Video Recordings Act, 1989

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Number 22 of 1989


VIDEO RECORDINGS ACT, 1989


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation.

2.

Exempted supplies.

3.

Certification of video works.

4.

Classification of video works.

5.

Prohibition of supply of video recordings of uncertificated video works.

6.

Prohibition of possession of video recordings for supply contrary to section 5.

7.

Prohibition orders in respect of video works.

8.

Prohibition of supply of video recordings of prohibited video works.

9.

Prohibition of possession of video recordings for supply contrary to section 8.

10.

Appeal to Censorship of Films Appeal Board.

11.

Prohibition of exhibition of certain video works.

12.

Labelling, etc.

13.

Prohibition of supplying video recordings containing false indication as to supply certificate.

14.

Register of Certificated Video Works.

15.

Register of Prohibited Video Works.

16.

Restriction of importation of certain video recordings.

17.

Reference of certain video recordings to Official Censor of Films by officers of customs and excise.

18.

Wholesale licences and retail licences for the sale, etc. of video recordings.

19.

Prohibition of sale or letting on hire of video recordings by unlicensed persons.

20.

Prohibition of possession of video recordings for sale or letting on hire contrary to section 19.

21.

Prohibition of false information and alteration of licences.

22.

Display of licences.

23.

Registers of licences.

24.

Forfeiture of licences and disqualification.

25.

Search and seizure.

26.

Powers of arrest.

27.

Offences by bodies corporate.

28.

Forfeiture of video recordings.

29.

Annual reports.

30.

Composition of Censorship of Films Appeal Board.

31.

Regulations.

32.

Laying of regulations before Houses of Oireachtas.

33.

Fees.

34.

Expenses of Minister.

35.

Short title and commencement.


Acts Referred to

Broadcasting Authority Acts, 1960 to 1979

Censorship of Films Act, 1923

1923, No. 23

Censorship of Films Acts, 1923 to 1970

Customs Acts

Finance Act, 1983

1983, No. 15

Health Acts, 1947 to 1987

Nurses Act, 1985

1985, No. 18

Medical Practitioners Act, 1978

1978, No. 4

Public Offices Fees Act, 1879

1879, c. 58

Roads Act, 1920

1920, c. 72

Road Traffic Act, 1961

1961, No. 24

Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1926 to 1988

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Number 22 of 1989


VIDEO RECORDINGS ACT, 1989


AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE CONTROL AND REGULATION OF THE SUPPLY AND IMPORTATION OF VIDEO RECORDINGS AND FOR RELATED MATTERS AND TO AMEND SECTION 3 OF THE CENSORSHIP OF FILMS ACT, 1923 . [27th December, 1989]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Interpretation.

1.—(1) In this Act—

“the Appeal Board” means the Censorship of Films Appeal Board, established by the Censorship of Films Act, 1923 ;

“business”, except in subsections (1) (b) and (3) (a) of section 2 and section 19 (2) (c) of this Act, includes any activity carried on by a club;

“a classification” means a classification of a video work by the Official Censor under section 4 of this Act;

“exempted supply” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of this Act;

“exempted work” means a video work that, taken as a whole—

(a) is designed to inform, educate or instruct,

(b) is concerned with religion, music or sport, or

(c) is a video game,

and that does not fall within a description specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of section 3 (1) of this Act;

“licence” means a wholesale licence or a retail licence;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Justice;

“the Official Censor” means the Official Censor of Films appointed under the Censorship of Films Act, 1923 , and includes a person appointed under section 2 (3) of that Act;

“premises” includes any vehicle, vessel or stall;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

“prohibition order” has the meaning assigned to it by section 7 of this Act;

“retail licence” has the meaning assigned to it by section 18 (2) of this Act;

“supply” means supply in any manner, whether or not for reward and, therefore, includes supply by way of sale, letting on hire, exchange or loan, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

“supply certificate” has the meaning assigned to it by section 3 of this Act;

“video recording” means any disc or magnetic tape containing information by the use of which the whole or a part of a video work may be produced;

“video work” means any series of visual images (whether with or without sound)—

(a) produced, whether electronically or by other means, by the use of information contained on any disc or magnetic tape, and

(b) shown as a moving picture;

“wholesale licence” has the meaning assigned to it by section 18 (1) of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a video recording contains a video work if it contains information by the use of which the whole or a part of the work may be produced; but where a video work includes an extract from another video work, that extract shall not be regarded, for the purposes of this subsection, as part of that other work.

(3) Where an alteration (which expression includes an addition) is made to a video work in respect of which a supply certificate is in force for the time being, the certificate shall not be treated for the purposes of this Act as being in force in respect of the altered work.

(4) References in this Act to selling or to letting on hire include references to agreeing or offering to sell or to let on hire and to inviting offers to buy or to take on hire.

Exempted supplies.

2.—(1) In this Act “exempted supply” means a supply of a video recording—

(a) that is neither a supply for reward nor a supply in the course or furtherance of a business, or

(b) by a person to another person (including a person acting on behalf of that other person) who, in the course of a business, makes video works or supplies video recordings, being a supply—

(i) that is not made with a view to any further supply of the recording, or

(ii) if it is so made, that is not made with a view to the eventual supply of the recording to the public or is made with a view to its eventual supply to the first-mentioned person,

or

(c) where the recording contains a video work designed to provide a record of an event or occasion for those who took part in the event or occasion or are connected with those who did so and the work does not fall within a description specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of section 3 (1) of this Act, and the supply is to a person aforesaid, or

(d) that is a supply for the purpose only of enabling the video work concerned to be exhibited in public in accordance with a certificate under the Censorship of Films Acts, 1923 to 1970, or

(e) that is a supply with a view only to its use for or in connection with a service under the Broadcasting Authority Acts, 1960 to 1979, or a service provided pursuant to a licence under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts, 1926 to 1988, or

(f) that is a supply for the purpose only of submitting the video work concerned to the Official Censor in connection with an application for a supply certificate in respect of the work or for the purpose only of an appeal to the Appeal Board under section 10 of this Act, or

(g) that is a supply with a view only to its use—

(i) in training for or carrying on an occupation for the carrying on of which a person is required to be registered under the Medical Practitioners Act, 1978 , or the Nurses Act, 1985 , or

(ii) for the purpose of services provided in pursuance of the Health Acts, 1947 to 1987,

or

(h) that is a supply otherwise than for reward and is made for the purpose only of supplying the recording to a person who previously made an exempted supply of it.

(2) Where on any premises facilities for supplying video recordings are provided in the course or furtherance of a business, the supply by a person of a video recording on those premises is, for the purposes of subsection (1) (a) of this section, a supply in the course or furtherance of a business.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b) of this section, a supply is a supply to the public unless it is—

(a) a supply to a person who, in the course of a business, makes video works or supplies video recordings,

(b) an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (a), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of subsection (1) of this section, or

(c) a supply outside the State.

Certification of video works.

3.—(1) The Official Censor shall, on application to him in relation to a video work, grant to the person making the application (referred to in this section as the applicant) a certificate (referred to in this Act as a supply certificate) declaring the work to be fit for viewing unless he is of opinion that the work is unfit for viewing because—

(a) the viewing of it—

(i) would be likely to cause persons to commit crimes, whether by inciting or encouraging them to do so or by indicating or suggesting ways of doing so or of avoiding detection, or

(ii) would be likely to stir up hatred against a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation, or

(iii) would tend, by reason of the inclusion in it of obscene or indecent matter, to deprave or corrupt persons who might view it,

or

(b) it depicts acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture) towards humans or animals.

(2) The Official Censor shall not refuse to grant a supply certificate in respect of a video work in respect of which a general certificate or a limited certificate under the Censorship of Films Acts, 1923 to 1970, is in force.

(3) Where, pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the Official Censor is of opinion that a supply certificate in respect of a video work should not be granted, he shall thereupon—

(a) make a prohibition order in respect of the work under section 7 of this Act, and

(b) send a notification in writing to the applicant of his refusal to grant a supply certificate in respect of the work and of the making of a prohibition order in respect thereof.

(4) The applicant shall submit to the Official Censor a video recording of the video work to which his application relates and such other information as may reasonably be required by the Official Censor and shall pay to the Official Censor in respect of the application such fee as may be prescribed with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

Classification of video works.

4.—(1) When granting a supply certificate the Official Censor shall determine, and shall include in the certificate a statement indicating, to which of the following classes the video work concerned belongs:

(a) fit for viewing by persons generally,

(b) fit for viewing by persons generally but, in the case of a child under the age of 12 years, only in the company of a responsible adult,

(c) fit for viewing by persons aged 15 years or more,

(d) fit for viewing by persons aged 18 years or more,

and for the purposes of this Act the class specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection is the highest classification and that specified in paragraph (d) of this subsection is the lowest classification and that specified in paragraph (b) of this subsection is higher than that specified in paragraph (c) of this subsection and references in this Act to classification or higher classification or lower classification shall be construed accordingly.

(2) A statement indicating a classification other than the highest classification shall not be given in a supply certificate unless the Official Censor has examined a video recording containing the video work to which the certificate relates.

(3) Where the classification of a video work is not the highest classification, the Official Censor may withdraw the classification and give the work a higher classification and, if he does so, he shall revoke the supply certificate concerned and grant another supply certificate in respect of the work in which is included a statement indicating the higher classification.

(4) (a) The Minister may by regulations amend (whether by the addition, deletion or alteration of classes) the classes specified in subsection (1) of this section:

Provided however that an amendment under this paragraph shall not have the effect of providing a classification indicating that a video work is fit for viewing only by persons aged more than 18 years.

(b) Where it is proposed to make regulations under this subsection, a draft of the regulations shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the regulations shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft shall have been passed by each such House.

Prohibition of supply of video recordings of uncertificated video works.

5.—(1) A person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a supply certificate is not in force for the time being shall be guilty of an offence unless—

(a) the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply, or

(b) the work is an exempted work.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused believed on reasonable grounds—

(a) that the video work concerned or, if the video recording concerned contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of the works was either an exempted work or a work in respect of which a supply certificate was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(b) that the supply concerned was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 2 (1) of this Act.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

Prohibition of possession of video recordings for supply contrary to section 5 .

6.—(1) A person who has in his possession for the purpose of supplying it a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a supply certificate is not in force for the time being shall be guilty of an offence unless—

(a) he has it in his possession for the purpose only of a supply that, if it took place, would be an exempted supply, or

(b) the work is an exempted work.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused—

(a) believed on reasonable grounds that the video work concerned or, if the video recording concerned contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of the works was either an exempted work or a work in respect of which a supply certificate was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged,

(b) had the video recording concerned in his possession for the purpose only of a supply that he believed on reasonable grounds would, if it took place, be an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 2 (1) of this Act, or

(c) did not intend to supply the video recording concerned until a supply certificate was granted in respect of the video work concerned.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

Prohibition orders in respect of video works.

7.—(1) If the Official Censor, having examined a video recording containing a video work (whether or not it is a video work in respect of which a supply certificate is in force for the time being), is of opinion that the work is unfit for viewing because—

(a) the viewing of it—

(i) would be likely to cause persons to commit crimes, whether by inciting or encouraging them to do so or by indicating or suggesting ways of doing so or of avoiding detection, or

(ii) would be likely to stir up hatred against a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation, or

(iii) would tend, by reason of the inclusion in it of obscene or indecent matter, to deprave or corrupt persons who might view it,

or

(b) it depicts acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture) towards humans or animals,

he may make an order (referred to in this Act as a prohibition order) prohibiting the supply of video recordings containing the work.

(2) If a prohibition order is made in respect of a video work and a supply certificate is in force in respect of the work, the supply certificate shall cease to have effect on the coming into operation of the order.

(3) The Official Censor may by order revoke a prohibition order and, if he does so, he shall grant a supply certificate in respect of the video work concerned on the date the revocation takes effect.

(4) The Official Censor shall cause a copy of a prohibition order and of an order revoking a prohibition order to be published in Iris Oifigi�il as soon as may be after its making, and such an order shall come into operation upon such publication.

Prohibition of supply of video recordings of prohibited video works.

8.—(1) A person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a prohibition order is in force for the time being shall be guilty of an offence unless the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused believed on reasonable grounds—

(a) that—

(i) the video work concerned was not a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(ii) if the video recording concerned contained more than one video work to which the charge relates, none of the works was a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time aforesaid,

or

(b) that the supply concerned was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 2 (1) of this Act.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

Prohibition of possession of video recordings for supply contrary to section 8 .

9.—(1) A person who has in his possession for the purpose of supplying it a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a prohibition order is in force for the time being shall be guilty of an offence unless he has it in his possession for the purpose only of a supply that, if it took place, would be an exempted supply.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused—

(a) believed on reasonable grounds that—

(i) the video work concerned was not a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(ii) if the video recording concerned contained more than one video work to which the charge relates, none of the works was a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time aforesaid,

or

(b) had the video recording concerned in his possession for the purpose only of a supply that he believed on reasonable grounds would, if it took place, be an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 2 (1) of this Act.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

Appeal to Censorship of Films Appeal Board.

10.—(1) A person who is aggrieved by a prohibition order may, not later than 3 months after the date of the publication of the order in Iris Oifigi�il, appeal in the prescribed manner to the Appeal Board against the order and the Appeal Board may affirm the decision of the Official Censor or revoke the order.

(2) A person who is aggrieved by a classification may, not later than 3 months after the grant of the supply certificate concerned, appeal in the prescribed manner to the Appeal Board against the classification and the Appeal Board may affirm the classification or direct that the video work concerned be given a specified higher classification.

(3) Where an appeal is brought under this section, the Official Censor shall—

(a) if so requested by the Appeal Board, furnish to it a statement in writing of the reasons for the making of the prohibition order, or the giving of the classification, concerned, and

(b) on application to him in that behalf by any person and on payment to him in respect thereof of such fee as may be prescribed with the consent of the Minister for Finance, furnish a copy of the statement to the person.

(4) The Appeal Board shall, as soon as may be, notify the Official Censor of a decision by it on an appeal under this section and—

(a) if the decision is to revoke the prohibition order concerned, the Official Censor shall, as soon as may be, grant a supply certificate in respect of the video work concerned, and

(b) if the decision is to direct that the video work concerned be given a higher classification, the Official Censor shall, as soon as may be, revoke the supply certificate concerned and grant another supply certificate in respect of the work in which is included a statement indicating the classification specified by the Appeal Board.

(5) The Official Censor shall cause a copy of any order of the Appeal Board revoking a prohibition order to be published in Iris Oifigi�il as soon as may be after its making.

(6) A person bringing an appeal under this section shall pay to the Official Censor in respect of the appeal such fee as may be prescribed with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

Prohibition of exhibition of certain video works.

11.—(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a person who causes or permits, or is concerned in causing or permitting, a video work in respect of which—

(a) a supply certificate is not in force for the time being, or

(b) a prohibition order is in force for the time being,

to be viewed—

(i) elsewhere than in a private dwelling,

(ii) in a private dwelling for reward, or

(iii) in a private dwelling by persons other than himself, the occupier of the private dwelling where it is viewed, members of the family or the household of himself or of such occupier or bona fide guests of himself or such occupier,

shall be guilty of an offence unless, in a case to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, the video work is an exempted work.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply in relation to the viewing of a video work if the viewing is only—

(a) by persons to whom a supply of a video recording containing the work would be an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of section 2 (1) of this Act, or

(b) to such limited extent as is in accordance with a permit under section 16 of this Act authorising the importation into the State of a video recording containing the work.

(3) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused believed on reasonable grounds—

(a) if the charge of the offence is one to which paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section applies, that the video work concerned was either an exempted work or a work in respect of which a supply certificate was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged,

(b) if the charge of the offence is one to which paragraph (b) of the said subsection (1) applies, that—

(i) the video work concerned was not a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(ii) the viewing concerned was only to such limited extent as was in accordance with a permit under section 16 of this Act authorising the importation into the State of a video recording containing the video work concerned,

or

(c) that the persons viewing the video work concerned were persons to whom the supply of a video recording containing the work would be an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 2 (1) of this Act.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Labelling, etc.

12.—(1) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a supply certificate is in force for the time being:

(a) the spool or other thing on which the recording is kept shall have affixed to it a label in the prescribed form (which may be obtained from the Official Censor by persons of prescribed categories on payment to him of such fee as may be prescribed with the consent of the Minister for Finance),

(b) any case or other thing in which the recording is kept shall bear such indication of the contents of the label as may be prescribed, and

(c) such indication (if any) as may be prescribed in relation to the label shall be included in the recording.

(2) (a) A person who supplies, offers to supply or has in his possession for the purpose of supplying it a video recording, or a spool, case or other thing on or in which it is kept, that (whether by the inclusion of any false statement in the label or indication concerned or otherwise) is not in compliance with subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence unless the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply or the video work concerned is an exempted work.

(b) A video recording or a spool, case or other thing on or in which it is kept shall not be deemed to be otherwise than in compliance with subsection (1) of this section by reason only that the classification it indicates is a lower one than that in force at the relevant time.

(3) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused—

(a) believed on reasonable grounds that—

(i) the video work concerned or, if the video recording concerned contained more than one work, each of the works was an exempted work, or

(ii) the supply concerned was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of section 2 (1) of this Act,

or

(b) neither knew nor had reasonable cause to believe that the recording, spool, case or other thing, as the case may be, concerned was not in compliance with subsection (1) of this section.

(4) In this section “spool”, in the case of a case or other article from which a video recording need not be removed in order that the video work contained in the recording can be produced, means that case or other article.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500.

Prohibition of supplying video recordings containing false indication as to supply certificate.

13.—(1) A person who supplies, offers to supply or has in his possession for the purpose of supplying it a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a supply certificate is not in force for the time being shall be guilty of an offence if the recording, or any spool, case or other thing on or in which it is kept, contains an indication that such a certificate is in force for the time being.

(2) A person who supplies, offers to supply or has in his possession for the purpose of supplying it a video recording containing a video work shall be guilty of an offence if the recording, or any spool, case or other thing on or in which it is kept, contains an indication that the classification of the work is a higher classification than that in force for the time being.

(3) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused—

(a) in case the offence is under subsection (1) of this section, believed on reasonable grounds that the video work concerned was a work in respect of which a supply certificate was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(b) in case the offence is under subsection (2) of this section, believed on reasonable grounds that the classification specified in the indication concerned or a higher classification was in force in relation to the video work concerned at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(c) neither knew nor had reasonable cause to believe that the recording, spool, case or other thing, as the case may be, concerned contained the indication to which the offence relates.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Register of Certificated Video Works.

14.—(1) The Official Censor shall establish and maintain a register in the prescribed form (which shall be known as the Register of Certificated Video Works and is referred to in this section as the register) of video works in respect of which a supply certificate is for the time being in force.

(2) The Official Censor may, as occasion requires, amend or delete an entry in the register.

(3) (a) Members of the public may inspect the register free of charge at all reasonable times and may take copies of, or of extracts from, entries in the register.

(b) In any proceedings a certificate signed by the Official Censor or by a person authorised by him and stating—

(i) that he has examined the register and a video work (or part of a video work) contained in a video recording identified by the certificate, and

(ii) that the register shows that on the date or during the period specified in the certificate a supply certificate was not in force in respect of the work,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that a supply certificate was not in force in respect of the work on the date or, as the case may be, during the period aforesaid.

(c) A certificate under paragraph (b) of this subsection may also state—

(i) that the video work concerned differs in such respects as may be specified in the certificate from another video work examined by the person signing the certificate and identified by the certificate, and

(ii) that the register shows that, on a date specified in the certificate under the said paragraph (b), a supply certificate was granted in respect of that other work,

and, if it does so, shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that the work concerned differs in those respects from that other work.

(d) In any proceedings a certificate signed by the Official Censor or by a person authorised by him and stating—

(i) that he has examined the register and a video work contained in a video recording identified by the certificate, and

(ii) that the register shows that on the date or during the period specified in the certificate a supply certificate was in force in respect of the work, and

(iii) that a document identified by and attached to the certificate is a copy of the supply certificate in force as aforesaid,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that a supply certificate was in force in respect of the work on the date or, as the case may be, during the period aforesaid and of the terms of the supply certificate.

(e) A document purporting to be a certificate under paragraph (b) or (d) of this subsection shall be deemed to be such a certificate, and to have been signed by the person purporting to have signed it (and, in the case of such a document purporting to have been signed by a person authorised by the Official Censor, to have been signed in accordance with the authorisation), unless the contrary is shown.

Register of Prohibited Video Works.

15.—(1) The Official Censor shall establish and maintain a register in the prescribed form (which shall be known as the Register of Prohibited Video Works and is referred to in this section as the register) of video works in respect of which a prohibition order is for the time being in force.

(2) The Official Censor may, as occasion requires, amend or delete an entry in the register.

(3) (a) Members of the public may inspect the register free of charge at all reasonable times and may take copies of, or of extracts from, entries in the register.

(b) In any proceedings a certificate signed by the Official Censor or by a person authorised by him and stating—

(i) that he has examined the register and a video work (or part of a video work) contained in a video recording identified by the certificate, and

(ii) that the register shows that on the date or during the period specified in the certificate a prohibition order was in force in respect of the work, and

(iii) that a document identified by and attached to the certificate is a copy of the prohibition order in force as aforesaid,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that a prohibition order was in force in respect of the work on the date or, as the case may be, during the period aforesaid and of the terms of the order.

(c) In any proceedings a certificate signed by the Official Censor or by a person authorised by him and stating—

(i) that he has examined the register and a video work contained in a video recording identified by the certificate, and

(ii) that the register shows that on the date or during the period specified in the certificate a prohibition order was not in force in respect of the work,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that a prohibition order was not in force in respect of the work on the date or, as the case may be, during the period aforesaid.

(d) A document purporting to be a certificate under paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection shall be deemed to be such a certificate, and to have been signed by the person purporting to have signed it (and, in the case of such a document purporting to have been signed by a person authorised by the Official Censor, to have been signed in accordance with the authorisation), unless the contrary is shown.

(4) (a) The Official Censor shall from time to time cause a list of the video works entered in the register to be published in such manner as he thinks fit.

(b) The Official Censor shall keep the Revenue Commissioners informed of the video works entered for the time being in the register, and an officer of customs and excise shall, if so requested by a person when entering the State, furnish to him for examination a list of the video works entered for the time being in the register.

Restriction of importation of certain video recordings.

16.—(1) A person shall not, except under and in accordance with a permit under this section, import into the State a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a prohibition order is in force for the time being.

(2) Without prejudice to the powers as to forfeiture and disposal of video recordings imported into the State in contravention of subsection (1) of this section conferred on the Revenue Commissioners by the Customs Acts, it shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence against the Customs Acts in relation to the importation into the State of a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a prohibition order is in force for the time being to prove that the accused believed on reasonable grounds—

(a) that the work was not a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time of the commission of the offence alleged, or

(b) if the recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, none of the works was a work in respect of which a prohibition order was in force at the time aforesaid.

(3) (a) Where the Minister is satisfied that the proposed importation concerned would not be for the purpose—

(i) of a supply, or of a supply other than to such limited extent as may be specified in the permit under this subsection, of the video recording concerned, or

(ii) of enabling the video work concerned to be viewed otherwise than to such limited extent as may be specified as aforesaid,

the Minister may, on application in writing therefor, grant a permit in writing authorising a specified person to import into the State a specified number of video recordings containing a specified video work in respect of which a prohibition order is in force for the time being and may specify in the permit conditions to which it is subject; and the holder of a permit under this subsection shall comply with any conditions to which it is subject.

(b) A person who contravenes a condition of a permit under this subsection shall be guilty of an offence.

(c) A person guilty of an offence under this subsection shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Reference of certain video recordings to Official Censor of Films by officers of customs and excise.

17.—(1) An officer of customs and excise may detain on importation into the State any video recording that, in his opinion, ought to be examined by the Official Censor under this Act and refer it to him for the purpose of such examination.

(2) Where a video recording is detained pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the officer of customs and excise concerned shall, as soon as may be—

(a) send the recording to the Official Censor, and

(b) (i) in case the recording was at the time of its detention in the custody of a person entering the State, notify him in writing, and

(ii) in any other case, notify in writing the person to whom the recording is consigned, or his duly authorised agent,

that he proposes to send or has sent the recording to the Official Censor in pursuance of this section.

(3) Nothing in this section shall affect the operation of the Customs Acts.

Wholesale licences and retail licences for the sale, etc. of video recordings.

18.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Official Censor shall, on the application in writing of a person therefor and on payment to the Official Censor of such fee as may be prescribed with the consent of the Minister for Finance, grant to the person a licence (referred to in this Act as a wholesale licence) authorising the person to sell video recordings by wholesale or to let them on hire.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Official Censor shall, on the application in writing of a person therefor and on payment to the Official Censor of such fee as may be prescribed with the consent of the Minister for Finance, grant to the person a licence (referred to in this Act as a retail licence) authorising the person to sell video recordings by retail or to let them on hire.

(3) (a) A licence in relation to any premises (other than a vehicle that is not a mechanically propelled vehicle (within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 ) or a vessel or stall) shall—

(i) authorise, and be expressed to authorise, the sale and the letting on hire of video recordings at or from those premises only,

(ii) if it relates to premises other than a mechanically propelled vehicle (within the meaning aforesaid), specify the premises, and

(iii) if it relates to a mechanically propelled vehicle (within the meaning aforesaid), specify the identification mark fixed to the vehicle pursuant to the Roads Act, 1920 .

(b) A licence, other than a licence in relation to premises to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, shall authorise, and be expressed to authorise, the sale and the letting on hire of video recordings at one place only.

(4) The Official Censor shall not grant a licence to a person in respect of a period for which he is disqualified under section 24 of this Act for holding a licence.

(5) A licence, if not previously surrendered or forfeited, shall remain in force for a period of 12 months and shall then expire.

(6) (a) A person who applies to the Official Censor for a licence shall furnish to the Official Censor such information as he may reasonably require for the purpose of the performance of his functions under this Act including the tax reference number or, if he has more than one, one of the tax reference numbers of the person.

(b) In paragraph (a) of this subsection “tax reference number” means a number specified in the definition of “tax reference number” in section 22 of the Finance Act, 1983 .

Prohibition of sale or letting on hire of video recordings by unlicensed persons.

19.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not sell, or let on hire, a video recording except in accordance with a licence for the time being in force.

(2) This section does not apply to—

(a) a sale or letting of a video recording containing only exempted works,

(b) a sale or letting for the purpose of an exempted supply,

(c) a sale by a person who, in the course of a business, makes video recordings to a person who holds a wholesale licence for the time being in force,

(d) a sale that is part of a transaction relating to the disposal of property generally of any person,

(e) a sale in respect of which it is shown by the seller—

(i) that any profits therefrom are for use for charitable purposes or for other purposes from which no private profit is derived, and

(ii) that no remuneration, emolument, gain or profit will accrue to the seller or his servants or agents therefrom,

(f) a sale by an individual, other than in the course or furtherance of a business, to another individual, or

(g) a sale by wholesale for or in connection with the exportation from the State of the video recording concerned.

(3) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the sale or letting on hire concerned was not one to which this section applies or that it was in accordance with a licence for the time being in force.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

Prohibition of possession of video recordings for sale or letting on hire contrary to section 19 .

20.—(1) A person who has in his possession a video recording for the purpose of selling it or letting it on hire contrary to section 19 of this Act shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) It shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused had the video recording concerned in his possession for the purpose only of a sale or letting on hire in respect of which he believed on reasonable grounds that, if it took place, it either would not be a sale or letting on hire to which section 19 of this Act applies or would be in accordance with a licence for the time being in force.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

Prohibition of false information and alteration of licences.

21.—(1) A person shall not knowingly give false information to the Official Censor in relation to an application for a licence.

(2) A person shall not forge a document purporting to be a licence, or use any such document, with intent to deceive.

(3) A person shall not alter or use a licence, or use an altered licence, with intent to deceive.

(4) A person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

Display of licences.

22.—(1) (a) A person selling or letting on hire video recordings at or from any premises shall display the licence authorising the sales or lettings in such a position in the part of the premises where the sales or lettings are taking place as to be clearly visible to and easily legible by members of the public.

(b) Where the sales or lettings aforesaid are taking place in more than one part of the premises concerned, the licence concerned shall be displayed as aforesaid in a part where a substantial proportion of the sales or lettings are taking place.

(2) A person selling or letting on hire video recordings elsewhere than at premises shall produce the licence concerned on demand to any person at the place where the sales or lettings are taking place.

(3) A person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500.

Registers of licences.

23.—(1) The Official Censor shall establish and maintain a register in the prescribed form of the wholesale licences for the time being in force and a register of the retail licences for the time being in force (which shall be known, respectively, as the Register of Video Recording Wholesale Licences and the Register of Video Recording Retail Licences).

(2) The Official Censor may, as occasion requires, amend or delete entries in the registers.

(3) (a) Members of the public may inspect the registers free of charge at all reasonable times and may take copies of, or of extracts from, entries in the registers.

(b) In any proceedings a certificate signed by the Official Censor or by a person authorised by him and stating—

(i) that he has examined one of the registers, and

(ii) that that register shows that on the date or during the period specified in the certificate a wholesale licence, or, as the case may be, a retail licence, in favour of a specified person was not in force or was not in force in relation to specified premises,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that a wholesale licence, or, as the case may be, a retail licence, in favour of the specified person was not in force or, as the case may be, was not in force in relation to the specified premises on the date or, as the case may be, during the period aforesaid.

(c) In any proceedings a certificate signed by the Official Censor or by a person authorised by him and stating—

(i) that he has examined one of the registers, and

(ii) that that register shows that on the date or during the period specified in the certificate a wholesale licence, or, as the case may be, a retail licence, in favour of a specified person was in force or was in force in relation to specified premises, and

(iii) that a document identified by and attached to the certificate is a copy of the licence in force as aforesaid,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that a wholesale licence, or, as the case may be, a retail licence, in favour of the specified person was in force or, as the case may be, was in force in relation to the specified premises on the date or, as the case may be, during the period aforesaid and of the terms of the licence.

(d) A document purporting to be a certificate under paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection shall be deemed to be such a certificate, and to have been signed by the person purporting to have signed it (and, in the case of such a document purporting to have been signed by a person authorised by the Official Censor, to have been signed in accordance with the authorisation), unless the contrary is shown.

Forfeiture of licences and disqualification.

24.—(1) If—

(a) a person is convicted of an offence under section 5 , 6 , 8 , 9 , 12 , 13 , 19 , 20 or 21 of this Act, an offence referred to in section 16 (2) of this Act committed after the commencement of this section or an offence under the laws relating to copyright committed in relation to a video recording after such commencement,

(b) he has previously been convicted of any of those offences, and

(c) the offence or offences referred to in paragraph (b) of this subsection of which he has previously been convicted was or were committed at any time not earlier than 5 years before the commission of the offence referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection,

the court shall—

(i) in case the person is the holder of a licence for the time being in force in relation to premises where any of the offences aforesaid was committed, order that the licence or licences be forfeited, and

(ii) order that the person be disqualified for a period of 5 years from the date on which the order takes effect for holding a licence in relation to any premises where any of the offences referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection was committed or any premises in relation to which he is not the holder of a licence on that date.

(2) An order under this section shall not take effect until the ordinary time for instituting an appeal against the conviction or order concerned has expired or, where such an appeal is instituted, until it or any further appeal is finally decided or abandoned or the ordinary time for instituting any further appeal has expired.

Search and seizure.

25.—(1) If a justice of the District Court or a Peace Commissioner is satisfied on the sworn information of a member of the Garda S�och�na not below the rank of sergeant that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that—

(a) an offence under this Act or an offence referred to in section 16 (2) of this Act has been or is being committed on or at any premises or other place, and

(b) evidence that the offence has been or is being committed is on or at those premises or that place,

he may issue a warrant under his hand authorising any member of the Garda S�och�na, accompanied by any other members of the Garda S�och�na, at any time or times within one month from the date of the issue of the warrant, on production if so requested of the warrant, to enter, if need be by force, and search the premises or other place specified in the warrant and—

(i) to seize anything found there that he believes on reasonable grounds may be required to be used in evidence in any proceedings for an offence under this Act or an offence referred to in section 16 (2) of this Act, and

(ii) to require any person found there to give him his name and address.

(2) A person who—

(a) obstructs or interferes with a member of the Garda S�och�na acting under the authority of a warrant under this section, or

(b) is found on or at the premises or place specified in the warrant by a member of the Garda S�och�na acting as aforesaid and who fails or refuses to give the member his name and address when required by the member to do so or gives him a name or address that is false or misleading,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction—

(i) if the offence is under paragraph (a) of this subsection, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both, or

(ii) if the offence is under paragraph (b) of this subsection, to a fine not exceeding £500.

Powers of arrest.

26.—(1) If a member of the Garda S�och�na reasonably suspects that a person has committed an offence under this Act (other than an offence under subsection (2) (b) of section 25 ), he may require him to give him his name and address and, if the person fails or refuses to do so or gives a name or address that the member reasonably suspects to be false or misleading, the member may arrest him without warrant.

(2) A member of the Garda S�och�na acting under the authority of a warrant under the said section 25 may arrest without warrant a person whom the member reasonably suspects of having committed an offence under the said subsection (2) (b).

Offences by bodies corporate.

27.—(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a body corporate and is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of a person being a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate, or a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, that person as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of the offence and be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(2) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection (1) of this section shall apply in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection with his functions of management as if he were a director or manager of the body corporate.

Forfeiture of video recordings.

28.—(1) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act (other than an offence under section 21 or 22 of this Act) or an offence referred to in section 16 (2) of this Act committed after the commencement of this section, the court may order a video recording that is shown to the satisfaction of the court to relate to the offence to be forfeited and either destroyed or otherwise disposed of in such manner as the court may determine.

(2) A court shall not order a video recording to be forfeited under this section if a person claiming to be the owner of it or otherwise interested in it applies to be heard by the court, unless an opportunity has been given to him to show cause why the order should not be made.

(3) An order under this section shall not take effect until the ordinary time for instituting an appeal against the conviction or order concerned has expired or, where such an appeal is instituted, until it or any further appeal is finally decided or abandoned or the ordinary time for instituting any further appeal has expired.

(4) References in this section to a video recording include references to any spool, case or other thing on or in which the recording is kept.

Annual reports.

29.— (1) (a) The Official Censor shall, in each year beginning with the year 1990, prepare a report on his activities in the preceding year under this Act and the Censorship of Films Acts, 1923 to 1970, and shall submit it to the Minister, who shall cause copies thereof to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(b) The Appeal Board shall, in each year beginning with the year 1990, prepare a report on its activities in the preceding year under this Act and the Censorship of Films Acts, 1923 to 1970, and shall submit it to the Minister, who shall cause copies thereof to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(2) Whenever he or, as the case may be, it considers it desirable to do so or is so requested by the Minister, the Official Censor or the Appeal Board, as the case may be, shall make a special report to the Minister in relation to any matter arising in connection with his or, as the case may be, its functions under this Act or the Censorship of Films Acts, 1923 to 1970.

Composition of Censorship of Films Appeal Board.

30.—(1) Section 3 of the Censorship of Films Act, 1923 , is hereby amended by the insertion in subsection (1) after “Chairman” of “, one at least shall be a man and one at least shall be a woman”.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall come into operation upon the expiration of the term of office of the Commissioners holding office as members of the Appeal Board upon the passing of this Act.

Regulations.

31.—(1) The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of enabling this Act to have full effect and, in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, regulations under this section may make provision in relation to—

(a) applications for supply certificates and licences and the procedure for and in relation to such applications,

(b) appeals under this Act to the Appeal Board and the procedure for and in relation to such appeals, and

(c) the Register of Certificated Video Works, the Register of Prohibited Video Works, the Register of Video Recording Wholesale Licences and the Register of Video Recording Retail Licences.

(2) Regulations under this Act may make different provisions for different kinds of video works and licences and for different circumstances.

Laying of regulations before Houses of Oireachtas.

32.—Every regulation made under this Act (other than section 4 ) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Fees.

33.—(1) Fees received by the Official Censor under this Act shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance directs.

(2) The total amount of the fees charged annually under this Act shall, as nearly as may be, taking one year with another, be equal to the total expenditure incurred annually in the administration of this Act.

(3) The Public Offices Fees Act, 1879, shall not apply to any fees charged under this Act.

Expenses of Minister.

34.—The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Short title and commencement.

35.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Video Recordings Act, 1989.

(2) This Act (other than sections 29 and 30 ) shall come into operation on such day or days as may be fixed therefor by order or orders of the Minister either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so fixed for different purposes and different provisions.