Amending the application – Rule 161/162 communication
5.4.011
For the purpose of the proceedings before the EPO as designated/elected Office, applicants may file (voluntary) amendments within the 31-month time limit and, if desired, file (further) amendments until expiry of the time limit set in the combined communication under Rules 161 and 162 EPC ("Rule 161/162 communication"). As set out below, if the EPO acted as (Supplementary) International Searching Authority, applicants may be required to file (mandatory) amendments to or comments on their application within the time limit set in the Rule 161/162 communication (see point 5.4.026). Whether or not a response is mandatory is clearly stated in the communication, which is therefore worded differently depending on the case (EPO Forms 1226AA and 1226BB).
5.4.012
The Rule 161/162 communication is issued promptly once the application has entered the European phase and on condition that the ISR is available to the EPO. This means that it is also issued if the applicant has already filed, with Form 1200 or thereafter, amendments and/or comments to form the basis for the procedure in the European phase.
5.4.013
The time limit set in the communication under Rules 161 and 162 EPC is six months. This time limit cannot be extended.
5.4.014
After expiry of the six-month time limit further possibilities for amending the application are limited. If a supplementary European search is carried out, the applicant always has one further opportunity to submit amendments upon receipt of the report (see point 5.4.021). Amendments made thereafter require the consent of the examining division. By way of exception, the applicant may have the opportunity to submit amendments without requiring the consent of the examining division, namely in cases where the supplementary European search is dispensed with (EPO was (S)ISA) and, after expiry of the period according to Rule 161(1) EPC, the examining division considers the application documents on file not to have been searched before. In such a situation, if a further search is carried out according to Rule 164(2)(a) EPC (see points 5.15.011-5.15.012), the applicant may amend the application in response to the communication of the results of that search in accordance with Rule 164(2)(b) EPC.
5.4.015
Under no circumstances may amendments go beyond the disclosure in the international application as filed. 
5.4.016
Whenever filing amendments, applicants must identify them and indicate their basis in the application as filed. If they fail to do so, the examining division may issue a communication requesting correction of the omission within a non-extendable time limit of one month. If the deficiency is not remedied in due time, the application will be deemed withdrawn under Article 94(4) EPC. The loss of rights can be remedied with further processing.

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