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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Narcotics Legislation and the "Majors" List


The Narcotics Certification Process was ended as a result of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, 2002-2003, signed into law on September 30, 2002. Henceforth, the President must submit a consolidated report identifying all major illicit drug producing and drug-transit countries (the Majors list) and designating those countries that have "failed demonstrably" during the previous 12 months to make substantial efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and take the counternarcotics measures specified in U.S. law. FAA §490 requires that fifty percent of certain kinds of assistance be withheld from all such countries, required to be identified and reported to Congress by the President by November 1 of each year, pending the President's September 15th certification determinations. If a country is determined to have “failed demonstrably” and is absent a Presidential waiver, foreign assistance other than humanitarian and counternarcotics assistance is suspended and the United States is required to vote against funding by six multilateral development banks to that country.


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