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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

2013 INCSR: Chemical Controls


Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report
March 5, 2013

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2012 Trends

Chemicals play two critical roles in the production of illegal drugs: as chemical inputs for the production of synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy); and as refining agents and solvents for processing plant-based materials such as coca and opium poppy into drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Chemicals used in synthetic drug production are known as “precursor” chemicals because they are incorporated into the drug product and are less likely to be substituted by other chemicals. Chemicals used to refine and process plant-based drugs are referred to as “essential” chemicals and can be readily replaced by other chemicals with similar properties. Both sets of chemicals are often referred to as “precursor” chemicals and for brevity this term is used interchangeably for both categories throughout this report.  

Chemical control challenges have shifted significantly in recent years. Twenty-five years ago government authorities envisaged a system of regulation for chemicals used in the production of illicit drugs that would work along with the control systems for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under the United Nations treaties. Specifically, the chemical control system was developed to include a list of chemicals appended to the 1988 UN Convention with the monitoring and reporting requirements under the auspices of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). Since 2006, States Parties to the 1988 Convention have been reporting exports and imports of these licit chemicals on a specific basis to the INCB through an online Pre-Export Notification System (PENS). In March 2012 the INCB expanded its online capabilities at the request of UN Members to allow participants to notify the Board of suspicious or new shipments under a Precursor Incident Communications System (PICS).  

Success in monitoring and tracking both listed chemicals and non-scheduled chemicals used in illicit production has led to significant changes in illicit drug production. As a result, drug traffickers continued in 2012 to seek new sources, methods, and trafficking opportunities to stay head of enforcement authorities, rules, and regulations. Increasingly, they are now using chemicals that are not listed under the convention and preying on countries that have limited enforcement and regulatory systems. In response, international efforts will need to focus on increased voluntary identification and reporting of possible substitute precursor chemicals; initiatives to track, seize and safely dispose of diverted chemicals; and further engagement with the private sector in supporting such voluntary efforts. Regional and multilateral cooperative efforts continue to be critical in this regard.  

Methamphetamine. In 2012, production of methamphetamine continued to rise in the Western Hemisphere, in Europe, in Asia, and for the first time significantly in Africa. In 2012, the United States worked with international partners to prevent diversion of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine—the two most common chemicals used to produce methamphetamine—into illicit channels. Greater use of the INCB’s PENS has led to tracing and monitoring of licit bulk shipments of these chemicals and thereby preventing diversion. Operations conducted under Project Prism—an intergovernmental task force coordinated by the INCB—have aided law enforcement authorities in their efforts to understand the sources and methods of new smuggling trends. Two years ago, an operation initiated under Project Prism revealed increased use of phenylacetic acid (PAA) and pharmaceutical preparations containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine in methamphetamine production. Suspicious PAA shipments identified by this task force were destined for Mexico, with the leading sources shifting from China to India. The shift may be a result of new legislative and administrative efforts in China to strengthen controls over precursors, though many criminal investigations in 2012 indicated that China remained a major source of such precursors.  

In recent years, Mexico and some Central American countries tightened legislative and administrative controls on methamphetamine precursor chemicals and finished medicines containing them, leading to increased seizures, arrests, and stopped suspicious shipments. In 2011, several countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, expanded their control measures to cover derivatives of phenylacetic acid. However, in 2012 such seizures appeared to drop off and authorities now believe that traffickers in the Americas are turning to non-scheduled precursor chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine through alternative methods. In Europe, criminal organizations are increasingly using alpha-Phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN), a non-scheduled precursor chemical pre-precursor to manufacture methamphetamine. Multi-ton shipments of APAAN from China were seized in the Netherlands in 2012. 

Recent INCB operations under Project Prism also indicate that methamphetamine traffickers are increasingly procuring chemicals through and shifting production to regions with little experience with chemical control. According to numerous sources, Mexican-based criminal groups are establishing operations and contacts in Central and South America, specifically Argentina, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, to purchase the chemicals needed to manufacture methamphetamine. Both Guatemalan and Belizean authorities have interdicted significant chemical shipments intended for methamphetamine production. Traffickers also appeared to be targeting West African nations in a more substantial way. West Africa is now a source of methamphetamine destined for Asia, and trafficking through East Africa has been reported. Pakistan has also emerged as a transit country, and trafficking of precursor chemicals from Bangladesh continues. Iranian methamphetamine-trafficking networks have become leading suppliers to markets across the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.  

Heroin. In 2012, the United States continued cooperative efforts to target the precursor chemicals used to produce heroin, primarily acetic anhydride. These efforts included increased use of the INCB’s PENS and the new PICS systems as well as continued support for INCB-led operations. The Government of Afghanistan informed the INCB that there is no legitimate use for acetic anhydride in Afghanistan and now seeks to block all importsof the substance. Authorities believe that acetic anhydride is diverted primarily from neighboring countries to Afghanistan for heroin production. Afghanistan’s neighbors and other international partners continue to work with Afghanistan to address this issue. As with methamphetamine precursors, traffickers are increasingly smuggling acetic anhydride through new routes in Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as illegally diverting supplies from legitimate trade.  

In 2012, the United States joined with other nations to promote the implementation of Security Council resolution 1817/2008 calling for more effective efforts to target acetic anhydride diversion smuggling into Afghanistan. The United States also participated with 58 other countries in the Paris Pact meetings on chemical control that focus on ways to prevent smuggling and diversion of acetic anhydride. 

Cocaine. Potassium permanganate, an oxidizer, is the primary precursor chemical used in producing cocaine, used to remove the impurities from cocaine base. It has many legitimate industrial uses, including waste water treatment, disinfecting, and deodorizing. Potassium permanganate also can be combined with pseudoephedrine to produce methcathinone, a synthetic stimulant that is also a controlled substance.  

In South America, the INCB Project Cohesion Task Force focuses on monitoring the imports of potassium permanganate to cocaine processing areas. Developing an effective multilateral effort focused on potassium permanganate has proved difficult because of the vast licit uses of this chemical. Additionally, authorities now believe that increased reporting of licit shipments through PENS has led to recent efforts by drug trafficking organizations to divert from domestic sources in Latin American producing countries such as Colombia, or to develop alternate production methods. Alternative precursor chemicals have also been detected. The United States, the INCB and others are encouraging countries in South America to continue obtaining and sharing information on these new trends. Despite the lack of multilateral operations focusing on potassium permanganate, Colombia continues to report large numbers of seizures and has noted its concern about illicitly manufactured potassium permanganate.  

The Road Ahead

The United States continues to work with international partners to assist other countries to implement the provisions of the 1988 UN Convention, monitor those substances on the special surveillance list, and identify new substitute chemicals that can be used for illicit drug production. Development of effective chemical control regimes and legislation is critical. Additionally, it is important to develop the administrative and procedural tools to successfully identify suspicious transactions, as well as to make better use of watch lists and voluntary control mechanisms. 

Against this backdrop, the United States will continue to promote efforts through the INCB and engage the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). In the Western Hemisphere, the United States works through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS) to advance cooperation on precursor chemical controls. Guided at the policy level by CICAD Commissioners (delegates from the 34 Member States in the region), the Supply Reduction Unit of CICAD carries out a variety of initiatives in this important field, and is supported by its Experts Groups on Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, which meets annually. 

Precursors and Essential Chemicals 

Plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin require precursor chemicals for processing, and cutting off supply of these chemicals to drug trafficking organizations is critical to U.S. drug control strategy. International efforts have a longer track record in targeting the illicit diversion of the most common precursors for cocaine and heroin, potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride, respectively. Diversion of less than one percent of worldwide licit commercial use of these chemicals is required to produce the world’s supply of cocaine and heroin, and curbing supplies is an enormous challenge. 

International Regulatory Framework for Chemical Control

Preventing diversion of precursor chemicals from legitimate trade is one key goal of the 1988 UN Convention. Specifically, state parties are required under article 12 to monitor international trade in chemicals listed under Tables I and II of the Convention. Albeit a slow process, these tables are updated to account for changes in the manufacture of illicit drugs, and state parties are required to share information with one another and with INCB on international transactions. The Convention further encourages state parties to license all persons and enterprises involved in the manufacture and distribution of listed chemicals. Subsequent resolutions from the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)—the UN’s primary narcotic drug policy-making body—have provided additional guidance to states on how to implement these obligations according to specific best practices. The INCB is an independent, quasi-judicial body that monitors the implementation of the three UN international drug control conventions. The underlying strategy is to monitor the trade in drug precursors and prevent transactions to suspicious customers.  

Special Monitoring List: In 1996, the United States supported a CND resolution that added a special monitoring list of chemicals that are not included in the Convention but for which substantial evidence exists of their use in illicit drug manufacture. Reporting on these non-listed chemicals is voluntary under international law, but widely implemented under INCB supervision. The list is regularly reviewed, but it takes time to update with the newly emerging non-scheduled substances. As a result, criminals vigorously exploit delays and gaps in the listings.

Regional Bodies. The regulatory framework codified by the United Nations does not exist in isolation. Regional bodies, such as the European Union (EU) and the OAS, actively collaborated with the United States on multilateral chemical control initiatives, including CND resolutions.  

Major Chemical Source Countries and Territories

This section focuses on individual countries with large chemical manufacturing or trading industries that have significant trade with drug-producing regions and those with significant chemical commerce susceptible to diversion domestically for smuggling into neighboring drug-producing countries. Designation as a major chemical source country does not indicate a lack of adequate chemical control legislation or the ability to enforce it. Rather, it recognizes that the volume of chemical trade with drug-producing regions, or proximity to them, makes these countries the sources of the greatest quantities of chemicals liable to diversion. The United States, with its large chemical industry and extensive trade with drug-producing regions, is included on the list.  

Many other countries manufacture and trade in chemicals, but not on the same scale, or with the broad range of precursor chemicals, as the countries in this section. These two sections are broken down by region. 

The Americas 

Argentina

Argentina is one of South America‘s largest producers of precursor chemicals. Over the past several years the Government of Argentina has enhanced its precursor chemical regulatory framework and improved its port, border controls and related criminal investigations to combat precursor chemicals trafficking. Additionally, Argentina has taken measures to prepare a voluntary code of conduct for the chemical industry and now implements a federal inspection plan for entities working with controlled substances with an emphasis on precursors used to produce cocaine. 

Argentina is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has laws meeting the Convention's requirements for record keeping, import and export licensing, and the authority to suspend shipments. Argentina restricted the importation and exportation of ephedrine, both as a raw material and as an elaborated product, in 2008, resulting in a substantial decrease in legal ephedrine imports in both 2009 and 2010. The newly appointed SEDRONAR Secretary implemented several reforms to improve tracking of precursor chemical shipments and creating a Coordination Directorate to improve cooperation with the judiciary and public prosecution service to control precursor chemicals. Improved inter-ministerial cooperation would facilitate efforts to isolate shipments being diverted for illegal narcotics production

Brazil

Brazil is one of the world’s ten largest chemical producers and is the leading chemical producer in Latin America. Brazil is a Party to the 1988 UN Convention and cooperates with other countries to prevent the diversion of precursor chemicals. Brazil has established a control system for precursor chemicals, including potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride. Either product, however, can be commercialized without restriction for quantities of up to one kilogram (kg) for potassium permanganate and one liter of acetic anhydride.  

The Brazilian Federal Police (DPF) Chemical Division is the lead agency that controls and monitors chemicals via 27 DPF regional divisions and 54 satellite offices. The Chemical Division is comprised of two units; the Chemical Control Division, subordinate to the DPF Executive Directorate, and the Criminal Diversion Investigations unit which reports to the Organized Crime Division.  

The DPF uses a national system to monitor all chemical movements in the country, including imports/exports and licensing. The DPF adheres to the UN CND - Resolution 49/3 on strengthening systems for the control of precursor chemicals used in the manufacturing of synthetic drugs. Brazil reports its annual estimates of legitimate requirements for ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) through the INCB PENS. The DPF routinely uses PENS in coordination with member states to alert importing countries with details of an export transaction. Use of more than 10 grams per month of either ephedrine or pseudoephedrine must be reported. 

Canada

Canada is both a destination and transit country for precursor chemicals used to produce synthetic drugs, particularly methamphetamine and ecstasy. The Government of Canada has enhanced its efforts to prevent the diversion of precursor chemicals used in production of methamphetamine and cooperates with U.S. law enforcement authorities. However, Canada’s domestic production of methamphetamine and ecstasy continues. 

Precursor and essential chemicals found in Canada (regulated and unregulated) are primarily manufactured in China and India and then imported or smuggled into Canada. Seizures of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine continued at Canadian ports of entry in 2012, but they do not appear to be at the same levels or the bulk shipments of 2009 and 2008. However, Canadian authorities have noted for the first time significant seizures of the non-scheduled substance alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN)which is a precursor to produce both amphetamine-type stimulant and a pre-precursor to the manufacturing methamphetamine. Canadian authorities report two such seizures in 2012 netted 6.7 mt of APAAN that originated in China. Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) seizures also increased from 2008. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has launched programs to target synthetic drugs and the chemicals used to produce them. The Synthetic Drug Initiative (SDI) launched in 2009 focuses on the production and distribution of illegal synthetic drugs. ChemWatch is a partnership between Canada’s National Chemical Diversion Program and the chemical industry. 

Canada has also established controls, including requiring licenses and permits, on those chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine, ecstasy, and other drugs. Canada participates in Project Prism, the INCB-led initiative that targets amphetamine-type stimulants.  

Chile 

Chile has a large petrochemical industry engaged in the manufacturing, importation and exportation of chemical products. Despite government efforts to control the diversion of chemicals, precursors continue to be diverted from legitimate market uses in Chile for use in coca processing in Peru and Bolivia. Additionally, Chile has been a source of ephedrine for methamphetamine processing in Mexico, although no ephedrine has been seized by Chilean counterparts since 2009. The majority of chemical imports in Chile have originated from India and China. Such chemicals are primarily directed to Bolivia, Peru and Mexico. Chemicals destined for Peru and Bolivia are transported by land, while those sent to Mexico are transported by air cargo and maritime shipments. 

Chile is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has in place, in accordance with Article 12 of the Convention, a chemical control regime to preventing diversion. Chile routinely submits information required by the Convention. Chile has ratified the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.

Chile’s laws regulate potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride as well as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. A specialized task force within the Investigative Police investigates diversion of permanganate, acetic anhydride, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

Chile’s Ministry of Interior administers the country’s chemical control regime. A special entity within the Ministry’s Division of Studies, called the Directorate of Controlled Chemical Substances is the lead agency on precursor chemical control matters. Chilean law enforcement entities have chemical diversion units and dedicated personnel tasked with investigating chemical and pharmaceutical diversion cases. The Customs agency has a risk analysis unit which profiles suspicious imports and exports, including chemical precursors.

The Directorate of Controlled Chemical Substances within the Ministry of Interior maintains a Special Register of Controlled Chemical Handlers for the purpose of regulating chemicals. Approximately 500 companies that import, export, or manufacture chemical precursors are registered with the Directorate and maintain customer records. These firms are subject to inspections. However, the registration system is not yet well-developed, making effective monitoring of diversion difficult. Other weaknesses in Chile’s efforts to prevent diversion include the country’s cumbersome bureaucratic structure and a lack of personnel dedicated to this issue.

Mexico 

Methamphetamine production continues to increase in Mexico and importations of precursor chemicals are on the rise. Mexico does not control all chemicals listed in the 1988 UN Convention. Nonetheless, Mexican laws regulate the production and use of many of these substances, and the Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR) is responsible for enforcing chemical control laws. In 2008, Mexico outlawed imports of pseudoephedrine, except hospital use of liquid pseudoephedrine. Ephedrine imports are also banned. Mexico has enhanced regulatory laws on the importation of precursor chemicals, including regulations for imports of phenylacetic acid, its salts, and esters and derivatives, methylamine, hydriodic acid, and red phosphorous. Imports of both precursor and essential chemicals are also limited by law to two of 19 Mexican ports of entry. Mexico does not, however, regulate imports and exports of potassium permanganate or acetic anhydride. 

Mexico participates in international mechanisms to control precursors and has a strong bilateral working relationship with the United States. Mexico participates in the National Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Initiative conference and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the United States to address precursor chemicals and clandestine laboratories in 2012. The two governments also cooperate to convey best practices to Central American countries affected by the trafficking of precursor chemicals.  

Mexico has several major chemical manufacturing and trade industries that produce, import, or export most of the chemicals required for illicit drug production, including potassium permanganate, and acetic anhydride. Although Mexico-based transnational criminal organizations are major producers of methamphetamine, no pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is produced legally within the country. 

Despite legal controls, traffickers continue to smuggle these precursors into Mexico, and seizures of such chemicals have increased. Through September 2012, the Government of Mexico reported seizures of over 349 metric tons (MT) of precursor chemicals. Operations in Michoacán and Queretaro accounted for 69 percent of all precursors seized in Mexico in 2012. There was also an increase in seizures in Veracruz and Chiapas, which are transit points for precursor chemical shipments to and from Guatemala. Small quantities of acidic anhydride (200-400 liters) have also been identified at clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. 

Illegal shipments of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine destined for Mexico come primarily from China, India, and Bangladesh. Those two chemicals are also often replaced with phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) and its precursors, such as phenyl acetic acid (PAA), which enters Mexico in large quantities from China, and to a lesser degree, from suppliers in Eastern Europe and other Asian countries. Relatively large amounts of these P2P precursors were seized in 2012. As of September 2012, the Government of Mexico seized 96,237 liters of PAA and 34,778 kg of PAA in powder form, as well as 47,553 kg of methylamine, an emerging precursor used in the production of methamphetamine via the P2P method. The import, export, and trade of PAA are controlled by 2009 regulations issued by Mexico’s Health Secretariat.  

Similar to P2P, monomethylamine can be used to create ephedrine, and is therefore a key ingredient in methamphetamine manufacture in Mexico. It is also used to produce several pesticides and solvents. In 2012, three major shipments of monomethylamine were seized in Mexican ports, all of which originated from China. The largest of these was an approximate 195 MT seizurein Lazaro Cardenas; the other two major seizures in Veracruz and Manzanillo totaled 32 and 35 tons, respectively. 

The United States 

The United States manufactures and/or trades in all 23 chemicals listed in Tables I and II of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. It is a party to the 1988 UN Convention and has laws and regulations meeting its chemical control provisions.  

The basic U.S. chemical control law is the Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act of 1988. This law and subsequent chemical control amendments were all designed as amendments to U.S. C Substances Act of 1970, rather than stand-alone legislation. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is responsible for administering and enforcing them. The Department of Justice, primarily through its U.S. Attorneys Offices, handles criminal prosecutions and cases seeking civil penalties for regulatory violations. In addition to registration and record-keeping requirements, the legislation requires traders to file import/export declarations at least 15 days prior to shipment of regulated chemicals. DEA uses the 15-day period to determine if the consignee has a legitimate need for the chemical. However, if a company has an established business relationship with their foreign customer, the 15-day period is waived and same day notification is permitted for any future shipments. Diversion investigators and special agents work closely with exporting and receiving country officials in this process. If legitimate end-use cannot be determined, the legislation gives DEA the authority to stop shipments. One of the main goals of DEA’s Diversion Control Program is to ensure that U.S. registrants’ (those companies registered with DEA to handle List I chemicals) products are not diverted for illicit drug manufacture. 

U.S. legislation also requires chemical traders to report to DEA suspicious transactions such as those involving extraordinary quantities or unusual methods of payment. Close cooperation has developed between the U.S. chemical industry and DEA in the course of implementing the legislation. Criminal penalties for chemical diversion are strict; the penalties for some chemical trafficking offenses involving methamphetamine are tied to the quantities of drugs that could have been produced with the diverted chemicals. Persons and companies engaged in chemical diversion have been aggressively and routinely subjected to revocation of DEA registration as well as to civil and criminal prosecution as appropriate.  

The United States has played a leading role in the design, promotion, and implementation of cooperative multilateral chemical control initiatives. The United States also actively works with other concerned nations, and with the UNODC and the INCB to develop information sharing procedures to better control precursor chemicals, including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, the principal precursors for methamphetamine production. U.S. officials participate in the combined task force for both Project Cohesion and Project Prism. The United States has established close operational cooperation with counterparts in major chemical manufacturing and trading countries. This cooperation includes information sharing in support of chemical control programs and in the investigation of diversion attempts.  

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA) mandated that DEA establish total annual requirements for these three chemicals for the United States and provide individual import, manufacturing and procurement quotas to registered importers and manufactures that wish to conduct import and manufacturing activities with these chemicals. Since the implementation of quotas in 2008, the United States has seen decreases in assessments of importation of some of these chemicals by over 70 percent. 

Asia

Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a transit state for methamphetamine precursors such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are diverted from legitimate trade and illicitly exported from Bangladesh to countries in Central America and the Caribbean through various methods including the use of express air courier services, sea, and air cargo shipment routes. 

The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is committed to the implementation of the principles and provisions of 1988 UN Convention and regional agreements regarding control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals. Article 18 of the Constitution provides legal obligations for restriction and control of harmful narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, including precursor chemicals. The government has included 22 precursor chemicals in the Schedule of Drugs of the Narcotics Control Act to comply with the provisions of Article 12 of the 1988 UN Convention, placing them under the definition of controlled drugs. The Narcotics Control Act also allows for financial investigations and freezing of assets derived from trafficking in drugs and precursors. In 2002, the government amended the Narcotics Control Act with the provision that offenses of drugs and precursor chemicals should be investigated within 15 days and tried under the jurisdiction of Speedy Trial Court. 

The Narcotics Control Rules regulate the control, monitoring and supervision of use of precursors for industrial, scientific and medical purposes through a licensing system. Under this system, no import, export, transport, shipment, manufacture, sale, distribution, purchase, possession, storage, warehousing, or other use can be done without a license, permit or pass from the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC). Persons managing storage and transshipment of precursor chemicals are also legally accountable for any misuse, damage or diversions. Through 2012, the government has issued 111 licenses for import, 32 licenses for processing, 61 wholesale licenses, 65 retail licenses, and 55 permits for use of various types of precursor chemicals. 

Besides the DNC, the Police, Customs, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guards, and Coast Guard are also empowered to detect and intercept illegal operations regarding precursor chemicals. Bangladesh has also established District Drug Control Committees (DDCC) to monitor and coordinate activities of all agencies responsible for interdicting drugs and precursors. Bangladesh’s laws are adequate for effective control of precursors; however, the DNC lacks sufficient manpower, equipment, and training to consistently detect and interdict precursors. The number of arrests and seizures of precursor chemicals has risen dramatically since 2004. All of the seized precursors originated from India and were bound for clandestine laboratories in Eastern India and Burma. This suggests that international traffickers are using Bangladesh to smuggle precursor chemicals from Indian territories on the western border of Bangladesh to the Indian and Burmese territories on Bangladesh’s east and southeast borders.  

Bangladesh is not a manufacturer of precursor chemicals or amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). Bangladeshi authorities continue to be challenged by drug traffickers diverting precursor-based pharmaceutical preparations from the legitimate market and smuggling shipments out of the country. In response, Bangladesh has banned all preparations of pseudoephedrine in tablet form. Furthermore, though the INCB has allotted 49,000 kg of pseudoephedrine to Bangladesh for its legitimate commercial use, the government allowed import of only 16,685 kg during 2011 and is currently working to revise the quota based on a needs assessment.  

China 

China is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of precursor chemicals with approximately 160,000 precursor chemical companies and production facilities. In 2011, China was the fourth largest exporter of pseudoephedrine with 65,000 kg in exports. China‘s close proximity to key drug production hubs in the Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia) and the Golden Crescent (Southwest Asia), its relatively weak regulatory oversight of the vast precursor chemical industry, as well as its numerous coastal cities with large precursor chemical factories and modern port facilities, make it an ideal source for precursor chemicals worldwide. Regulatory oversight of the precursor chemical industry is further complicated and challenged by the unknown number of unregistered or illegal precursor chemical factories operating in China. 

Chinese-produced precursor chemicals are currently in high demand for illicit drug production by transnational criminal organizations. China is a source country for potassium permanganate; acetic anhydride ; ephedrine and pseudoephedrine; and methylamine and phenylacetic acid and related chemicals (also used to produce methamphetamine). The diversion of precursor chemicals for the illicit production of drugs remains a problem within China. The Government of China reports that, in 2011, Chinese law enforcement officials investigated 414 precursor chemical cases that resulted in the seizure of approximately 1,834 MT of precursor chemicals. Seventy-five of these cases involved illicit smuggling activities via the concealment of precursor chemicals in other declared products, while 339 cases consisted of diversion activities that involved the mislabeling or false declaration of precursor chemicals. China also issued 696 Pre-Export Notifications (PENS) involving 51 countries. As a result, 720 MT of precursor chemicals from 10 shipments were suspended, and 130,000 MT successfully passed international checks. Criminal investigations and law enforcement authorities from Europe, Latin America and elsewhere in Asia continue to report that large-scale illicit methamphetamine producers in Asia and Mexico use Chinese-produced ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.  

China controls all chemicals included in the 1988 UN Convention with the exception of PAA. Although China regulates the import and export of precursor chemicals covered by the 1988 UN Convention, it does not currently control, or notify other countries on the export of, non-regulated chemicals known as “pre-precursors.” As noted above, these pre-precursors, such as variants of PAA, are now the primary chemicals employed in the manufacture of methamphetamine consumed in the United States. China has recognized this weakness in its existing chemical control law and is drafting new legislation to address the export of these currently unregulated chemicals. That new legislation is still pending approval.  

India

India is one of the world's largest manufacturers of precursor chemicals, including acetic anhydride, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. in 2011 India was also the top exporter of both ephedrine (95,000 kg) and pseudoephedrine (1,658,000 kg). India does not have controls on all the chemicals listed in the Convention. Criminal organizations continue to target India as a source of precursor of amphetamine-type stimulants, in particular ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act requires that every manufacturer, importer, exporter, seller and user of acetic anhydride, N-acetyl anthracitic acid, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and anthracitic acid maintain records and file returns with the Narcotics Control Bureau. Any discrepancies must be reported to the Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau. Exports of the precursors, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, require a “No Objection” Certificate from the Narcotics Commissioner, who issues a Pre-Export Notification to the Competent Authority in the importing country and to the INCB. India has also been an active participant in Project Prism, which targets precursors to manufacture amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). However, despite its vigorous efforts to control precursor chemicals, India has been identified in a number of cases as the source of diverted precursor chemicals for a range of narcotic drugs, including methamphetamine and heroin.  

India’s large pharmaceutical industry manufactures narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. India is also a major producer of precursor chemicals, including acetic anhydride (AA), ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine. India issues pre-export notifications for export of precursors using the INCB’s PENS online system, and has a licensing regime to control pharmaceutical products.  

In March 2010, India established a new procedure which centralized the allocation of quotas for the production of narcotic drugs. The Narcotics Commission of India, Central Bureau of Narcotics, now holds the authority to allocate quotas to manufacturers and collect the data required by the INCB.  

Singapore

In 2011, Singapore’s exports and imports of both ephedrine and pseudoephedrine increased. Singapore was ranked the third largest exporter of ephedrine and the fourth largest importer of ephedrine (ranked first in 2009). Authorities indicate that the amounts not re-exported are used primarily by the domestic pharmaceutical industry and by the large number of regional pharmaceutical companies served by Singapore’s largest port. Singapore is one of the largest distributors of acetic anhydride in Asia. Used in film processing and the manufacture of plastics, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals, acetic anhydride is also the primary acetylating agent for heroin.

Precursor chemicals including ephedrine transit Singapore from India and Bangladesh en route to destinations such as Mexico. One of the busiest transshipment ports in the world, Singapore does not screen containerized shipments unless they enter its customs territory. In-transit or transshipment cargo shipped on a through bill of lading and which do not have a Singapore consignee involved in the shipment are not reported to Government of Singapore Authorities (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Customs). Other transshipments do require inward/outward permits; however, reporting requirements of up to 10 days after arrival and three days prior to departure and very efficient cargo processing allow much cargo to move before being reported.

Singapore controls precursor chemicals, including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, in accordance with the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Authorities will not authorize imports of precursors before issuing a "No Objection" letter in response to the exporting country’s pre-export notification. Pre-export notifications are issued on all exports. The Government of Singapore conducts site visits on companies dealing with controlled chemicals to ensure awareness of the requirements and overall compliance. 

Singapore participates in a multilateral precursor chemical control programs, including Projects Cohesion and Prism, and works closely with the USG. Singapore controls precursor chemicals, including pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, in accordance with the 1988 UN Drug Convention provisions, and accordingly tracks exports and works closely with industry officials.  

The Republic of Korea

In 2011, South Korea was the top importer of ephedrine and the fourth largest importer of pseudoephedrine. With one of the most developed commercial infrastructures in the region, the Republic of Korea (ROK) is an attractive location for criminals to obtain precursor chemicals. Precursor chemicals used for the manufacture of illicit drugs, such as acetic anhydride (AA), phenylacetic acid (PAA) and ephedrine, are imported from the United States, Japan, India and China and are then either resold and transshipped to other countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Mexico. As of 2011, 30 precursor chemicals were controlled by Korean authorities.  

Both the Korea Customs Service (KCS) and the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) participate in the INCB’s Projects Cohesion and Prism and DICE. In this role, they closely monitor imports and exports of precursor chemicals, particularly acetic anhydride. Korean law enforcement authorities also cooperate with Southeast Asian nations to verify documents and confirm the existence of importing businesses and send representatives to the region to investigate. In April 2011, the National Assembly passed a new law that requires manufacturers and exporters of precursor chemicals to register with the government and provides for education to Korean businesses to prevent them from unknowingly exporting such chemicals to fraudulent importers. Implementation of the new law is a critical next step. South Korean authorities work closely with the U.S. authorities to track suspect shipments. 

Many dual-use precursor chemicals, including acetone, toluene, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, are imported into South Korea and then exported, both legally and illegally. Acetic anhydride (AA) remains the chemical of greatest concern. All imported AA is either sold domestically for legitimate use, or is diverted and smuggled to the Middle East by trafficking organizations. However, a recent trend includes the transshipment of PAA for the production of methamphetamine in Mexico.

Taiwan

In 2011, Taiwan was the third largest importer of ephedrine and ranked as the third largest exporter of pseudoephedrine. Taiwan was also ranked the fourth largest importer of ephedrine in 2011. Taiwan law enforcement has long recognized that certain Taiwan-based chemical companies divert chemicals that may be used to manufacture illicit substances in other countries. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industrial Development Bureau serves as the regulatory agency for chemicals. Licensing is not required for the trade of these substances, but there are reporting requirements to prevent diversion.

Taiwan does not have control regulations for the trade of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine over-the-counter pharmaceutical preparations. However, companies engaging in their import/export must register their transactions with the Department of Health, which may elect to examine relevant shipping records. Taiwan does have control regulations for the export and import of bulk ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. In 2011, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs added eight new precursor chemicals to the control list. In 2012, Taiwan began enforcing a 2009 law that requires the Department of Health to report to the Ministry of Justice Investigations Bureau (MJIB) any unusual or excessive sales of cold medicines, which has resulted in a reduction of cold medicine sales. New rules include restrictions on cold medicines containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. Law enforcement operations targeting illegal production of amphetamines, scrutiny of licit ephedrine production and stepped up law enforcement surveillance of drug smuggling routes has significantly reduced the precursor chemicals diversion and smuggling. Taiwan's law enforcement agencies work closely with U.S. law enforcement officials.

Thailand 

Precursor chemicals are not produced in Thailand, but the government imports chemicals in bulk for licit medical and industrial purposes. However, Thai officials are concerned by a dramatic increase in pseudoephedrine diversion. According to Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), 961.2 kg of pseudoephedrine were seized in Thailand in 2011 and 141.7 kg were seized in the first half of 2012. Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) found 87 million tablets—most likely from South Korea—were smuggled by air into Thailand on nine occasions. Three Thailand-based companies are under investigation for pseudoephedrine imports. 

Limited quantities of certain chemicals, like acetic anhydride, transit Thailand to laboratories in Burma. Most precursor chemicals and substances that transit Thailand originate in Indonesia or Malaysia. Acetic anhydride is produced in Indonesia while other chemicals are brokered through Indonesian chemical houses and transported through Malaysia into Thailand.

Thailand has laws in place to control precursor chemicals, including the Psychotropic Substances Act of 1975 which places drugs and chemicals into four schedules similar to the U.S. drug schedules. Pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are Type II controlled drugs. To prevent diversion of precursors and essential chemicals from legitimate industry, the Precursor Chemical Control Committee was established in 1993. The ONCB is the principal Thai law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing the laws against the illicit diversion of prohibited chemicals.

In August 2011, the Thai Ministry of Health and the Thai Food and Drug Administration announced new controls on over-the-counter cold preparations starting in September 2011. Cold preparations containing pseudoephedrine are now declared as prescription drugs to prevent diversion for methamphetamine production. In May 2012 the Thai government took further steps when the Thai Food and Drug Administration announced the ban on the sale of pseudoephedrine tablets at local pharmacies. The May 4, 2012, law includes penalties for possession of pseudoephedrine tablets (less than five grams) that include one to five year imprisonment and fines. Possession of quantities of more than five grams of pseudoephedrine carry a penalty of five to twenty years imprisonment and heavier fines.

Middle East

Iraq 

In its 2011 report on precursors, the INCB urged Iraq to investigate and verify the credentials of importers, brokers, and individual end users of products containing 1-phenyl-2-propanone (P-2-P) (a precursor for crystal methamphetamine). According to the INCB, Iraq now prohibits the importation of P-2-P and products containing P-2-P. Nonetheless, attempts to import precursor chemicals and traffic them through Iraq continue. The most common chemicals trafficked through Iraq are ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and acetic anhydride (a precursor for heroin), and Iraq requires licenses to import them. Iraq does not have an active commercial sector manufacturing or trading in precursor chemicals. Iraq has taken steps to implement UN CND Resolution 49/3 of the 2006 session, and provides the INCB its estimated legitimate requirements for the following: ephedrine; pseudoephedrine; P-2-P; and 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone; and their preparations. Those estimates have remained the same level for the past few years. Iraq has registered to use INCB’s Pre-Export Notification Online system. Border guards and law enforcement are becoming aware of the trafficking of precursor chemicals, and have shown interest in preventing their diversion. However, Iraq needs to update drug laws to address precursor chemicals and stop their diversion to illicit use.  

Europe

Chemical diversion control within the European Union (EU) is regulated by EU regulations binding on all 27 Member States. The regulations are updated regularly and the Commission currently has two legislative proposals that the Council and Parliament are discussing. The first proposal strengthens Customs controls on two drug precursors, namely ephedrine and pseudoephedrine; the second proposal tightens the rules for companies in the EU using acetic anhydride, which is used in the manufacture of heroin. The EU regulations meet the chemical control provisions of the 1988 UN Convention, including provisions for record-keeping on transactions in controlled chemicals, a system of permits or declarations for exports and imports of regulated chemicals, and authority for governments to suspend chemical shipments. The EU regulations are directly applicable in all Member States. Only a few aspects require further implementation through national legislation, such as law enforcement powers and sanctions. 

The EU regulations govern the regulatory aspects of chemical diversion control and set up common risk management rules to counter diversion at the EU’s borders. Member states are responsible for investigating and prosecuting violators of national laws and creating regulations necessary for implementing the EU regulations.  

The U.S.-EU Chemical Control Agreement, signed May 28, 1997, is the formal basis for U.S. cooperation with the European Commission and EU Member States in chemical control through enhanced regulatory cooperation and mutual assistance. The agreement calls for annual meetings of a Joint Chemical Working Group to review implementation of the agreement and to coordinate positions in other areas. The annual meeting coordinates national or joint positions on chemical control matters before larger multilateral fora, including the CND. 

Bilateral chemical control cooperation continues between the United States and EU member states. Many states participate in voluntary initiatives such as Project Cohesion and Project Prism. In 2007, the EU established guidelines for private sector operators involved in trading in precursor chemicals, with a view to offering practical guidance on the implementation of the main provisions of EU legislation on precursor chemicals, in particular the prevention of illegal diversion.  

Germany and the Netherlands, with large chemical manufacturing or trading sectors and significant trade with drug-producing areas, are considered the major European source countries and points of departure for exported precursor chemicals. Other European countries have important chemical industries, but the level of chemical trade with drug-producing areas is not as large and broad-scale as these countries. Belgium and the United Kingdom are also included this year because of their large exports of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.  

Belgium

Belgium is not a major producer of illicit drugs or chemical precursors used for the production of illicit drugs. Belgium was the third largest importer of pseudoephedrine in 2011 with 45,000 kg in exports. Belgium has a substantial pharmaceutical product sector which manufactures ephedrine and pseudoephedrine for licit products to a very limited extent. Belgium requires and enforces strong reporting requirements for the import and export of precursor chemicals (bulk pseudoephedrine/ephedrine). However, shipments of pharmaceutical “preparations” containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are only controlled on a regulatory level by the Belgian Ministry of Safety and Public Health. Belgium is not a major producer of chemical precursors used for the production of illicit drugs and the country manufactures methamphetamine precursors for licit products to a very limited extent.  

While usually not a final destination for international shipments of precursors, Belgium has surfaced as a transit zone for significant quantities of precursor chemicals including ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, safrole oil and BMK and the pre-precursor alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN). Belgium and other Western European countries have been used as transshipment points for ephedrine and other methamphetamine precursors. The illicit ephedrine diversion market is mainly controlled by Mexican traffickers who purchase both legal (i.e., cold medicine and dietary supplements) and illegal ephedrine, and ship it to Mexico, where it is used to produce methamphetamine for distribution in the United States. 

In instances where precursor diversion for drug manufacturing purposes was suspected, Belgian authorities have executed International Controlled Deliveries (ICDs) or seized the shipments when the ICD is not possible. The United States continues to coordinate with Belgian authorities to identify and investigate both suppliers and shippers of precursor chemicals.  

Germany

Germany continues to be a leading manufacturer of licit pharmaceuticals and chemicals. In 2011, Germany was the second largest exporter of ephedrine with 63,000 kg and of pseudoephedrine with 475,000 kg. Most of the 23 scheduled substances under international control as listed in Tables I and II of the 1988 UN Drug Convention and other chemicals, which are used for the illicit production of narcotic drugs, are manufactured and/or sold by the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Germany’s National Precursor Monitoring Act complements EU regulations. Germany has a highly developed chemical sector which is tightly controlled through a combination of national and EU regulations, law enforcement action, and voluntary industry compliance. Cooperation between the chemical/pharmaceutical industry, merchants, and German authorities is a key element in Germany‘s chemical control strategy. Germany works closely with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and is an active participant in chemical control initiatives led by the INCB, including Project Prism and Project Cohesion. The United States works closely with Germany‘s chemical regulatory agency, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, on chemical control issues and exchanges information bilaterally to promote transnational chemical control initiatives. German agencies cooperate closely with their U.S. counterparts to identify and stop chemical precursor diversion.  

The Netherlands 

The Netherlands has a large chemical industry with large chemical storage facilities, and Rotterdam serves as a major chemical shipping port. However, the Netherlands has strong legislation and regulatory controls and the police force tracks domestic shipments and works closely with its international partners. Trade in precursor chemicals is governed by the 1995 Act to Prevent Abuse of Chemical Substances (WVMC). The law seeks to prevent the diversion of legal chemicals into the illegal sector. Production of synthetics is significant in the Netherlands, and recent trends show an increase in new types of precursors and pre-precursors to circumvent national and international legislation. Alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN) is used in amphetamine production and acetic anhydride is used as a pre-precursor for phenyl-2-propanone (BMK). Safrole continues to be used as a pre-precursor for piperony methyl ketone (PMK) and its increased availability has been attributed to an increase in MDMA production. 

The Financial Investigation Service (FIOD) of the Ministry of Finance is responsible for law enforcement efforts targeting precursors and Customs monitors trade in chemical. The chemical industry is legally obliged to report suspicious transactions. The Netherlands abides by all EU Regulations for drug precursors. The Prosecutor’s Office has strengthened cooperation with countries playing an important role in precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of ecstasy. The Netherlands signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China concerning chemical precursor investigations. The Netherlands is an active participant in the INCB/project Prism taskforce and provides the INCB annual estimates of legitimate requirements. The Dutch continue to work closely with the United States on precursor chemical controls and investigations. In April 2009, the Netherlands established a separate Expertise Center on Synthetic Drugs and Precursors (ESDP) and a Precursors Taskforce.

The United Kingdom 

In 2011 the United Kingdom (UK) continued as the fifth largest worldwide exporter of ephedrine. The UK strictly enforces national precursor chemical legislation in compliance with EU regulations and is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. In 2008, the Controlled Drugs Regulations (Drug Precursors) (Intra and External Community Trade) were implemented, bringing UK law in line with preexisting EU regulations. Licensing and reporting obligations are requirements for those that engage in commerce of listed substances, and failure to comply with these obligations is a criminal offense. The Home Office Drug Licensing and Compliance Unit is the regulatory body for precursor chemical control in the UK. However, the Specialized Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and the police have the responsibility to investigate suspicious transactions. Revenue and Customs monitors imports and exports of listed chemicals. As of October 2011, the UK Home Office reported a licit domestic need for 10,500 kg of ephedrine, 12,850 kg of pseudoephedrine, and 29,840 kg of preparations of these chemicals. US and UK law enforcement continue to exchange information and training on the methamphetamine threat. In 2011, several small clandestine methamphetamine laboratories were seized in the UK.  

Significant Illicit Drug Manufacturing Countries

This section is also broken down by region and focuses on illicit drug manufacturing countries, their chemical control policies and efforts.  

Asia

Afghanistan

Afghanistan does not have a domestic chemical industry or a legitimate use for acetic anhydride (AA) and consequently has banned all imports and exports of AA. The principal illicit sources are believed to be China, South Korea, Europe, the Central Asian states, and India. Re-packaging and false labeling often hide the identity of the shipper. Limited police and administrative capacity has hampered efforts to interdict precursor substances and processing equipment and Afghan heroin conversion laboratories tend to be small operations, making the task of control and investigative authorities more difficult. In the last 12 months, Afghan and Coalition Forces seized 5,000 liters of liquid precursors.

Afghanistan has an export/import regime for all 23 substances under international control listed in the 1988 UN Convention. Afghanistan’s multi-agency body that includes the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) and Department of Customs is responsible for tracking shipments. Afghanistan’s limited administrative and regulatory infrastructure has inhibited its ability to comply with the Convention‘s record keeping and other requirements. However, the CNPA has established a Precursor Control Unit within the Intelligence Department that works closely with the United Nations and is beginning to establish cooperative efforts with other countries in the region. 

Burma

The illicit production and export of synthetic drugs in Burma continues, requiring smuggling or diversion of significant quantities of precursor chemicals. Burma does not have a significant chemical industry and does not manufacture ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or acetic anhydride used in synthetic drug manufacture. Organized criminal syndicates smuggle these precursor chemicals into Burma through the extremely porous and difficult to police borders shared with Bangladesh, China, Laos, India and Thailand. The precursors are then transported to heroin refineries and amphetamine-type-stimulant (ATS) laboratories primarily located in regions of Shan State which are under the control of armed militia groups or in other areas that are lightly policed.  

In 2012, Burmese authorities continued to fail to control the illicit import and diversion of precursor chemicals for use in production of illegal narcotics. The Burmese police made significant precursor seizures in government controlled areas such as Mandalay, Burma’s main distribution center for precursor chemicals. However, Burmese authorities have not made significant efforts to stem the illicit influx of chemicals from border areas where they have minimal controls. Between January and September 2012, Burmese authorities seized 606 liters of liquid chemicals, including acetic anhydride. (Government statistics do not differentiate between precursor chemicals). The Government of Burma has not provided estimates on the size of its licit domestic market for ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, though knowledgeable sources believe that the entire pharmaceutical industry in Burma earns less than $200 million in revenue.  

Official seizure statistics between January and September 2012 related to ATS production included approximately 5,620 kg of pseudoephedrine, 322 kg of ephedrine, and 1,441 kg of caffeine powder. Burmese police also seized 15.97 million ATS tablets and 100 kg of crystal methamphetamine during the same reporting period. Burma is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, but has not yet instituted laws that meet all UN chemical control provisions. In 1998, Burma established a Precursor Chemical Control Committee responsible for monitoring, supervising, and coordinating the sale, use, manufacture and transportation of imported chemicals. In 2002, the Committee identified 25 substances as precursor chemicals, and prohibited their import, sale or use in Burma.  

Indonesia

Indonesia was the fifth largest importer of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in 2011. Imports of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine pose significant challenges for Indonesia. While Indonesia’s growing population of close to 240 million warrants a large demand for cough and flu medicines, authorities estimate that some of these medicines and their precursors are diverted for production of methamphetamine/ecstasy. China is the primary source of licit chemicals for the Indonesian pharmaceutical industry and for chemicals used to produce illicit methamphetamines. Taiwan, India, and other Asian countries are also significant sources of licit pharmaceutical drugs diverted for use to produce amphetamine type stimulants. The 2009 National Narcotics Law gave Indonesia’s counternarcotics agency (BNN) the authority to monitor narcotics and precursor production at pharmaceutical plants, and to conduct investigations and arrests in response to precursor and narcotics violations. Although there are several laws and regulations in place regarding the import and export of precursor chemicals, and Indonesia has reorganized the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health to better control the import of precursor chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, the extent of enforcement is largely unknown.  

BNN reports that it regularly conducts unannounced visits to companies that are listed importers of precursor chemicals such as potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride. In regard to supervision of acetic anhydride, BNN cooperates closely with the Ministry of Industry. Indonesia is now utilizing the INCB’s PENS. Through the Ministry of Health, Indonesia reports its legal domestic narcotics precursor estimates annually to the INCB as recommended by CND Resolution 49/3.  

Laos 

Laos is an important transit point for Southeast Asian heroin, ATS, and precursor chemicals en route to other nations in the region. This transit drug trade involves criminal gangs with links in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the United States, as well as in other parts of Asia.  

The Laos Penal Code has several prohibitions against the import, production, and use and misuse of chemicals used for manufacturing illicit narcotics. The Ministry of Health and the Customs Department maintain controls over chemical substances. Laos has a small and nascent industrial base and the use of industrial chemicals subject to misuse for narcotics manufacture is relatively small. In 2008 the Lao National Assembly passed a drug law (Law on Drugs and Article 46 of the Penal Law) that defines prohibited substances and pharmaceuticals for medical use. In March 2009, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a “Decree” to the revised drug law to clarify criminal liability that includes a list of 32 chemical precursors which could be used for illicit purposes.  

Malaysia

Malaysia is emerging as a regional production hub for crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy. Narcotics imported to Malaysia include heroin and marijuana from the Golden Triangle area (Thailand, Burma, Laos), and other drugs such as ATS. Small quantities of cocaine are smuggled into and through Malaysia from South America. Methamphetamine, ecstasy, and ketamine, mostly from India, are smuggled through Malaysia en route to consumers in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, China, and Australia. Since 2006, Malaysia has been a location where significant quantities of crystal methamphetamine are produced. Since 2009 there have been reports of methamphetamine laboratories seized in Kuala Lumpur and in Southern Malaysia, and frequent police reports of ethnic Chinese traffickers setting up labs in Malaysia. Nigerian and Iranian drug trafficking organizations are also increasingly using Kuala Lumpur as a hub for their illegal activities. 

Latin America

Bolivia 

While Bolivia is not a major producer of chemicals, in 2012 new trends appeared to emerge in terms of cocaine production. The Chemical Substances Investigations Group (GISUQ) within the Special Counternarcotics Police Force (FELCN) is charged with locating and interdicting chemicals used in the traditional cocaine process, such as sulfuric acid, kerosene, gasoline, diesel oil and limestone. Beginning in 2011, the GISUQ found drug traffickers using new chemicals, such as isopropyl alcohol, liquid ethyl acetate and sodium bisulphate, and cement to produce cocaine. In 2012, while the GISUQ continued to find the same chemicals, Ethyl acetate was found to be used to purify cocaine into HCL. These chemicals are not among the precursor chemicals controlled under the Bolivian Counternarcotics Law. Through September 2012, the GISUQ seized 1,003 MT of solid substances and 1,602,712 liters of liquid precursor chemicals, a 9 percent decrease and 76 percent increase respectively over the same period in 2011. 

The GISUQ coordinates activities with the Directorate General of Controlled Substances (DGSC), a civilian entity under the Government of Bolivia that administrates and licenses the commercialization and transport of controlled substances listed in Bolivian counternarcotics law 1008. Per Bolivian law, unless controlled substances are found next to a cocaine lab, unlicensed transport and commercialization generates only an administrative violation, resulting in a fine and the possibility of forfeiting the merchandise if proper paperwork is not produced within a certain period of time. 

The Bolivian Government does not have control regimes for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The GISUQ, however, coordinates with the Ministry of Health to supervise and interdict illegal commercialization of these and other methamphetamine precursors.  

Colombia

Precursor chemical diversion is a serious problem in Colombia. Unlike illicit drugs, chemicals have a legitimate, and often widespread, use within Colombia. Currently, there are approximately 4,500 chemical companies in Colombia authorized to handle regulated chemicals for legitimate use. Although chemical companies must have governmental permission to import or export specific chemicals and controlled substances, the burden of proof is on the police to prove the chemicals are intended for illicit drug production.

The Colombian government has tightened chemical controls on chemicals used for coca processing as well as strengthened chemical control legislation. However, traffickers are now seeking new avenues and many of these precursors are camouflaged and clandestinely imported into Colombia. They have also been divertedby large Colombian chemical handlers whose management may have no knowledge of the illegal activities. The bulk of the diversion occurs at the second or third level of the distribution chain. Chemical traffickers and clandestine laboratories use non-controlled chemicals such as n-propyl acetate to replace controlled chemicals that are difficult to obtain. They also recycle chemicals in order to decrease the need to constantly divert them. Along with this practice, traffickers are recycling the chemical containers, making it difficult to trace their origin.

The Government of Colombia’s authority regulating chemical control is the Chemical and Narcotics Control and Compliance Section, operating under the newly created Ministry of Justice and Law.

The Government of Colombia implements tighter restrictions on precursor chemicals in certain zones known for coca processing. These restrictions include reduced numbers for production, distribution and storage of chemicals, and in some areas, complete prohibition of some chemicals. 

Colombian companies are not authorized to export ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in bulk form and all drug combination products containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine have been banned from domestic distribution. However, they can import these precursors for the manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations which can be re-exported.

The Colombian National Police Chemical Sensitive Intelligence Unit (SIU) was formed in June of 1998. The unit’s primary mission was to verify the existence of companies importing chemicals and the validity of the import permits, including those from the United States, as well as to review their compliance with chemical control regulations. This mission changed near the end of 2000 when the focus shifted to investigative work as opposed to solely regulatory inspections. In 2007, the regulatory function of the SIU was transferred to the Chemical Control and Compliance Unit (CCCU) and the SIU maintained its investigative focus. The SIU is currently comprised of 37 members and the CCCU has 27 members. The SIU has offices in four cities in Colombia (Bogota, Cali, Medellin, and Villavicencio). The CCCU is primarily based in Bogota, but travels as needed to other cities within Colombia.

The primary mission of the SIU is to target and dismantle large-scale chemical trafficking organizations that provide chemicals to cocaine, heroin, and synthetic drug producing organizations within Colombia, Panama and Mexico. The CCCU is responsible for on-site inspections and audits, verification of imports/exports, and for developing leads for criminal prosecution purposes. The SIU and the CCCU are also responsible for the multi-national chemical targeting operation Sin Fronteras (“without borders”). The SIU coordinates all operations within Colombia in association with the Colombian Military, the Judicial Police, Colombian Prosecutors office, Colombian Customs, and various other agencies.

In 2011, the Colombian government amended its chemical law making the diversion of listed chemicals a criminal act. With this amendment, the owners can be prosecuted and their companies are susceptible to forfeiture. In 2011, the Government of Colombia scheduled levamisole, which is now the most frequently used product to cut Colombian cocaine.

The Colombian National Police (CNP) primary interdiction force, the Anti-Narcotics Directorate’s (DIRAN) Jungle Commandos (Junglas) or airmobile units, are largely responsible for the significant number of cocaine HCL and coca base labs destroyed in 2012 as well as for the seizure of significant amounts of listed chemicals during the course of their operations in 2012. The Junglas seized 14 MT of solid precursors and 4.5 MT of liquid precursors. The Carabineros, or rural police, seized 69 liters of liquid precursors in 2012 and 174 MT of solid precursors. However, there has been a recent trend of labs storing precursor chemicals and HCL labs, long thought to be only located in Colombian jungles, moving into the urban centers. Investigations in 2012 have led to large scale labs in the large urban areas of Cali and Medellin.  

Peru 

Peru continues to be a major importer of precursor chemicals used in cocaine production, including acetone and sulfuric acid. Peru is also a major importer of other essential chemicals for cocaine production. Many tons of these chemicals are diverted from legitimate channels to cocaine production with a major concentration in the coca valleys. The Peruvian National Police (PNP) has identified the principal routes of precursor chemicals from Lima into the drug source areas.  

In 2012, Peruvian law enforcement reported seizures of hydrochloric acid, acetone and calcium oxide, totaling 640 MT. The PNP Chemical Investigations Unit (DEPCIQ) continued its successful chemical enforcement and regulatory operations, leading to the seizure of significant quantities of precursor chemicals, including 55.1 MT of acetone, 103.5 MT of hydrochloric acid/muriatic acid, and 51.2 MT of sulfuric acid. The counternarcotics police (DIRANDRO) continued Operation Chemical Choke, a bilateral chemical control program that targets acetone, hydrochloric, and sulfuric acid through a specialized enforcement/intelligence unit of PNP officers. In 2012, Operation Chemical Choke targeted those organizations that divert these chemicals to cocaine production laboratories located near coca growing areas. The results included the arrests of several chemical traffickers and the seizure of 21.2 MT of acetone; 10.3 MT of hydrochloric acid, and 12.2 MT of sulfuric acid. In 2012, seizures of potassium permanganate increased to 3 MT from 2 MT in 2011.  

Peruvian law enforcement also conducted chemical enforcement operations with neighboring countries and participated in enforcement strategy conferences to address chemical diversion. Peru was a major participant in the Operation Sin Fronteras Phase III held in Santiago, Chile. In 2012, Peru’s efforts in Operation Sin Fronteras resulted in the seizure of 104 MT of sulfuric, acetone, and hydrochloric acid, as well as several arrests. Separately, in August 2012, the PNP and Brazilian Federal Police (DPF) conducted a 21-day enforcement operation, Operation Trapecio, against cocaine trafficking organizations operating in the Tri-Border Region of Peru-Brazil-Colombia. This successful enforcement operation targeted the floating gas stations that provide gasoline for the coca leaf alkaloid extraction process. PNP and DPF seizures included 19 floating gas stations and 60,747 liters of gasoline as well as additional precursor chemicals. 

In 2012, the Government of Peru issued a legislative decree to enhance monitoring and control of chemical precursors, finished products, and machinery used to produce and transport illegal drugs. At year’s end the Government of Peru was developing regulations to implement the new legislation. The National Tax and Customs Administration (SUNAT) is responsible for monitoring precursor chemicals controls. The legislation now requires SUNAT to define authorized routes for the licit transportation of chemicals and that those transporting be tracked via GPS technology. Deviation from authorized routes may result in criminal penalties as the company/individual will be viewed as participating in the illicit trafficking of chemical precursors. 

Multilateral Efforts to Target Methamphetamine Chemicals 

Methamphetamine abuse, production and trafficking remain a significant global drug challenge. Abuse continues to expand in Asia and Europe, as well as in the United States. Moreover, continued pressure on the criminal organizations including monitoring licit chemicals in methamphetamine production as well as medical preparations containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine has forced traffickers to seek new sources, smuggling routes and production methods. For instance, following the ban on trade and use of pseudoephedrine in Mexico in 2008, Mexico-based traffickers gradually moved away from using the phosphorus-iodine production method (which uses pseudoephedrine as a precursor) to the Phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) method (which does not require pseudoephedrine). Although the pseudoephedrine-based methamphetamine typically is more potent, P2P is the primary method used in methamphetamine produced in Mexico. Additionally, methamphetamine producers have now found ways to improve the P2P methamphetamine to significantly increase potency. In Europe, traffickers have begun using alpha-Phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN) a non-scheduled substance that can be easily converted into P-2-P. Multi-ton shipments of these substances from China have begun appearing in the Netherlands. Production is also shifting and authorities have begun to see a concerted effort by criminals to expand their operations out of the reach of sophisticated law enforcement efforts or established monitoring regimes to Africa.  

To target the global challenge of methamphetamine production, diversion and trafficking, the United States continues to work in close cooperation with other nations through the United Nations and the OAS CICAD.  

Additionally, the United States has actively supported Project Prism an international initiative under the auspices of the INCB designed to assist governments in developing and implementing operating procedures to control and more effectively monitor trade in amphetamine-type stimulant precursors to prevent their diversion. The initiative allows for sharing of information and helps to identify trends in diversion, trafficking, and distribution. Under five separate operations, a total of 167 notifications have been issued regarding suspicious and/or seized shipments with over 196 MT of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine suspended, stopped, or seized as well as over 600 MT of phenylacetic acid, its esters and derivatives, preventing up to 288 MT of methamphetamine from being produced.  

INCB-led operations have been the backdrop for specific multilateral action on methamphetamine, including:

--the 2012 establishment of a new INCB-led operation Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine Intelligence Gaps in Africa (EPIG);
--a 2011 INCB-led operation focusing on phenylacetic acid and derivatives (PAAD).
--increased use of the INCB Secretariat’s PENS program to monitor licit shipments of precursor chemicals.
--support for the INCB expanded online capabilities allow participants to notify the Board of suspicious or new shipments under the Precursor Incident Communications System (PICS).  

The United States has provided law enforcement training to a variety of countries, including training in basic drug investigations, chemical control, and clandestine laboratory identification (and clean-up) training. These programs help encourage international cooperation to pursue our common anti-drug and broader geopolitical objectives with the countries of the region, as well as to undercut illegal drug producers that could eventually turn their sights on U.S. markets.  

Major Exporters and Importers of Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine (Section 722, Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA)

This section of the INCSR is in response to the CMEA Section 722 requirement for reporting on the five major importing and exporting countries of the identified chemicals. In meeting these requirements, the Department of State and DEA considered the chemicals involved and the available data on their export, import, worldwide production, and the known legitimate demand.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are the preferred chemicals for methamphetamine production, although traffickers are increasingly using substitutes or pre-precursors. Phenylpropanolamine, a third chemical listed in the CMEA, is not a methamphetamine precursor, although it can be used as an amphetamine precursor. In 2000, the FDA issued warnings concerning significant health risks associated with phenylpropanolamine. As a result phenylpropanolamine is no longer approved for human consumption. Phenylpropanolamine is still imported for veterinary medicines, and for the conversion to amphetamine for the legitimate manufacture of pharmaceutical products. Phenylpropanolamine is not a methamphetamine precursor chemical and trade and production data are not available on phenylpropanolamine. Therefore, this section provides information only on pseudoephedrine and ephedrine.

The Global Trade Atlas (GTA), compiled by Global Trade Information Services, Inc., (WWW.GTIS.COM) provides export and import data on pseudoephedrine and ephedrine collected from major trading countries. However, given the reporting cycles by participating countries, data often lags behind one year. 2011 is the most recent year with full-year data. The data, including data from the previous year, is continually revised as countries review and revise their data. GTA data is used in the tables at the end of the chapter.

Obtaining data on legitimate demand remains problematic, but it is more complete for 2011 and 2012 than in any previous years. It is still not fully sufficient to enable any accurate estimates of diversion percentages based on import data. There are significant numbers of countries which have yet to report regularly to the INCB their reasonable estimates about the trade in the end products that form the basis of legitimate demand. Many countries and regions do not report trade in ephedrine and pseudoephedrine when it is incorporated into a finished pharmaceutical product, in the form of finished dosage units such as liquids, tablets, and capsules, due to concerns that this type of information infringes on commercially sensitive information. Further challenges include governments that may not be able to ascertain this data if, for example, they do not subject pharmaceutical preparations to national control, or if a different ministry with different or less stringent means of oversight regulates preparations versus bulk chemicals.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine pharmaceutical products are not specifically listed chemicals under the 1988 UN Convention. Therefore, in the case of the reporting on licit market requirements for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the governing UN resolutions are not mandatory and only request voluntary reporting trade and demand of pharmaceutical products. Even so, the trend in this direction has been positive. Since the passage of the 2006 CND resolution sponsored by the United States, 180 countries and jurisdictions of the 183 signatories to the 1988 Convention have reported import requirements to the INCB for the bulk chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. Before 2006, only a small number of countries reported, and these rare communications were scattered and irregular. 

A further challenge to analyzing the data is that most countries have not made any attempt to reconcile trade data and their own reporting of licit requirements, although this is changing. There are some signs countries are beginning to make efforts to reconcile data. For instance, some countries that noted licit requirements, but had not reported into the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) data exports or imports, have begun to do so. And the INCB has indicated that it remains concerned about the high estimates of annual legitimate requirements for certain precursors, especially in West Asian and Middle East countries.  

Thus far the economic analysis required by CMEA, remains limited because of insufficient and constantly changing data. Often the collection and reporting of such data requires a regulatory infrastructure that is beyond the means of some governments in question. The United States will continue to push in both diplomatic and operational forums – in both bilateral and multilateral settings – to urge countries to provide reporting on their licit domestic requirements for methamphetamine precursor chemicals to the INCB. We continue to work with the INCB and with authorities in the reporting countries themselves to secure explanations for any anomalies between reported imports and reported licit domestic requirements. We also will seek to support efforts to provide developing countries with the expertise and technical capacities necessary to develop such commercial estimates.  

This report provides export and import figures for both ephedrine and pseudoephedrine for calendar years 2009-2011. The report illustrates the wide annual shifts that can occur in some countries, reflecting such commercial factors as demand, pricing, and inventory buildup. GTA data on U.S. exports and imports have been included to indicate the importance of the United States in international pseudoephedrine and ephedrine trade. Complete data on the worldwide production of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine are not available because the major producers will not release this proprietary data.

Top Five Exporting Countries and the United States

Ephedrine

Reporting Country

Unit

quantities in thousands

2009

2010

2011

 

 

 

 

 

India

KG

88

65

95

Germany

KG

13

16

63

Singapore

KG

12

9

10

Poland

KG

0

2

8

United Kingdom

KG

4

4

5

top five total

 

117

96

181

 

 

 

 

 

United States

KG

13

0.181

0.163

Analysis of Export Data: According to the Global Trade Atlas (GTA) ephedrine exports increased in 2011. India remained in the lead with 95,000 kg up from 65,000 kg in exports, followed by Germany, Singapore, Poland and the United Kingdom. The aggregate amount of ephedrine exported by the top five countries almost doubled from 96,000 kg to 181,000 kg. U.S. exports decreased from 22,000 in 2010 to 10,000 kg in 2011. (The top five countries in 2010 included India, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.) The aggregate amount of ephedrine exported by the top five countries 181,000 kg exceeds the high of 125,000 kg.

Top Five Exporters and the United States

Pseudoephedrine

Reporting Entity

Unit

quantities in thousands

2009

2010

2011

 

 

 

 

 

India

KG

534

458

1,658

Germany

KG

305

364

475

Taiwan

KG

76

102

70

China

KG

32

73

65

Switzerland

KG

42

47

49

top five total

 

989

1,044

2,317

`

 

 

 

 

United States

KG

26

14

13

Analysis of Export Data: For pseudoephedrine, the aggregate volume of worldwide exports for the top five exporters rose significantly from 1,044,000 kg in 2010 to 2,317,000 kg in 2011. The top five exporters of pseudoephedrine in 2011 were India, Germany, Taiwan, China and Switzerland. In 2010 the top five were India, Germany, Slovenia and China. India’s exports increased fourfold. In contrast only China decreased slightly.

Top Five Importers and the United States

Ephedrine

Reporting Entity

Unit

quantities and thousands

2009

2010

2011

South Korea

KG

11

16

26

Egypt

KG

65

0.1

20

Taiwan

KG

6

10

11

Singapore

KG

14

9

10

Indonesia

KG

13

8

9

top five total

 

109

43.1

76

 

 

 

 

 

United States

KG

18

22

10

Analysis of Import Data: The top five ephedrine importers in 2011 are South Korea, Egypt, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. (In 2010 Egypt was listed as the largest importer with 178,000 kg. This year the GTA data was corrected to 178 kg.) South Korea, Nigeria, Taiwan and Singapore were the other top four from 2010. U.S. imports of ephedrine dropped from 22,000 kg in 2010 to 10,000 in 2011 due to the refinement of the quota system implemented under the CMEA.

Top Five Global Importing countries and U.S. Imports

Pseudoephedrine

Reporting Country

Unit

quantity in thousands

2009

2010

2011

         

Switzerland

KG

42

62

85

Singapore

KG

58

56

55

Belgium

KG

14

23

45

South Korea

KG

37

65

40

Indonesia

KG

39

45

40

top five total

KG

190

251

265

 

 

 

 

 

United States

KG

186

212

248


Analysis of Import Data: Shifts in trade of pseudoephedrine have also continued to rise dramatically in 2011 and resulted in a change in the top five importers for 2010. Egypt was the largest non-U.S. importer in 2010, but in 2011 dropped off the top five list that consisted of Switzerland, Singapore, Belgium, South Korea and Indonesia.  

The United States remained the top importer of pseudoephedrine, with imports of 248,000 kilograms in 2011. However, this is still down from the 312,000 kilograms imported in 2007. It should be noted that the United States no longer manufactures pseudoephedrine domestically. 

INCB Tables on Licit Requirements

Annual legitimate requirements for ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone and 1-phenyl-2-propanone, substances frequently used in the manufacture of amphetamine-type stimulants 

In its resolution 49/3, entitled “Strengthening systems for the control of precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of synthetic drugs”, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs:

(a) Requested Member States to provide to the International Narcotics Control Board annual estimates of their legitimate requirements for
3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone (3,4-MDP-2-P), pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and 1-phenyl-2-propanone (P-2-P) and, to the extent possible, estimated requirements for imports of preparations containing those substances that could be easily used or recovered by readily applicable means;

(b) Requested the Board to provide those estimates to Member States in such a manner as to ensure that such information was used only for drug control purposes;

(c) Invited Member States to report to the Board on the feasibility and usefulness of preparing, reporting and using estimates of legitimate requirements for the precursor chemicals and preparations referred to above in preventing diversion. 

Pursuant to that resolution, the Board formally invited Governments to prepare estimates of their legitimate requirements for those substances. Those estimates, as reported by Governments, were published, for the first time, in March 2007. 

The table below reflects the latest data reported by Governments on those four precursor chemicals (and their preparations, as relevant). It is expected that those data will provide the competent authorities of exporting countries with at least an indication of the legitimate requirements of importing countries, thus preventing diversion attempts. Governments are invited to review their requirements as published, amend them as necessary and inform the Board of any required change. The data are current as at 1 November 2012. (For updates, see www.incb.org/documents/PRECURSORS/ANNUAL-LICIT-REQUIREMENTS/INCB_ALR_WEB.pdf.

Annual legitimate requirements as reported by Governments for imports of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone, 1-phenyl-2-propanone and their preparations, as at 1 November 2012
(Kilograms, rounded up)

Country or territory

Ephedrine

Ephedrine preparations

Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine preparations

3,4-MDP-2-Pa

P-2-Pb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afghanistan

50

50

6 000

5 000

0

0

Albania

3

0

0

0

0

0

Algeria

1

 

17 000

 

0

0

Argentina

77

 

20 709

 

0

1

Ascension Island

0

0

0

0

0

0

Australia

5

10

6 000

1 450

1

1

Austria

142

213

1

1 400

1

1

Azerbaijan

20

 

10

 

0

0

Bahrain

0

0

 

 

0

 

Bangladesh

200

 

49 021

 

 

 

Barbados

250

 

160

 

 

 

Belarus

0

25

25

0

0

0

Belgium

300

200

11 000

8 000

5

1

Belize

 

 

P

P

 

 

Benin

2

 

8

10

 

 

Bhutan

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bolivia (Plurinational State of)

20 500

1

1 235

2 530

0

0

Bosnia and Herzegovina

7

0

1 010

0

0

0

Botswana

300

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil

700c

 

20 000c

 

0

1

Brunei Darussalam

0

4

0

224

0

0

Bulgaria

3 000

 

500

 

0

0

Cambodia

200

50

300

900

 

 

Canada

2 000

5

20 000

 

0

0

Chile

95

200

6 440

1 000

 

 

China

155 000

 

200 000

 

 

 

Hong Kong SAR of China

4 500

0

7 500

0

0

0

Macao SAR of China

1

10

1

159

0

0

Christmas Island

0

0

0

1

0

0

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colombia

4d

3e

5 000f

P

0

0

Cook Islands

0

0

0

1

0

0

Costa Rica

0

0

728

27

0

0

Côte d’Ivoire

40

20

25

30

0

0

Croatia

2

 

1

 

0

1

Cuba

200

 

 

6

 

 

Curaçao

0

 

0

 

0

0

Cyprus

 

0

500

 

 

 

Czech Republic

600

10

1 600

800

0

1

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

1 500

0

0

0

5

0

Democratic Republic of the Congo

250

 

900

 

 

 

Denmark

 

 

 

 

0

0

Dominican Republic

75

5

230

250

0

0

Ecuador

50

30

1 500

5 000

0

0

Egypt

6 000

0

60 000

2 500

0

0

El Salvador

P(6)g

P(2)g

P

P

0

0

Eritrea

0

0

0

0

0

0

Estonia

3

1

 

350

 

 

Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

 

1

 

1

 

 

Faroe Islands

0

0

0

0

0

0

France

5 000

10

20 000

500

0

0

Finland

6

100

 

1 000

 

1

Gambia

0

0

0

0

0

0

Georgia

50

30

50

200

 

 

Germany

1 000

 

8 000

 

1

8

Ghana

4 500

300

3 000

200

0

 

Greece

25

 

1 450

 

0

0

Greenland

0

0

0

0

0

0

Guatemala

0

 

P

P

0

0

Guinea

36

 

 

 

 

 

Guinea-Bissau

0

0

0

0

0

0

Guyana

120

50

120

30

0

0

Haiti

200

1

350

 

0

0

Honduras

P

P(1)e

P

P

0

0

Hungary

600

 

1

 

1

2 120

Iceland

1

 

1

 

 

 

India

1 023

87 467

300 507

383

0

0

Indonesia

7 032

 

38 293

692

 

 

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

50

1

55 000

10

6

51

Iraq

3 000

100

14 000

10 000

0

Ph

Ireland

1

3

1

1 173

0

0

Israel

1

4

3 000

21

 

 

Italy

1 000

0

6 000

0

0

300

Jamaica

 

 

300

300

0

0

Japan

400

 

18 000

 

 

 

Jordan

300

 

20 000

 

 

P

Kazakhstan

0

 

0

 

0

0

Kenya

2 500

 

3 000

 

 

 

Kyrgyzstan

0

 

20

32

0

0

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

0

0

220

50

0

0

Latvia

25

27

41

383

0

0

Lebanon

0

4

220

300

0

0

Lithuania

1

2

1

600

1

1

Luxembourg

1

0

0

0

0

0

Madagascar

702

180

150

 

 

 

Malawi

1 000

 

 

 

 

 

Malaysia

211

21

6 039

4 500

0

0

Maldives

0

0

0

0

0

0

Malta

 

220

220

 

0

0

Mauritius

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mexico

P(193)g

P(80)g

P

P

0

0

Monaco

0

0

0

0

0

0

Mongolia

3

 

 

 

 

 

Montenegro

0

2

0

38

0

0

Montserrat

 

1

 

1

 

 

Morocco

42

0

2 392

0

0

0

Mozambique

3

 

 

 

 

 

Myanmar

2

0

0

0

0

0

Namibia

0

0

0

0

0

0

Netherlands

 

0

 

0

0

0

New Zealand

50

 

700

 

0

3

Nicaragua

Pi

Pi

P

P

 

 

Nigeria

9 650

2 000

5 823

15 000

0

 

Norfolk Island

0

0

0

0

0

0

Norway

400

0

0

0

0

0

Pakistan

22 000

 

48 000

 

 

 

Panama

25

30

1 000

1 000

 

 

Papua New Guinea

1

 

200

 

0

0

Paraguay

0

0

2 500

0

0

0

Peru

54

 

2 409

1 192

 

 

Philippines

120

0

120

0

0

0

Poland

130

0

4 200

0

0

2

Portugal

 

 

15

 

 

 

Qatar

0

0

0

80

0

0

Republic of Korea

23 316

 

62 901

 

1

1

Republic of Moldova

 

60

 

250

 

 

Romania

200

 

6 500

 

0

0

Russian Federation

1 500

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Helena

0

1

0

1

0

0

Sao Tome and Principe

0

0

0

0

0

0

Senegal

0

0

0

0

0

0

Serbia

25

 

718

 

 

1

Singapore

12 000

4 000

53 000

8 000

1

1

Slovakia

8

1

1

0

0

0

Slovenia

22

 

250

 

0

0

Solomon Islands

0

1

0

1

0

0

South Africa

15 000

0

10 444

0

0

0

Spain

307

 

6 427

 

0

1

Sri Lanka

 

 

 

0

0

0

Sweden

188

215

1

30

1

14

Switzerland

2 600

 

70 000

 

100

100

Syrian Arab Republic

1 000

 

50 000

 

 

 

Tajikistan

38

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand

53

 

12 000

0

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

 

 

0

Tristan da Cunha

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tunisia

1

13

3 000

0

0

0

Turkey

250

 

27 000

 

1

1

Uganda

150

35

2 500

400

0

0

Ukraine

0

101

46

940

0

0

United Arab Emirates

200

41

3 050

2 499

0

0

United Kingdom

64 448

1 011

12 680

1 683

8

1

United Republic of Tanzania

500

500

3 000

1 000

 

 

United States of America

22 800

 

299 000

 

0

36 735

Uruguay

10

0

100

0

0

0

Uzbekistan

1

 

15

 

 

 

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

1 000

 

3 000

 

 

 

Yemen

 

 

5 000

 

 

 

Zambia

5

 

10

 

 

 

Zimbabwe

100

1

150

0

0

0


Notes: The names of territories, special administrative regions etc. are in italics.

A blank field signifies that no requirement was indicated or that data were not submitted for the substance in question.

A zero (0) signifies that the country or territory currently has no licit requirement for the substance.

The letter “P” signifies that importation of the substance is prohibited.

Reported quantities of less than 1 kg have been rounded up and are reflected as 1 kg.

a 3,4-Methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone.

b 1-Phenyl-2-propanone.

c Including the licit requirements for pharmaceutical preparations containing the substance.

d The required amount of ephedrine is to be used for the manufacture of injectable ephedrine sulphate solution.

e In the form of injectable ephedrine sulfate solution.

f The required amount of pseudoephedrine is to be used exclusively for the manufacture of medicines for export.

g Imports of the substance and preparations containing the substance are prohibited, with the exception of the imports of injectable ephedrine preparations and ephedrine as a prime raw material for the manufacture of such ephedrine preparations. Pre-export notification is required for each individual import.

h Including products containing P-2-P.

i Imports of the substance and preparations containing the substance are prohibited, with the exception of the imports of injectable ephedrine preparations and ephedrine as a prime raw material for the manufacture of such ephedrine preparations. Such export requires an import permit.[1]


 




[1] The U.S. Department of State thanks the INCB for providing this very useful and informative chart



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