Even if the division does inspect the model, the EPO is not obliged to keep it. It is for the division to decide whether a model is to be kept by the EPO. However, as a general rule, models which would require special precautions or security measures if kept in the EPO are returned to the party.
The formalities officer is responsible for implementing the decision to keep or return the model. If the model is to be kept, the formalities officer notes this on a label on the file. If it is to be returned, the formalities officer informs the submitter that the model should be preserved in view of possible opposition or appeal proceedings and notes the date of return on the label.