What is the points system?
The points system was created by Regulation (EC) No. 1224/2009, as a way of creating a dissuasive effect in the sanctioning of infractions to the Common Fisheries Policy.
Who does the points system apply to?
Fishing licenses for a vessel and the captains / masters of a vessel.
When are points applied?
The points are applied when a given infraction is (also) qualified as a serious infraction, in the condemnatory decision.
Can all infractions foreseen and punished under the terms of Decree-Law No. 278/87, in its current wording, qualify as serious infractions?
No. Only the infractions referred to in the Attachment to Decree-Law No. 10/2017, which will henceforth constitute an Attachment to Decree-Law No. 278/87, may be qualified as serious infractions for the purposes of applying points .
On what does the classification of an offense as a serious infraction depend?
Verifying one or more of the following criteria: the fact that the conduct was carried out in a classified area, as well as the damage caused to resources and or the marine environment; repetition of administrative offense; when the value of the economic benefit withdrawn from the practice of the conduct is greater than half of the maximum limit of the applicable fine; when the agent has used coercion, falsification, false declarations, simulation or other fraudulent means or there are acts of concealment or concealment that tend to hinder the discovery of the offense.
Who qualifies the offense as serious?
The Directorate-General for Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services (DGRM), as the National Fisheries Authority, or the bodies of the Autonomous Regions (Regional Fisheries Inspection of the Azores and Regional Fisheries Directorate Madeira), at the time of the decision of the administrative offense process.
And if there are 2 infractions in the same report, only one of which can be classified as serious, who has the competence to make the (administrative) decision?
They continue to be the entities referred to in the previous point, since the decision must be one, given that a competition for infractions is at stake.
How many points can be applied to fishing vessel licenses and what consequences do they have?
The number of points to be applied varies depending on the infraction practiced, as shown in the Annex to Decree-Law No. 10/2017, which became an Annex to Decree-Law No. 278/87, ranging from 3 to 7 points . The accumulation of points determines the suspension of the fishing license in the following terms: 18 points - 2 months; 36 points - 4 months; 54 points- 8 months; 72 points - 1 year.
If, in the same inspection, two or more infractions that can be qualified as serious infractions are detected, how many points can be applied?
In principle, the points corresponding to each offense will be applied, but with a limit of 12 points.
What happens to the points after a license suspension is fulfilled?
The points remain and, in the case of committing a new infraction qualified as a serious infraction, the new points accumulate with the previous ones.
What if the accumulated points are more than 72?
When 90 or more points are reached, the fishing license is definitively withdrawn from the vessel in question, that is, that vessel can never again have a license.
What should I do if the license is suspended or withdrawn?
The vessel must immediately return to the home port or other port indicated by the competent authorities. During the return trip, the gear must be tied and tidied.
And can the stitches be removed?
Yes, if there is no new infraction qualified as serious in the period of 3 years, counted from the practice of the last infraction as such qualified. In this case, all points are canceled. It is also foreseen the possibility of annulment of 2 points, in each period of 3 years, counted from the date of the practice of the last infraction qualified as a serious infraction, provided that one of the conditions provided for in paragraph 2 of article 22-C of Decree-Law No. 278/87 is verified. That is, if 2 infractions have been committed as serious, respectively on 02-03- 2017 and 03-04-2017, using the offender to the option provided for in paragraph 2 of the aforementioned article, he will not be able to appeal to it (option) until 3 4 2020. If between 03-04-2017 and 03-04-2020 you do not commit any other infraction qualified as serious, all points are removed; if you commit a new or new infraction that is considered serious, the points will be accumulated to the previous ones, and you cannot benefit from a reduction of up to 2 points. A new 3-year period may open from 03-04-2020.
And if I want to sell or charter the vessel, what happens to the points?
The points “follow” the vessel, that is, they remain on the respective fishing license.
If I have committed an offense that could be classified as serious during the year 2016 for which an (administrative) decision has not yet been issued, can points be applied?
No. Decree-Law no. 10/2017, of January 10, only applies to the future, to facts that occurred after its entry into force.
Which points apply to captains / masters and with what consequences?
As mentioned in FAQ 8., the number of points to be applied varies depending on the infraction practiced, as follows from the aforementioned Annex, ranging from 3 to 7 points. The accumulation of points determines the suspension of the exercise of the activity, as follows: 30 points - 2 months; 70 points- 4 months; 100 points - 8 months; from 130 points - 12 months.
And when you reach 130 points?
If the captain / master attends an appropriate training action, all points will be canceled; if not, frequent new points add to the previous ones, always determining the suspension of the activity for 12 months.
Can the stitches be removed?
Without prejudice to the previous FAQ, points can be withdrawn when no new infraction qualified as a serious infraction is committed, within 3 years from the date of the practice of the last infraction qualified as such.
If I am both owner and captain of the vessel, are there any special arrangements?
Yes. In that case, points are only applied to the captain.