Last reviewed 21 June 2021

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation on the maximum level of financial penalties available to the new Office for the Internal Market (OIM).

The Office was established within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) by the UK Internal Market Act 2020. The Act protects businesses, jobs and livelihoods by ensuring there are no harmful new barriers to trade across the United Kingdom.

The OIM will be responsible for carrying out independent advisory, monitoring and reporting functions to support the development and effective operation of the UK internal market.

To do this, the Act provides it with powers to gather information from businesses and other parties. If an organisation fails to comply with an information notice, the OIM will be able to issue financial penalties where necessary.

The new consultation, open for comments until 11 August and available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/setting-the-maximum-level-of-penalties-for-non-compliance-with-office-for-the-internal-market-requests-for-information, invites comments on the maximum penalties the Office can impose for non-compliance with a request for information.

It proposes that the maximum penalty be set at £30,000 for a single fixed penalty and £15,000 for a daily rate. The CMA can currently impose similar penalties for non-compliance with information notices under many of its existing functions.

The CMA is currently consulting on draft guidance on the operation of its UK internal market functions (see https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-guidance-on-the-operation-of-the-cmas-uk-internal-market-functions).

It has also issued a Draft Statement of Policy on the enforcement by the OIM of its information-gathering powers.