The affixing of a seal consists in placing a sign on a door or piece of furniture to prevent access to third parties during investigative operations, in particular to prevent evidence from being damaged or destroyed. Article 20 of Regulation No 1/2003 thus allows officials authorized by the Commission to affix seals to all business premises and books or other records for the duration of the inspection and to the extent necessary for the purposes of the inspection. The breaking of  a seal by the undertaking is punishable by a fine of up to 1% of the total turnover in the preceding business year.