European Cooperative Society (Fees) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 326/2018 - Trade Union (Fees) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 362/2018 - Friendly Societies (Forms) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 363/2018 - Industrial and Provident Societies (Forms) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 364/2018 - Trade Union (Forms) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 366/2018 - Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018

No

S.I. No. 367/2018 - European Union (Third-Country Auditors and Third Country Audit Entities Equivalence, Transitional Period and Fees) Regulations 2018

No

SI No 388/2018 - Competition Act 2002 (Section 27) Order 2018

No

S.I. No. 410/2018 - European Union (Disclosure of Non-Financial and Diversity Information by Certain Large Undertakings and Groups) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

No

SI No. 425/2018 - Consumer Protection Act 2007 (Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) Levy Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 513/2018 - European Union (Unjustified Geo-Blocking of Consumers) Regulations 2018

Yes, as businesses are required to up-date their websites to ensure that customers are not geo-blocked from purchasing from them.

S.I. No. 570/2018 - Companies Act 2014 (Prescribed Professional Bodies) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 123/2019 - Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019

No

SI No 126 of 2019 - Consumer Protection Act 2007 (Section 71(2)) (Dental Council) Regulations 2019

No

Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2018, SI 70 of 2018

No

Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018, SI 163 of 2018

No

Employment Permits (Amendment)(No. 3) Regulations 2018, SI 318 of 2018

No

Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2018, SI 550 of 2018

No

Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2019, SI 138 of 2019

No

Employment Permits (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2019, SI 333 of 2019

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Mines) Regulations 2018 (SI No 133 of 2018)

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (Commencement) Order 2018 (SI No 134 of 2018)

No

European Union (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 2018 (SI No 136 of 2018)

Yes

European Communities (Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI No 197 of 2018)

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Diving) Regulations 2018 (SI No 254 of 2018)

Yes

Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 502 of 2018)

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI No 129 of 2019)

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Quarries) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI No 179 of 2019)

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Diving) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI No 180 of 2019)

No

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (Agreement to Recognise) Order 2019 (SI No 181 of 2019)

No

Chemicals Act 2008 (Rotterdam Regulation) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 213 of 2019)

No

European Communities (Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI No 277 of 2019)

No

SI No 210 of 2018 – Trade Union Act 1941 (Revocation of Negotiation Licence) (No. 1) Order 2018

No

SI No 211 of 2018 – Trade Union Act 1941 (Revocation of Negotiation Licence) (No. 2) Order 2018

No

SI No 212 of 2018 – Trade Union Act 1941 (Revocation of Negotiation Licence) (No. 3) Order 2018

No

SI No 234 of 2019 – Sectoral Employment Order (Construction Sector) 2019

No

SI No 251 of 2019 – Sectoral Employment Order (Electrical Contracting Sector) 2019

No

S.I. 561 of 2018 European Union (Trade Marks) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. 562 of 2018 Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules 2018

No

S.I. 563 of 2018 Trade Marks Act 1996 (Community Trade Mark) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. 564 of 2018 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs (Fees)(Amendment) Rules 2018

No

S.I. No. 412 of 2018 European Union (Marrakesh Treaty) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 2016 of 2017 Patent (Amendment) Rules 2017

No

S.I. No. 205 of 2017 Patents, Trade Marks and Designs (Fees) (Amendment) Rules 2017

No

Industrial Development (Amendment) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 361/2018)

No

SI No 47 of 2018 European Union (Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments) Regulations 2018

No

SI No 44 of 2018 European Union (Measuring Instruments) (Revocation) Regulations 2018

No

SI No 43 of 2018 European Communities (Measuring Instruments and Metrological Control) Regulations 2018

No

SI No 2 of 2018 Legal Metrology (European Conformity Assessment of Measuring Instruments) Regulations 2018

No

SI No 1 of 2018 Legal Metrology (Measuring Instruments) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2018

No

S.I. No. 40/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2018

No

SI. No. 41/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Sudan) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 42/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Venezuela) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 243/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Syria) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 244/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Central African Republic) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 245/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Sudan) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 246/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 247/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Republic of Guinea-Bissau) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 248/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Tunisia) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 249/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning South Sudan) Regulations 2018 Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 250/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Venezuela) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 251/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Zimbabwe) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 252/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 319 of 2018 The European Communities (Extra-territorial Application of Legislation Adopted by a Third Country) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 356 of 2018 Control of Exports (Brokering Activities, Goods and Technology) Order 2018

No

S.I. No. 458/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 459/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Central African Republic) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 460/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) (No. 3) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 461/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Iran) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 462/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Iran) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

S.I. No. 463/2018 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Syria) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

No

SI 61 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Republic of Guinea) Regulations 2019

No

SI 62 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2019

No

SI 63 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Venezuela) Regulations 2019

No

SI 64 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning South Sudan) Regulations 2019

No

SI 65 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Burundi) Regulations 2019

No

SI 168 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) (No. 2) Regulations 2019

No

SI 169 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Tunisia) Regulations 2019

No

SI 170 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Syria) Regulations 2019

No

SI 171 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning South Sudan) (No. 2) Regulations 2019

No

SI 172 of 2019 European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo) Regulations 2019

No

SI 291 of 2019 European Communities (Intra-Community Transfers of Defence Related Products) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

No