After receiving the European search report and the search opinion, applicants must respond to the search opinion (see B‑XI, 8) and may amend the description, claims and drawings of their own volition, provided that the amendment and their reply are filed within the time limit for responding to the search opinion (see C‑II, 1, C‑II, 3.1 and C‑III, 2.1). Likewise, for applications for which no supplementary European search report is prepared (see B‑II, 4.3) when entering the European phase from the PCT, the applicant is required to respond to the WO‑ISA, IPER or SISR where the ISA and, if applicable, the IPEA or SISA was the EPO (see E‑IX, 3.1 and 3.2). This response to the WO‑ISA, IPER or SISR may include amendments made by the applicant of their own volition to the description, claims and drawings. After expiry of the relevant time limit for the reply (or, if the applicant waives the remainder of the reply period, after the reply), the applicant may amend the application only with the consent of the examining division.
it is after receipt of the first communication from the examining division in examination proceedings that applicants may "of their own volition, amend once the description, claims and drawings", provided that the amendment and the reply are filed within the time limit for replying to that communication.