Legal background

The legal basis for the fight against fraud is Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (replacing Article 280 of the EC Treaty).

1. Establishment of OLAF

2. OLAf's role and Investigations

The following regulations and agreements define the Office’s main role and  remit for carrying out its administrative investigations. These include investigations (concerning EU financial interests) in the Member States and those involving staff of the EU institutions.

3. Horizontal EU legislation concerning on-the-spot checks/inspections in the Member States

4. Sectoral EU legislation

 The following regulations contain provisions on the prevention and detection of irregularities:

  • EU own resources: Regulation No 1150/2000  pdf - 96 KB [96 KB] (amended by Regulation No 2028/2004 and Regulation (EC Euratom) No 105/2009)
  • Mutual Administrative Assistance: Regulation (EC) No 515/97 pdf - 137 KB [137 KB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)   (modified by Regulation (EC) No 807/2003 and Regulation (EC) No 766/2008) and Commission Regulation (EC) No 696/98 pdf - 39 KB [39 KB] dansk (da) Deutsch (de) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) Nederlands (nl) português (pt) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)
  • Common Agricultural Policy (CAP, including the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund   (EAGF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)): Article 37 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 pdf  of 21 June 2005.
  • Structural Funds (the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund): Article 72 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 pdf of 11 July 2006 (repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 and amended by Council Regulations (EC) Nos 1989/2006, 1341/2008, 85/2009, 284/2009 and 539/2010).
  • Direct expenditure: Council Regulation (EC) No 1605/2002  pdf.

5. Notification of irregularities and recovery of misused funds

6. Conventions

Council conventions, adopted or to be adopted by the Member States, to combat fraud/corruption at European level by harmonising national criminal law.

1) 1st Protocol
2) 2nd Protocol and its explanatory report
3) Protocol on the competence of the Court of Justice

Commission reports concerning the implementation by Member States of the EU Convention of 26 July 1995 and its related protocols:

a) 2004 pdf - 139 KB [139 KB] dansk (da) Deutsch (de) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) Nederlands (nl) português (pt) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) report and annex pdf - 735 KB [735 KB]
b) 2008 pdf - 169 KB [169 KB] български (bg) čeština (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti keel (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) français (fr) italiano (it) latviešu valoda (lv) lietuvių kalba (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) report and annex pdf - 662 KB [662 KB]

7. Working Arrangements

Working arrangements between OLAF and its Supervisory Committee, 14/01/2014 pdf - 446 KB [446 KB]

8. Agreements with third parties containing provisions on mutual administrative assistance in customs mattersAll available translations.

9. Case law

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Last update: 09/07/2014