The search fee for a European or supplementary European search is refunded in cases provided for in Art. 9 RFees and in the Decision of the President of the EPO dated 21 December 2018, OJ EPO 2019, A4, which applies to European patent applications in respect of which the European or supplementary European search is completed on or after 1 April 2019. Details on criteria for refund of search fees are given in the Notice from the EPO dated 9 January 2009, OJ EPO 2009, 99, according to which the search division will determine the level of refund to be applied. In the event of disagreement, the applicant may request an appealable decision (Art. 106(2)), the issuing of which falls within the competence of the Receiving Section where the examining division has not yet assumed responsibility for the application (Rule 10) (see B‑XI, 2).
For the purposes of Art. 9(1) RFees, the date of the start of the search is indicated by means of EPO Form 1704 in the public part of the dossier and is thus open to file inspection in the European Patent Register after publication of the patent application (see also B‑IV, 1). Before publication, the EPO will provide the applicant with the relevant information upon request, or this information can be accessed electronically via the My Files service.