4. Power of inspectors
(1) Whenever and wherever an inspector has reasonable grounds for believing that agricultural products other than wool are exposed or offered for sale, or are held in storage for the purposes of sale, or are in process of transport for the purposes of sale an inspector may at any reasonable time enter and inspect any place, and examine any products in or on such place, and require the owner or person for the time being in charge of such products to open any package, or if no such owner or person is present, may himself open any package, and in any case the inspector may take, without payment therefor, samples of the agricultural products in sufficient quantity to permit the inspector to determine whether the agricultural products in his opinion, comply with the requirements of this Act.
(2) If an inspector has reasonable grounds for believing that with respect to any package of products other than wool or lot there is a contravention of or failure to comply with this Act he may take possession of and detain such package or lot for such time as may be necessary to enable him properly to inspect and examine the same, but such inspector shall take all reasonable precautions to protect such packages or products or lots from injury, damage, theft, or loss to the owner until the agricultural products are dealt with in accordance with this section.
(3) Such package or lot shall at all times during such detention be at the risk and expense of the owner thereof.
(4) Where pursuant to subsection (2) an inspector takes possession of and detains any package or lot he shall ¾
(a) serve on the owner or person in charge of the package or lot a notice in the prescribed form (in this section called a }detention notice~) informing the owner or person in charge of the package or lot that the agricultural products in the package or lot do not conform to the provisions of this Act and that the agricultural products are detained subject to this section; and
(b) subject to subsection (4a), affix a copy of the detention notice to each package or lot of agricultural products in respect of which the detention notice applies.
(4a) Where it is not practicable for an inspector to affix a detention notice to each package or lot of agricultural products in accordance with subsection (4)(b) the inspector shall, instead of affixing a detention notice to each package or lot, separate the packages or lots of agricultural products that are the subject of the detention notice by marking off the floor space occupied by them and placing a notice in the vicinity of the packages or lots so detained indicating that the packages or lots so set aside are the subject of a detention notice and the number of packages or lots to which the detention notice applies.
(4b) Where the identity of the owner or the person in charge of any agricultural products is not known to him the inspector may address the detention notice to the owner or the person in charge of the agricultural products by affixing the notice to the package of agricultural products in relation to which the notice applies.
(4c) Where pursuant to this section an inspector detains any agricultural products or package of agricultural products but is of the opinion that the agricultural products can be made to conform to the requirements of this Act the inspector may order the owner or the person for the time being in charge of the agricultural products to take such measures or do all such things with respect thereto at the expense of the owner of the agricultural products as the inspector determines to be necessary to make the agricultural products conform to the requirements of this Act.
(4d) Where an inspector is satisfied that any agricultural products or any package of agricultural products cannot be made to conform to the requirements of this Act the inspector may order that the agricultural products or portion thereof be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as prescribed.
(4e) Where an inspector has ordered any agricultural products to be destroyed the agricultural products the subject of the order shall not be destroyed without the written approval of the Minister or a person authorized by the Minister in that behalf.
(4f) Whilst a detention notice is in force in relation to any agricultural products or package or lot of agricultural products a person shall not ¾
(a) sell, or permit, suffer or cause another person to sell, the agricultural products to which the detention notice applies; or
(b) remove any detention notice affixed by an inspector under this section to the agricultural products or package or lot of agricultural products or any notice indicating that the packages or lots of agricultural products are the subject of a detention notice.
Penalty: $2 000
(4g) An inspector may, with the approval of the Director General or a person authorized by the Director General in that behalf, revoke any detention notice given under this section and upon the revocation being so authorized the inspector shall remove the detention notice from the agricultural products or package of agricultural products as the case requires.
(5) An inspector acting under the provisions of this section shall, if and when called upon, produce the certificate issued to him under section 8A(9).
(6) Any inspector or person acting under the direction or supervision of an inspector is not liable for any loss or damage resulting from or caused by the performance or exercise of any of the powers conferred by this section upon an inspector.
(8) Nothing in this section authorizes any inspector to examine, inspect, take samples or possession of, detain, give any order in relation to, or otherwise deal with any agricultural products while they are being held on the property on which they were produced, unless they are being offered or exposed for sale there.
[Section 4 amended by No. 12 of 1964 s. 2; No. 42 of 1965 s. 4; No. 16 of 1966 s. 8; No. 82 of 1974 s. 6; No. 61 of 1982 s. 9; No. 20 of 1989 s. 3; No. 4 of 1991 s. 7.]