Strengere EU-douanecontrole op invoer van chemische grondstoffen voor drugsproductie (en)

donderdag 25 november 2004

The European Commission has welcomed the political agreement reached by the Council of Ministers on a proposal for a Regulation to strengthen controls on the import of the chemicals that are used to manufacture illicit narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, in particular ecstasy. The Regulation would introduce EU-wide procedures for individual import authorisations to allow the monitoring of consignments imported into the European Union. The existing legislation in this area must be modernised because in recent years the Community has become one of the world's leading ecstasy manufacturers and exporters, using imported drug precursors. One litre of some of these key drug precursor chemicals can produce drugs with a street value of more than €600,000.

"I welcome the Council's political agreement on the Commission proposal. The measure aimsto cut off supplies of the essential raw materials that criminals need to produce illicit and dangerous drugs" commented Taxation and Customs Commissioner Lázló Kovács. "Once adopted the Regulation would give Member States greater powers to combat the serious drugs problems that we currently face in the EU, particularly when it comes to ecstasy production."

The proposed Regulation would introduce controls on the import of the precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit synthetic drugs, in particular amphetamine type stimulants such as ecstasy. Many of these chemicals are used for a range of legitimate purposes. The Regulation strikes a balance between the need to stifle illicit drug production and the requirements of the chemical and other industries to have access to these chemicals where required for legitimate production purposes. These chemicals are generally not available in the Community and hence have to be imported. However, at present there are no Community-wide control measures applicable to their import. The Regulation would, in particular:

  • introduce import authorisation requirements for listed drug precursors
  • require all importers to document and label the drug precursors
  • require all importers to be licensed
  • ensure that all consignments of drug precursors would be monitored within the Community
  • strengthen controls at export
  • apply particular Community-wide controls in areas where there are increased risks of diversion, such as transhipment and free zones.

Procedures and requirements would be targeted on the most sensitive drug precursors, so as to reduce excessive administrative burdens for legitimate importers.

Background

The existing legislation in this field, Regulation 3677/90, which the proposed Regulation would replace, applies controls to exports of precursors used in the manufacture of heroin and cocaine, since at the time that legislation was adopted the EU was a major exporter of precursors as well as being an importer of illicitly manufactured drugs. More recently, however, the EU has also become a major exporter of illicitly manufactured synthetic drugs, in particular amphetamine type stimulants, and an importer of the precursors required for the manufacture of those drugs.

For further background information see

http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/publications/info_doc/customs/drugs_0902_en.pdf

The text of the political agreement on controls on imports of precursors will soon be available on the Europa internet site:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/index_en.htm