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The Competition Act 1998 and Other Enactments (Amendment) Regulations 2004

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14.  After section 28 there is inserted—

28A.    Power to enter domestic premises under a warrant

(1) On an application made by the OFT to the court in accordance with rules of court, a judge may issue a warrant if he is satisfied that—

(a)there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there are on any domestic premises documents—

(i)the production of which has been required under section 26; and

(ii)which have not been produced as required; or

(b)there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that—

(i)there are on any domestic premises documents which the OFT has power under section 26 to require to be produced; and

(ii)if the documents were required to be produced, they would not be produced but would be concealed, removed, tampered with or destroyed.

(2) A warrant under this section shall authorise a named officer of the OFT, and any other of its officers whom the OFT has authorised in writing to accompany the named officer—

(a)to enter the premises specified in the warrant, using such force as is reasonably necessary for the purpose;

(b)to search the premises and take copies of, or extracts from, any document appearing to be of a kind in respect of which the application under subsection (1) was granted (“the relevant kind”);

(c)to take possession of any documents appearing to be of the relevant kind if—

(i)such action appears to be necessary for preserving the documents or preventing interference with them; or

(ii)it is not reasonably practicable to take copies of the documents on the premises;

(d)to take any other steps which appear to be necessary for the purpose mentioned in paragraph (c)(i);

(e)to require any person to provide an explanation of any document appearing to be of the relevant kind or to state, to the best of his knowledge and belief, where it may be found;

(f)to require any information which is stored in any electronic form and is accessible from the premises and which the named officer considers relates to any matter relevant to the investigation, to be produced in a form—

(i)in which it can be taken away, and

(ii)in which it is visible and legible or from which it can readily be produced in a visible and legible form.

(3) If, in the case of a warrant under subsection (1)(b), the judge is satisfied that it is reasonable to suspect that there are also on the premises other documents relating to the investigation concerned, the warrant shall also authorise action mentioned in subsection (2) to be taken in relation to any such document.

(4) A warrant under this section may authorise persons specified in the warrant to accompany the named officer who is executing it.

(5) Any person entering premises by virtue of a warrant under this section may take with him such equipment as appears to him to be necessary.

(6) On leaving any premises which he has entered by virtue of a warrant under this section, the named officer must, if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent, leave them as effectively secured as he found them.

(7) A warrant under this section continues in force until the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which it is issued.

(8) Any document of which possession is taken under subsection (2)(c) may be retained for a period of three months.

(9) In this section, “domestic premises” means premises (or any part of premises) that are used as a dwelling and are—

(a)premises also used in connection with the affairs of an undertaking or association of undertakings; or

(b)premises where documents relating to the affairs of an undertaking or association of undertakings are kept..

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