Article 63 — On-site inspections
- In order to carry out its duties under this Regulation, ESMA may conduct all necessary on-site inspections on any business premises, land or property of the legal persons referred to in Article 61(1). Where the proper conduct and efficiency of the inspection so require, ESMA may conduct the on-site inspection without prior announcement.
- The officials and other persons authorised by ESMA to conduct an on-site inspection may enter any business premises, land or property of the legal persons who are subject to an investigation decision adopted by ESMA and shall have all the powers referred to in Article 62(1). They shall also have the power to seal any business premises and books or records for the period of, and to the extent necessary for, the inspection.
- The officials and other persons authorised by ESMA to conduct an on-site inspection shall exercise their powers upon production of a written authorisation specifying the subject matter and purpose of the inspection and the periodic penalty payments provided for in Article 66 where the persons concerned do not submit to the inspection. In good time before the inspection, ESMA shall give notice of the inspection to the competent authority of the Member State where the inspection is to be conducted.
- The persons referred to in Article 61(1) shall submit to on-site inspections ordered by decision of ESMA. The decision shall specify the subject matter and purpose of the inspection, appoint the date on which it is to begin and indicate the periodic penalty payments provided for in Article 66, the legal remedies available under Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 as well as the right to have the decision reviewed by the Court of Justice. ESMA shall take such decisions after consulting the competent authority of the Member State where the inspection is to be conducted.
- Officials of, as well as those authorised or appointed by, the competent authority of the Member State where the inspection is to be conducted shall, at the request of ESMA, actively assist the officials and other persons authorised by ESMA. To that end, they shall enjoy the powers set out in paragraph 2. Officials of the competent authority of the Member State concerned may also attend the on-site inspections on request.
- ESMA may also require competent authorities to carry out specific investigatory tasks and on-site inspections as provided for in this Article and in Article 62(1) on its behalf. To that end, competent authorities shall enjoy the same powers as ESMA as set out in this Article and in Article 62(1).
- Where the officials and other accompanying persons authorised by ESMA find that a person opposes an inspection ordered pursuant to this Article, the competent authority of the Member State concerned shall afford them the necessary assistance, requesting, where appropriate, the assistance of the police or of an equivalent enforcement authority, so as to enable them to conduct their on-site inspection.
- If the on-site inspection provided for in paragraph 1 or the assistance provided for in paragraph 7 requires a national competent authority to be authorised by a judicial authority in accordance with national rules, ESMA shall also apply for such authorisation. ESMA may also apply for such authorisation as a precautionary measure.
- Where authorisation as referred to in paragraph 8 is applied for, the national judicial authority shall verify that ESMA’s decision is authentic and that the coercive measures envisaged are neither arbitrary nor excessive having regard to the subject matter of the inspection. In its control of the proportionality of the coercive measures, the national judicial authority may ask ESMA for detailed explanations. Such a request for detailed explanations may in particular relate to the grounds ESMA has for suspecting that an infringement of this Regulation has taken place, as well as to the seriousness of the suspected infringement and the nature of the involvement of the person who is subjected to the coercive measures. However, the national judicial authority may not review the necessity for the inspection or demand to be provided with the information on ESMA’s file. The lawfulness of ESMA’s decision shall be subject to review only by the Court of Justice following the procedure set out in Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010.