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Competition Policy


Article 20 of Regulation 1/2003 empowers the Commission to conduct inspections or "dawn raids" on the premises of companies suspected of being in breach of EU Competition rules.

Under Article 20 of Regulation 1/2003

The Commission is empowered to:
  1. enter the premises of companies;
  2. examine the records related to the business;
  3. take copies of those records;
  4. seal the business premises and records
  5. ask members of staff or company representatives questions relating to the subject-matter and purpose of the inspection and record the answers 


The inspection explanatory note describes what happens during an inspection and clarifies the rights and obligations of the company being inspected.

22 MARCH 2021
(36.67 KB - PDF)


Sample inspection authorisation:

Template of the document presented to the company at the start of an inspection. It lists the names of the authorised inspectors.

Picture of a  seal used during an inspection.


Demo: Viewing electronic data during inspections

This Demo provides an example of the manner in which documents are made available to company representatives during Commission inspections. It provides a "mock" electronic report that contains a description of certain files and a hyperlink to directly access the files. In addition, a file contains the 'hash value' of the data set.

To see the content of the Demo USB-Stick, download and unzip the "Demo USB-Stick" (zip file).

The Demo USB-Stick (zip file) contains a "Readme” (pdf file) with instructions. Read these first. The Demo USB-Stick (zip file) also contains two folders, one with the data for a Microsoft Outlook environment and another file for a non-Outlook environment.
The Demo USB-Stick works on several computer platforms (i.e. Windows, Mac-OS).
Please note that DG Competition does not provide technical support for accessing the information on the Demo USB-Stick.