21 U.S. Code § 880 - Administrative inspections and warrants

(a) “Controlled premises” defined
As used in this section, the term “controlled premises” means—
(1) places where original or other records or documents required under this subchapter are kept or required to be kept, and
(2) places, including factories, warehouses, and other establishments, and conveyances, where persons registered under section 823 of this title (or exempt from registration under section 822 (d) of this title or by regulation of the Attorney General) or regulated persons may lawfully hold, manufacture, distribute, dispense, administer, or otherwise dispose of controlled substances or listed chemicals or where records relating to those activities are maintained.
(b) Grant of authority; scope of inspections
(1) For the purpose of inspecting, copying, and verifying the correctness of records, reports, or other documents required to be kept or made under this subchapter and otherwise facilitating the carrying out of his functions under this subchapter, the Attorney General is authorized, in accordance with this section, to enter controlled premises and to conduct administrative inspections thereof, and of the things specified in this section, relevant to those functions.
(2) Such entries and inspections shall be carried out through officers or employees (hereinafter referred to as “inspectors”) designated by the Attorney General. Any such inspector, upon stating his purpose and presenting to the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such premises
(A) appropriate credentials and
(B) a written notice of his inspection authority (which notice in the case of an inspection requiring, or in fact supported by, an administrative inspection warrant shall consist of such warrant), shall have the right to enter such premises and conduct such inspection at reasonable times.
(3) Except as may otherwise be indicated in an applicable inspection warrant, the inspector shall have the right—
(A) to inspect and copy records, reports, and other documents required to be kept or made under this subchapter;
(B) to inspect, within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner, controlled premises and all pertinent equipment, finished and unfinished drugs, listed chemicals, and other substances or materials, containers, and labeling found therein, and, except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, all other things therein (including records, files, papers, processes, controls, and facilities) appropriate for verification of the records, reports, and documents referred to in clause (A) or otherwise bearing on the provisions of this subchapter; and
(C) to inventory any stock of any controlled substance or listed chemical therein and obtain samples of any such substance or chemical.
(4) Except when the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the controlled premises so consents in writing, no inspection authorized by this section shall extend to—
(A) financial data;
(B) sales data other than shipment data; or
(C) pricing data.
(c) Situations not requiring warrants
A warrant under this section shall not be required for the inspection of books and records pursuant to an administrative subpena issued in accordance with section 876 of this title, nor for entries and administrative inspections (including seizures of property)—
(1) with the consent of the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the controlled premises;
(2) in situations presenting imminent danger to health or safety;
(3) in situations involving inspection of conveyances where there is reasonable cause to believe that the mobility of the conveyance makes it impracticable to obtain a warrant;
(4) in any other exceptional or emergency circumstance where time or opportunity to apply for a warrant is lacking; or
(5) in any other situations where a warrant is not constitutionally required.
(d) Administrative inspection warrants; issuance; execution; probable cause
Issuance and execution of administrative inspection warrants shall be as follows:
(1) Any judge of the United States or of a State court of record, or any United States magistrate judge, may, within his territorial jurisdiction, and upon proper oath or affirmation showing probable cause, issue warrants for the purpose of conducting administrative inspections authorized by this subchapter or regulations thereunder, and seizures of property appropriate to such inspections. For the purposes of this section, the term “probable cause” means a valid public interest in the effective enforcement of this subchapter or regulations thereunder sufficient to justify administrative inspections of the area, premises, building, or conveyance, or contents thereof, in the circumstances specified in the application for the warrant.
(2) A warrant shall issue only upon an affidavit of an officer or employee having knowledge of the facts alleged, sworn to before the judge or magistrate judge and establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant. If the judge or magistrate judge is satisfied that grounds for the application exist or that there is probable cause to believe they exist, he shall issue a warrant identifying the area, premises, building, or conveyance to be inspected, the purpose of such inspection, and, where appropriate, the type of property to be inspected, if any. The warrant shall identify the items or types of property to be seized, if any. The warrant shall be directed to a person authorized under subsection (b)(2) of this section to execute it. The warrant shall state the grounds for its issuance and the name of the person or persons whose affidavit has been taken in support thereof. It shall command the person to whom it is directed to inspect the area, premises, building, or conveyance identified for the purpose specified, and, where appropriate, shall direct the seizure of the property specified. The warrant shall direct that it be served during normal business hours. It shall designate the judge or magistrate judge to whom it shall be returned.
(3) A warrant issued pursuant to this section must be executed and returned within ten days of its date unless, upon a showing by the United States of a need therefor, the judge or magistrate judge allows additional time in the warrant. If property is seized pursuant to a warrant, the person executing the warrant shall give to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property taken or shall leave the copy and receipt at the place from which the property was taken. The return of the warrant shall be made promptly and shall be accompanied by a written inventory of any property taken. The inventory shall be made in the presence of the person executing the warrant and of the person from whose possession or premises the property was taken, if they are present, or in the presence of at least one credible person other than the person making such inventory, and shall be verified by the person executing the warrant. The judge or magistrate judge, upon request, shall deliver a copy of the inventory to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken and the applicant for the warrant.
(4) The judge or magistrate judge who has issued a warrant under this section shall attach to the warrant a copy of the return and all papers filed in connection therewith and shall file them with the clerk of the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which the inspection was made.


(Pub. L. 91–513, title II, § 510,Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1274; Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXV, § 3599M,Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4932; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, § 321,Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 103–200, § 6,Dec. 17, 1993, 107 Stat. 2339.)

1993—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 103–200, § 6(1), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “places, including factories, warehouses, or other establishments, and conveyances, where persons registered under section 823 of this title (or exempted from registration under section 822 (d) of this title) may lawfully hold, manufacture, or distribute, dispense, administer, or otherwise dispose of controlled substances.”
Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 103–200, § 6(2)(A), inserted “, listed chemicals,” after “unfinished drugs”.
Subsec. (b)(3)(C). Pub. L. 103–200, § 6(2)(B), inserted “or listed chemical” after “controlled substance” and “or chemical” after “such substance”.
1990—Subsec. (b)(3)(B). Pub. L. 101–647substituted “paragraph (4)” for “paragraph (5)”.
Change of Name

“United States magistrate judge” and “magistrate judge” substituted for “United States magistrate” and “magistrate”, respectively, wherever appearing in subsec. (d) pursuant to section 321 ofPub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–200effective on date that is 120 days after Dec. 17, 1993, see section 11 ofPub. L. 103–200, set out as a note under section 802 of this title.

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21 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

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21 CFR - Food and Drugs


28 CFR - Judicial Administration




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