The purpose of an on-site inspection is to verify the compliance of the running of the installation with the conditions stipulated by prefectural order or ministerial order.
The inspection may identify non-compliances with the operational requirements of these orders. Follow-up actions are therefore envisaged and initiated by the inspector.
They vary depending on the type of findings :
Classified installations inspectors have judicial powers enabling them to issue penalties.
Infringements are either 5th category minor offences (notably non compliance with prefectural or ministerial orders, undeclared operation), or misdemeanours (notably operation without a permit, non compliance with a formal notice, obstructing an inspector in the performance of his duties).
In all cases, the inspector communicates the penalty report establishing his findings to the Public Prosecutor who decides whether or not to take legal action.
When the case is brought to court, maximal possible penalties are :
for a 5th class minor offence, a €1,500 fine for individuals and €7,500 for corporations ;
for a misdemeanour, a fine up to €750,000 for corporations ; a fine up to €150,000 and prison sentence of up to 2 years, for individuals.