Legislation

The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, adopted in Vienna on 19 December 1988 forms the basis for precursor chemical legislation. Article 12 of the convention requires appropriate measures to be taken to prevent diversion of substances used in the illegal manufacture of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and co-operation and communication among stakeholders involved.

The European Union implements the 1988 UN Convention through regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council. Currently the pieces of legislation governing scheduled substances in Europe are listed in the table below.

These regulations set out the procedures, working arrangements and limits for economic operators trading in scheduled substances. The provisions include rules for obtaining and checking licences and registrations, statutory reporting obligations, import and export procedures, and the identification of anomalies or irregularities.

European legislation 

For the full text of the legislation listed below, see the European Commission's webpage. 

Legislation

Scope

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No. 2020/1737 of 14 July 2020

Amends Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 to include new drug precursors in the list of scheduled substances

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/729 of 26 February 2018

Amends Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 as regards the inclusion of certain drug precursors in the list of scheduled substances

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1443 of 29 June 2016

Amends Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 as regards the inclusion of certain drug precursors in the list of scheduled substances

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 2015/1013 of 25 June 2015

Lays down rules for Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and for Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No. 2015/1011 of 24 April 2015

Supplements Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005, and repeals Commission Regulation (EC) No 1277/2005

Regulation (EU) No. 1259/2013 of 20 November 2013

Amends Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Union and third countries in drug precursors

Regulation (EU) No. 1258/2013 of 20 November 2013

Amends numerous articles in Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 on drug precursors

Council Regulation (EC) No. 111/2005 of 22 December 2004

Regulates trade in precursor chemicals between the European Union and third countries 

Regulation (EC) No. 273/2004 of 11 February 2004

Regulates trade in precursor chemicals between the European Union member states

 

National legislation

Legislation

Scope

S.I. No. 558/2009 – European Communities (Control of Drug Precursors) Regulations 2009 - see full text of legislation

Implementing provisions for both Regulation (EC) No. 273/2004 (as amended) and Council Regulation (EC) No. 111/2005 (as amended)

National legislation

Scope

S.I. No. 558/2009 – European Communities (Control of Drug Precursors) Regulations 2009

 

Implementing provisions for both Regulation (EC) No. 273/2004 (as amended) & Council Regulation (EC) No. 111/2005 (as amended)

 

National legislation

Scope

S.I. No. 558/2009 – European Communities (Control of Drug Precursors) Regulations 2009

 

Implementing provisions for both Regulation (EC) No. 273/2004 (as amended) & Council Regulation (EC) No. 111/2005 (as amended)

 

 

Terms used in the legislation 

For the purpose of the regulations the following definitions apply:

  • Scheduled substance means any substance listed in the categories of these regulations, including mixtures and natural products containing such substances it excludes:
    • Medicinal products as defined by Directive 2001/83/EC and veterinary medicinal products as defined by Directive 2001/82/EC except medicinal products and veterinary medicinal products listed in the Annex.
    • Pharmaceutical preparations, mixtures, natural products and other preparations containing scheduled substances that are compounded in such a way that they cannot be easily used or extracted by readily applicable or economically viable means.

  • Operator means any natural or legal person engaged in the placing on the market of scheduled substances.
  • Placing on the market as defined by Regulation (EU) No 1258/2013 means any supply, whether in return for payment or free of charge of scheduled substances in the European Union; or the, storage, manufacture, production, processing, trade, distribution or brokering of these substances for the purpose of supply in the Union.
  • User as defined by Regulation (EC) No 1258/2013 means a natural or legal person other than an operator who possesses a scheduled substance and is engaged in the processing, formulation, consumption, storage, keeping treatment, filling into containers, transfer from one container to another, mixing, transformation or any other utilisation of scheduled substances. A “user” defines persons possessing scheduled substances for purposes other than placing them on the market.
  • Intermediary activities as defined by Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 (as amended) means any activity to arrange purchase and sale or supply of these precursor chemicals carried out to obtain agreement between two parties or to do so through acting on behalf of at least one of these parties without taking these substances into its possession or taking control of the carrying out of such transaction. This definition shall also include any activity involving purchase and sale or supply without the precursor chemicals being introduced into the customs territory of the Union.
  • Non-scheduled substance means any substance which, although not listed in Annex I, is identified as having been used for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.