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The Consumer Protection (Northern Ireland) Order 1987

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22.—(1) Subject to Articles 23 to 26, a duly authorised officer of the Department may at any reasonable hour and on production, if required, of his credentials exercise any of the powers conferred by paragraphs (2) to (5).

(2) The officer may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been any contravention of any provision made by or under Part III, inspect any goods and enter any premises other than premises occupied only as a person’s residence.

(3) If the officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that there has been a contravention in relation to any goods of any provision made by or under Part III, he may—

(a)for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been any such contravention, require any person carrying on a business, or employed in connection with a business, to produce any records relating to the business;

(b)for the purpose of ascertaining (by testing or otherwise) whether there has been any such contravention, seize and detain the goods;

(c)take copies of, or of any entry in, any records produced by virtue of sub-paragraph (a).

(4) The officer may seize and detain any goods or records which he has reasonable grounds for believing may be required as evidence in proceedings for an offence in respect of a contravention of any provision made by or under Part III.

(5) If and to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to do so to prevent a contravention of any provision made by or under Part III, the officer may, for the purpose of exercising his power under paragraph (3) or (4) to seize any goods or records—

(a)require any person having authority to do so to open any container or to open any vending machine; and

(b)himself open or break open any such container or machine where a requirement made under sub-paragraph (a) in relation to the container or machine has not been complied with.

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