Surprise Inspections


Principle: Competition Authorities can conduct unannounced inspections (also known as dawn raids) at one of AkzoNobel’s premises where they suspect a competition law violation. The inspectors have extensive powers: they can take away physical or electronic records (including of private smartphones that are used for professional reasons) and/or ask questions to individuals. AkzoNobel is legally obliged to submit to the inspection and, while we should not volunteer any information, we must cooperate with the Inspectors and absolutely avoid any obstruction to their work.  

What to do: Please immediately call the Response Team and follow the Do's and Don’ts below.



  1. Your Site and/or BU manager
  2. Your IT manager/representative
  3. AkzoNobel Legal Group (contacts below), who in turn will call our outside legal counsel


Remain calm and professional

  • Know who the inspectors are and what they want
    • Ask for name, title, and whom they represent
    • Ask for decision/warrant and make a copy
  • Ask the investigators to wait for response team and outside legal counsel 
    • Be polite and hospitable (offer coffee)
    • Bring them to an empty conference room (with no business documents or computers)
    • If they refuse to wait (and they can after approx 20 minutes), accompany them always 
  • Always escort investigators
    • Record everything: what items, files and places they look at, used search/keywords, what they ask, and what answers are given
    • Copy everything for them and for us (3 times)
    • If possible, stamp/label everything as CONFIDENTIAL
  • Keep your answers polite but short and factual


  • Apart from our response team (see box on the left), do not inform anyone else within or outside of AkzoNobel
  • Do not destroy, delete, hide or take away any documents or emails, not even personal or embarrassing ones
  • Do not be impolite or defensive
  • Do not deny the inspectors access or refuse to cooperate
    • But do not show them anything on your own initiative
  • Do not tell the inspectors anything on your own initiative
    • Do not give opinions, voice concerns or guess and assume
    • Do not incriminate yourself
  • Do not show the inspectors anything (not even a glimpse) marked LEGALLY PRIVILEGED or the like (propose to them to put the document in a sealed envelope and wait for legal counsel)
  • Never break any seals affixed by the inspectors 
  • Never sign anything without legal counsel’s consent

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