Compliance Statement

The Annual Compliance Statement

Format and Content

In order to renew or register as a licensing body, Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) are obliged to submit an annual compliance statement. The compliance statement should include information regarding its current compliance as part of the application/renewal process. Thereafter, compliance statements are required to be furnished annually together with the documentation required to renew a registration.

The requirement to submit a compliance statement is set out in Regulation 35. Templates have been drafted to assist CMOs to identify what needs to be included in the compliance statement and these are set out in Annex Iand Annex II.

Compliance statements and accompanying documentation should be in electronic form (ideally in PDF) and unless otherwise agreed with the Controller, should be submitted electronically by e.mail to the following email address: regadmin@patentsoffice.ie

When drafting a compliance statement in accordance with Regulation 34, CMOs should combine a short overarching narrative compliance statement in the format set out in Annex 1, with a more detailed statement which references the relevant sections of the regulation in a tabular format as set out in Annex II. This method will allow CMOs to demonstrate clearly whether there is compliance with every specific regulation and how this is achieved, or provide an explanation as to why not. It is intended to facilitate a disciplined and uniform approach to completing the compliance statement.

Where a company is in compliance with a particular requirement of the regulations, in addition to indicating “yes” it may be necessary to provide details, stating why the company believes it is in compliance.

Where it is believed that a particular question does not apply to the company, the words “not applicable” (N/A) should be entered in the ‘compliance status’ column, and the reason why the particular provision in the regulation does not apply to the CMO should be stated in the ‘comments’ column.

Where a CMO is not in compliance with a particular provision of the regulations or only partially compliant, it is important to give a full explanation of the reasons for non-compliance or partial compliance in the ‘comments’ column. A CMO that is not in compliance with a particular provision of the regulations may wish to state what steps it is taking to ensure future or full compliance. As CMOs can vary, and there can be many different reasons for non-compliance or partial compliance, each compliance statement will be specific to the CMO completing it. Accordingly, no standard wording is proposed for inclusion in the ‘comments’ section.

Publication of the Annual Compliance Statement

The Controller intends to publish in the register(s) of copyright licensing bodies, the short overarching narrative compliance statement in the format set out in Annex 1. However, where a compliance statement contains reports of material non-compliance (or partial compliance) in respect of which the Controller subsequently takes enforcement action, publication of such non-compliance may be required in the public interest, as part of that enforcement action.

Materiality

The Controller is responsible for determining (in the first instance) whether a deviation from the requirements of the Regulation is material. Whether a deviation or deficiency is material or not will depend upon the facts of each case. If the Controller considers that the deviation or deficiency is such as to constitute non-compliance, he will issue a notice requiring the CMO to address such matters within a specified time.

Combining Annual Compliance Statements with existing registration and renewal of registration requirements

The requirement under the Regulation to provide the Annual Compliance Statement to the Controller operates in addition to the existing registration and renewal of registration requirements; therefore, the compliance statements should be submitted together with the information required under Section 175 of the CRRA. Where the same information or documentation required to establish compliance is supplied as part of the registration or renewal of registration process, it is not necessary to supply it again with the compliance statement. However, it should be indicated in the detailed compliance statement that the information has been furnished as part of the registration renewal process.

Extension of Time

It should be noted that the provision (1A) which has been inserted by the Regulations into Section 179 of the CRRA provides for the granting of an extension of time of 28 days from the date on which the period of validity of the certificate of registration expires. An application for an extension of time must be made before the period of validity of the certificate of registration expires and must be accompanied by an explanation which will satisfy the Controller that an extension is warranted. The extension of time is to allow a CMO/licensing body which has encountered genuine difficulties in compiling its statement more time to submit a complete and appropriately detailed statement of compliance. There is only provision for a single application for an extension of time annually and no further applications will be considered.

The extension of time provision only applies to documentation in relation to the compliance statement and does not apply to the application for registration as a licensing body.

Compliance Notice

Where no extension of time has been sought and where no compliance statement (or an incomplete compliance statement) has been submitted by the date on which the period of validity of the certificate of registration expires, the Controller may issue a written compliance notice. That notice will require the CMO/licensing body to provide a complete statement of compliance or appropriate supporting evidence within a specified period.

If and when the Controller is satisfied that the notice has not been complied with, he may then exercise the power afforded to him under section 179(1) of the CRRA and either refuse an application for renewal of a registration or cancel the registration.

Retention of supporting documentation

A CMO’s compliance with certain elements of the Regulations is required to be supported or to some extent demonstrated by the existence and/or content of certain documents. Where extracts from documents are provided or where a document is summarised in order to demonstrate or provide evidence of compliance, the original documents should be retained by the CMO so that they can be made available to the Controller if required.