When OFCOM suspects that a retailer is selling non-compliant electrical equipment, it goes to the premises to carry out a check and removes samples to examine their conformity. It then carries out a technical inspection. It also checks that the user instructions, the information on the equipment and the declaration of conformity comply with the legal provisions. In the event of a dispute, tests may be carried out by external laboratories.
If the checked equipment is found not to be in conformity, the Office takes a decision against the person responsible for placing it on the market, i.e. most often the importer rather than the trader who has been checked. This decision is accompanied by a measure which is proportionate to the gravity of the facts, which may extend from the correction of the defects found to a ban on placing the equipment on the market or a recall of products from users. A warning is first issued against the person responsible for placing the equipment on the market. The equipment taken away during the site visit is either returned or withdrawn from its owner, depending on the seriousness of the non-conformity. For repeat offences, a fine is imposed within the framework of administrative criminal proceedings.