S.I. No. 444/2002 - European Communities (Rules For The Application of Article 88 of the Ec Treaty) (On-Site Monitoring) Regulations 2002

I, Mary Harney, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) and for the purpose of giving effect to Article 22 of Council Regulation (EC No. 659/1999 of 22 March 19991 , hereby make the following regulations:

1.           These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Rules for the Application of Article 88 of the EC Treaty)(On-site Monitoring) Regulations 2002.

2.       (1)       In these Regulations -

“authorised officer” means a person appointed by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment under Regulation 4 of these Regulations;

“Commission” means the Commission of the European Communities;

“Commission official” means an official authorised by the Commission to undertake on-site monitoring visits under Article 22 of Council Regulation (EC) No.659/1999 of 22 March 1999;

“Council Regulation” means Council Regulation (EC) No. 659/1999 of 22 March 1999;

“Minister” means the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

(2)       In these Regulations —

(a)         a reference to a Regulation is to a Regulation of these Regulations unless it is indicated that a reference to some other enactment is intended, and

(b)       a reference to a paragraph or subparagraph is to the paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other provision is intended.

(3)       A word or expression which is used in these Regulations and which is also used in the Council Regulation has, unless the context otherwise requires, the same meaning in these Regulations as it has in the Council Regulation.

3.       (1)       Where the Commission has serious doubts as to whether decisions not to raise objections, positive decisions or conditional decisions with regard to individual aid are being complied with, a Commission official may:

(a)       enter any premises and land of the undertaking concerned;

(b)       ask for oral explanations on the spot;

(c)       examine books and other business records and take, or demand, copies.

(2)       A Commission official may be assisted if necessary by independent experts.

4.       The Minister may appoint persons to be authorised officers for the purpose of being present at an on-site monitoring visit.

5.       A Commission official and any independent expert referred to in Regulation 3(2) and any authorised officer shall, if requested by a person affected, produce a written authorisation specifying the subject-matter and purpose of the on-site monitoring visit.

6.       A Commission official shall be accompanied by a member or members of the Garda Síochána where, in the course of carrying out or attempting to carry out on-site monitoring under Article 22 of the Council Regulation, a premises is required to be broken open for an on-site monitoring visit or the use of force is necessary and is lawful.

7.       (1)       If a judge of the District Court is satisfied on the sworn information of a Commission official that an undertaking opposes an on-site monitoring visit ordered by a Commission decision pursuant to Article 22 of the Council Regulation and that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is information required by the Commission official under the Council Regulation held on any premises or land or any part of any premises or land or there is anything which the Commission official requires to ask, examine, take or demand under Regulation 3 for the purposes of the Council Regulation, the judge may issue a warrant authorising the Commission official, accompanied by other Commission officials, independent experts referred to in Article 3(2), authorised officers or a member or members of the Garda Síochána, at any time or times, within one month from the date of issue of the warrant, on production if so requested of the warrant, to enter, if necessary by reasonable force the premises or land and to carry out the on-site monitoring for the purposes of the Council Regulation.

(2)       An application under paragraph (1) shall be made to the judge of the District Court in whose district court district the premises or land is situated.

8.       (1)        A person who -

(a)        obstructs or impedes a Commission official in the exercise of a power under the Council Regulation or Regulation 3, or

(b)        without reasonable excuse, does not comply with a requirement of a Commission official for the purposes of the Council Regulation or under the said Regulation 3, or

(c)        in purported compliance with a requirement referred to in subparagraph (b), gives information to the Commission official that he or she knows to be false and misleading,

is guilty of an offence.

(2)       A person guilty of an offence under this Regulation is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(3)       Where an offence under this Regulation is committed by a body corporate and is proved to have been committed with the consent, connivance or approval of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager secretary or other officer of the body corporate or any other person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, that officer or person as well as the body corporate is guilty of an offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of the first-mentioned offence.

(4)       An offence under this Regulation may be prosecuted by the Minister.


GIVEN under my Official Seal,

this 30th day of August, 2002.


Mary Harney

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.


(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation)

The purpose of these regulations is to implement Council Regulation (EC) No. 659/1999 (and in particular Article 22) of 23 March, 1999. to enable on-site monitoring visits to be carried out to review the compatibility of State aid with the common market with respect to Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty.

The Regulations came into effect on 30 August, 2002.

To be purchased from the Government Publications Sales Office, Molesworth Street Dublin 2.

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

September, 2002.

1 OJ No. L83, 27.3.1999, p.1