Part 14 – Compliance and Enforcement

21-01-2014

Part 14 of the Companies Act gathers together provisions relating to compliance and enforcement, a change which will provide greater transparency.

While the Part is largely concerned with bringing together provisions regarding various orders which may be made in respect of a company, it also sets out one of the most far-reaching reforms provided for in the Act. This concerns the streamlining of the criminal offences that will be created by the Act into four categories each of which will attract a particular category of penalty, as follows:

  • Category 1 offence – conviction on indictment can result in a term of imprisonment of up to ten years or a fine of up to €500,000 or both;
  • Category 2 offence – conviction on indictment can result in a term of imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to €50,000 or both;
  • Category 3 offence – a summary offence only, attracting a term of imprisonment of up to six months and a “Class A fine” (or both); and
  • Category 4 offence – also a summary offence only, punishable by the imposition of a Class A fine.
  • A “Class A fine” is a fine within the meaning of the Fines Act 2010 (i.e. a fine not exceeding €5,000).

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