The President of the EPO determines all file inspection arrangements, including the circumstances in which an administrative fee is payable (see the Decisions of the President of the EPO dated 12 July 2007, Special edition No. 3, OJ EPO 2007, J.2).
Once available in electronic form, fFiles that are available in electronic form can be inspected free of charge online via the European Patent Register Plus online service (see also the above-mentioned Decision of the President of the EPO).
Other forms of file inspection, e.g. by furnishing paper copies, are available on request. No particular form is prescribed for the request, except that it must be filed in writing with the EPO at one of its filing offices. The EPO offers a form via its website on the Internet. The request should contain information about the payment of the fee. Requests filed by fax (see A‑VIII, 2.5) or submitted through the Internet will be processed without confirmation.
With regard to the inspection of files containing high-volume sequence listings, see A‑IV, 5.