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Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Nuclear energy

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/513/Euratom of 10 July 2007 approving the accession of the European Atomic Energy Community to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities.

Summary

The new Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities is aimed at ensuring effective physical protection during the use, storage or transport of materials used for peaceful purposes, as well as preventing and fighting crime associated with this material and these facilities. It is based on the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), to which all the Member States of European Union (EU) are party.

It is the task of each State that is party to the convention to establish and implement measures to guarantee this effective protection to prevent, in particular, the theft or disappearance of nuclear material for which it is responsible, as well as sabotage of nuclear facilities on its territory. The Euratom Treaty is broader in that it states that Member States must prevent any misappropriation of nuclear material for purposes other than those for which it is intended.

In implementation of the Convention, the States that are party to the Convention must respect a certain number of basic principles, in particular the principles of responsibility of the State and licence-holders, of a culture of security, insurance and confidentiality.

The contracting States must ensure that the nuclear material they import, export or accept in transit on their territory is protected in accordance with the applicable safety level.

The contracting States must designate a competent authority responsible for the application of the Convention, as well as a point of contact, and give this information to the other Member States directly or through the intermediary of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Furthermore, they must cooperate in the event of theft, sabotage or risk of theft or sabotage. This cooperation in particular takes the form of an exchange of information, while respecting the confidentiality of this information vis-à-vis third parties.

The contracting States must apply appropriate penalties to certain infringements, in line with their severity. In particular, it is punishable to act without authorisation in a way that causes or is likely to cause death or serious injury, theft of nuclear material, sabotage of a nuclear installation, the threat of using nuclear material to cause death or serious injury of a third party or cause significant damage to property; attempts to commit one of these acts, involvement in such acts and organisation thereof are also punishable.

Any contracting State has jurisdiction for infringements committed on its territory or on board a vessel or aircraft registered in the said State and when the person presumed to have committed the infringement is a native of the said State. These infringements are grounds for extradition between the contracting States, who must also provide each other with the most extensive judicial assistance in the event of these infringements. Political motives for the infringement are not a reason for refusing extradition or mutual judicial assistance.

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) was adopted in 1979 and entered into force in 1987. It was amended in 2005 at a conference held with a view to strengthening its provisions. A conference for review of the amended convention must be organised 5 years after entry into force of the amendment agreed in 2005.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/513/Euratom 10.7.2007 OJ L 190, 21.7.2007

Stronger control measures for the synthetic drug BZP

Stronger control measures for the synthetic drug BZP

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Stronger control measures for the synthetic drug BZP

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Combating drugs

Stronger control measures for the synthetic drug BZP

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2008/206/JHA of 3 March 2008 on defining 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP) as a new psychoactive substance which is to be made subject to control measures and criminal provisions.

Summary

BZP (1-Benzylpiperazine) is a new psychoactive substance that acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system. It a purely recreational drug, with no established or recognised medical value, which is sold over the Internet and at ‘herbalists’ and ‘smart shops’.

The risks associated with the ingestion of this substance are still little known. That is why the Commission asked the Council – on the basis of a joint European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction EMCDDA / Europol report – to measure its health and social risks via a risk assessment based on Council Decision 2005/387/JHA on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances.

The BZP risk assessment exercise produced the following results: 13 Member States and Norway have reported seizures of BZP in quantities from 1 to 64 900 tablets. There is no evidence of an organised crime link.

BZP is a psychoactive substance. The risks associated with its use may include:

  • increased heart rate;
  • raised blood pressure;
  • restlessness and hyperactivity.

It may also have secondary effects, in the ‘down’ phase, that can last for up to 24 hours after the drug was taken. These can include:

  • vomiting and nausea;
  • headache and stomach ache;
  • loss of appetite;
  • anxiety and insomnia;
  • mood swings and irritability;
  • strange thoughts;
  • confusion;
  • palpitations and trembling.

The effects of using BZP are still largely unproven. Although clinical reports tend to establish a link between BZP and seizures, this conclusion is based on a very small number of cases, in which moreover the BZP was detected in post mortem specimens and its role in the death could not be determined since other factors were involved.

The risk assessment report reveals the lack of conclusive scientific proof establishing the global risks of this new substance. To be on the safe side, however, given that it does represent a health risk, it would be wise to make it subject to control and to take appropriate measures.

Final provisions

The Member States are required to make BZP subject to the control measures and criminal penalties provided under their national laws in accordance with the obligations imposed by the 1971 United Nations Convention on psychotropic substances.

Background

A number of initiatives have already been taken. The EMCDDA risk assessment concluded that the use of BZP can result in health problems whose long-term effects are still unknown. Based on this finding, the Commission wants to have BZP made subject to control measures, as provided by the UN Convention on psychotropic substances. This proposal also takes account of the data that have been collected as a result of the new psychoactive substances risk assessment procedure.

Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 provides for a three-step procedure for placing this type of substance under control. The first step is to draw up a report collating all available information on BZP. This assessment was carried out by the EMCDDA and Europol before being submitted to the Council on 22 February 2007. The Council responded by asking for a more extensive study of the risks associated with BZP, to be conducted by:

  • the extended scientific committee of the EMCDDA;
  • the Commission;
  • Europol;
  • the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2008/206/JHA 8.3.2008 OJ L 63 of 7.3.2008

Related Acts

Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances [Official Journal L 127 of 20.5.2005].