What is the control of the Trade Inspection in the store?

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The Trade Inspection is an authority established to control entrepreneurs engaged in production, trade or service activities. It cares for the interests of consumers and the economic interest of the state. What does the Trade Inspection control look like and what does it cover?

Commencement of control

The inspection is initiated by the inspector (inspector) upon presentation of a service identity card (with a photo) and delivery of the authorization to conduct the inspection. As a rule, it should be preceded by a notification about its conduct, but in some situations it may be started without notification. It is not required, inter alia, in the event of a threat to health or life or if the entrepreneur has no address. In addition, the Trade Inspection Authority may carry out an inspection by purchasing the product without notice to check its quality and reliability.

The authorization to conduct the inspection should contain at least:

  • designation of the inspection body,

  • indication of the legal basis for the inspection,

  • date and place of issue of the authorization,

  • name, surname and position of the inspector and the number of his or her service card,

  • designation of the document confirming identity,

  • designation of the controlled,

  • determination of the subject and scope of the inspection,

  • determination of the date of commencement of the inspection and the expected date of its completion,

  • signature of the person granting the authorization, stating the position or function held,

  • instruction on the rights and obligations of the controlled.

Trade Inspection Control

The inspection checks whether the rights of consumers are respected, there are no threats to them (e.g. danger of products). The control of the Trade Inspection mainly includes:

  • legality of the company's operation - does the company have all the required permits, licenses, permits, decisions, etc .;

  • checking whether the products offered to consumers meet the relevant requirements (e.g. CE marking on electronic products);

  • services provided;

  • providing prices and product descriptions in a visible place;

  • fulfillment of information obligations.

The inspection is carried out in the presence of the inspected party or a person authorized by him at the inspected party's headquarters or at the place where the activity is performed, and during working hours or during the actual performance of the activity by the inspected party. If the inspected party agrees, the inspection may also be carried out at the seat of the Inspection.

Attention!
The control of the Trade Inspection does not cover the commercial quality control of agri-food products at producers and the health quality control of foodstuffs.

During the inspection, the inspector has the right to:

  • examine the files, documents, records and information in the scope covered by the control and demand that the controlled entity or its representative prepare the necessary copies and official translation into Polish of documents drawn up in a foreign language;

  • inspect the areas, facilities, rooms, means of transport, products and other things within the scope of the control;

  • demand from the controlled entity or its representative to immediately remedy any procedural and organizational shortcomings;

  • demand from the inspected person and his representative to provide, within the prescribed period, written and oral explanations on matters covered by the scope of the inspection;

  • hear persons as a party, witness or expert, if it is necessary for a comprehensive explanation of the circumstances of the case;

  • consult experts, if it is necessary for the purposes of the audit;

  • secure evidence, products, premises and means of transport;

  • take samples of products for testing free of charge;

  • check the reliability of service by purchasing a product or service;

  • collect other necessary materials within the scope of control.

Completion of the inspection

The inspection by the Trade Inspection ends with an inspection report in which the inspector provides the findings of the activities carried out at the inspected entrepreneur. The inspector should read the content of the controlled report. One copy of it is kept by him, the other by the controlled one.

The entrepreneur may directly or within 7 days submit comments in writing on the findings in the protocol. The inspector is obliged to respond to them immediately, but not later than within 14 days from the date of their receipt.

If any deficiencies were found in the course of the inspection - the inspector issues post-inspection recommendations. The controlled entity is obliged to inform the inspector, within the prescribed period, about the manner of their implementation.

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Trade Inspection control in the online store

The control of the Trade Inspection concerns not only stationary but also online stores.

The process is the same as in the case of brick-and-mortar stores - the same rules apply to the initiation and termination of an inspection, as well as its general subject matter. However, in the online store, particular emphasis may be placed on fulfilling the information obligations of the e-store, such as:

  • informing customers about the store's data (name, KRS number, etc.),

  • no misleading customers by providing false information, e.g. in advertisements,

  • informing customers about the possibility of withdrawing from the contract,

  • informing consumers about the costs, methods and dates of delivery,

  • informing about the method and place of filing a complaint.

Penalties for violation of regulations

The inspector may impose penalties for gross irregularities discovered during the inspection. They are imposed for, inter alia:

  • no visible information about the price of a given product (including the unit price, e.g. per liter, per kilogram),

  • no visible information about the effects of alcohol consumption,

  • preparing documents only in a foreign language,

  • placing incorrectly labeled products on the market,

  • defective or damaged packaging,

  • false labeling of a given product with a certificate,

  • failure to comply with information obligations.

Obstructing the inspection is punishable by imprisonment of up to 30 days or a fine of up to PLN 5,000.