Our fair trading inspectors

Fair Trading inspectors have legal authority to investigate alleged breaches of fair trading laws by businesses and licensees.

Inspectors can:

  • investigate claims and complaints
  • do spot checks
  • take enforcement action in the event of a breach.


An inspector must show you their identification as soon as they arrive. Their ID card will always include their photograph and signature.

An inspector can enter a place if:

  • it’s an open, public place
  • they have the owner’s permission
  • the Magistrates Court has issued them a warrant.

Once inside, they can:

  • search the premises
  • seize possessions
  • take copies of documents
  • take other people or equipment into the area.

You must follow any lawful direction they give you. If requested, you must give them:

  • your name and address
  • any information they ask for about the matter they are investigating
  • copies of any documents they ask for.

Our inspectors also have the power to stop or move a vehicle if they reasonably suspect that it contains evidence of an offence.


You may face penalties if an inspector finds that you:

  • have involved in unlicensed or other illegal activity
  • obstructed their investigation
  • disobeyed a lawful direction they gave you.

In addition, you must follow their lawful directions, or you risk a fine.

OffenceMaximum penalty
Obstruct an inspector by failing to comply with a warrant, produce documents or provide information$26,110 or up to 2 years imprisonment
Failure to give name and address to an inspector in certain circumstances$6,527