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Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

Topics

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

Other

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

1) Objective

To prevent the manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances legitimately marketed in the Community from being diverted for illicit purposes.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/109/EEC of 14 December 1992 on the manufacture and the placing on the market of certain substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances [Official Journal L 370, 19.12.1992].

3) Summary

The Directive distinguishes two types of precursor: those with limited use for licit purposes, and those of essential importance for legitimate commercial use.

The Directive defines “scheduled substance”, “placing on the market”, “operator”, “UN Convention” and “International Narcotics Control Board”.

The Directive lays down requirements in respect of documentation, records and labelling. It guarantees the competent authorities access to documents and records for verification purposes.

Member States must designate a competent authority in order to ensure proper application of the Directive. The Directive also requires intra-Community cooperation between the competent authorities.

Member States are to take all appropriate measures to encourage operators to notify the competent authorities of all unusual orders or transactions relating to scheduled substances which show that the substances which are to be placed on the market or manufactured are likely to be used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. Likewise, the Member States shall encourage all persons who suspect, from information obtained by reason of their professional duties, that scheduled substances which have been, or are about to be, placed on the market or manufactured are likely to be used for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, to inform the competent authorities thereof.

With regard to the control measures, the Directive confers on the competent authorities powers of inspection, search and seizure. The competent authorities may prohibit the placing on the market or manufacture of scheduled substances if they believe that these substances are ultimately destined for the illegal manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.

An annual report drawn up by the Commission will be submitted to the International Narcotics Control Board. The report will provide information on the amounts of scheduled substances seized, the methods of diversion and illicit manufacture, any substances identified as having being used in illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, and the nature and origin of processing equipment seized.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 92/109/EEC 01.07.1993 01.07.1993

4) Implementing Measures

Regulation (EC) No 1485/96 [Official Journal L 188 of 27.7.1996]
Commission Regulation of 26 July 1996 setting out the conditions for implementing Council Directive 92/109/EEC with regard to customer declarations which specify the uses of certain substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
According to this Regulation, a customer who purchases a classified substance falling within categories 1 or 2 in Annex I to Directive 92/109/EEC must complete a declaration on his supplier’s premises that specifies the use(s) of that substance. The Regulation also provides that a specific declaration shall be drawn up which covers multiple transactions in the substances falling within category 2.

This Regulation was amended by:

Commission Regulation No 1533/2000 of 13 July 2000 [Official Journal L 175 of 14.07.2000]

This Regulation amends the model declarations of use in respect of individual and multiple transactions, and establishes a uniform model for all operators so as to facilitate the monitoring of these declarations by the Member State authorities.

Recommendation [Official Journal C 114 of 15.05.2002]

Council Recommendation of 25 April 2002 on the need to enhance cooperation and exchanges of information between the various operational units specialising in combating trafficking in precursors in the Member States of the European Union.

Full text of the recommendation

Amendments to the Annexes to the Directive:

Directive 2003/101/EC [Official Journal L 286 of 04.11.2003]

This Directive replaces Annexes I and II of the basic directive on 1 January 2004.

5) Follow-Up Work

On 23 January 1998, the Commission presented a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive amending Council Directive 92/109/EEC on the manufacture and the placing on the market of certain substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances [COM(98) 22 final – Official Journal C 108 of 07.04.1998].

Co-decision procedure (COD/1998/17)

First reading: on 20 November 1998, the European Parliament approved the Commission proposal subject to certain amendments. The Commission accepted most of these amendments.

The Commission presented an amended proposal on 28 April 1999. [COM(99) 202 final – Official Journal C 162 of 09.06.1999]

This proposal was withdrawn by the Commission and replaced by:

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on drug precursors [COM(2002) 494 final – Official Journal C 20 E of 28.01.2003].

This proposal aims to transform Directive 92/109/EEC into a Regulation, in order to simplify the legislation and make it more user-friendly both for economic operators and for the competent authorities in the Member States. The purpose of the new Regulation is to establish harmonised measures for controlling and monitoring certain chemical substances frequently used in the manufacture of illicit narcotic drugs. It contains rules on licensing, customer declarations and labelling. A monitoring procedure will prevent barriers to the free trade of these substances arising between Member States.

Co-decision procedure (COD/2002/0217)

On 26 February 2003, the Economic and Social Committee gave its opinion. [Official Journal C 95 of 23.04.2003]

On 11 March 2003, the European Parliament approved the Commission proposal subject to certain amendments. The Commission accepted some of these amendments.

On 19 May 2003, the Council reached a political agreement on its common position.

On 27 May 2003, la Commission adopted an amended proposal [COM(2003) 304 final – not yet published in the Official Journal].

On 29 September 2003, the Council adopted the common position [Official Journal L 277 E of 18.11.2003].

On 7 October 2003, the Commission stated its agreement with the Council’s common position.

The common position is currently before Parliament for its second reading.

Drug precursors: internal aspects

Drug precursors: internal aspects

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Drug precursors: internal aspects

Topics

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

Customs

Drug precursors: internal aspects

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on drug precursors [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Effective control of chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is an important tool in combating drug trafficking. However, these chemicals (known as “precursors”) also have legal and legitimate industrial uses. Therefore, it is necessary to recognise and protect the legal trade in these substances, while discouraging their diversion for illicit purposes.

The objective is to strike a balance between taking action to prevent the manufacture of illegal drugs and avoiding barriers to the legal trade in chemicals.

Measures to control precursors

This regulation establishes harmonised measures for controlling and monitoring within the European Union (EU) certain chemical substances that are frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs. It defines “scheduled substances” * in accordance with Article 12 of the United Nations (UN) Convention (see below). For these scheduled substances, the regulation contains provisions relating to licences, customer declarations and labelling. A monitoring procedure is put in place to prevent obstacles to the free trade in these substances between EU countries.

At the same time, the regulation also defines “non-scheduled substances” * in accordance with Article 12 of the UN Convention. For these substances, the Commission draws up guidelines establishing a more flexible control system than the one applicable to scheduled substances.

Under the regulation, operators * must immediately notify the competent authorities of any circumstances, such as unusual orders or transactions involving scheduled substances to be placed on the market *, which suggest that such substances might be diverted for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.

Obligations of operators

Operators wishing to place on the market substances scheduled as precursors (categories 1 or 2 of Annex I) have the following obligations:

  • to appoint an officer responsible for the trade, and to notify the competent authorities of the name and contact details of that officer;
  • to declare the addresses of the premises at which they manufacture or from which they trade in these substances (for category 2);
  • to obtain a licence from the competent authorities for possession of substances listed in category 1 (special licences may be granted to pharmacies, dispensaries of veterinary medicine, certain types of public authorities or armed forces);
  • to ask customers to sign a declaration specifying the use(s) made of the substance provided to them;
  • to supply scheduled substances only to natural or legal persons in possession of a licence for possession of such substances (for category 1);
  • to affix a label to scheduled substances before they are transported, showing the name, quantity and weight of the substance and the name and address of the supplier and the recipient.

To prevent creating unnecessary barriers to trade, the requirements for scheduled substances in category 2 are less restrictive than for those in category 1, particularly where the quantities involved do not exceed those indicated in Annex II.

Assisted by a committee, the Commission draws up and keeps updated a list of substances to monitor. EU countries must distribute these lists to operators.

This regulation repeals Council Directive 92/109/EEC, Commission Directives 93/46/EEC, 2001/8/EC and 2003/101/EC, and Commission Regulations (EC) Nos 1485/96 and 1533/2000.

Background: internal and external aspects of the fight against drugs

In 1990, the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was adopted by the EU through Council Decision 90/611/ EEC. Article 12 of the UN Convention required measures to be taken to monitor the manufacture and distribution of precursors. As regards the external aspect of this requirement, i.e. monitoring the trade in precursors between EU and non-EU countries, the requirements of Article 12 have been met by Council Regulation (EEC) No 111/2005.

Key terms used in the act
  • Scheduled substance: any substance listed in Annex I liable to be used for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, including mixtures and natural products containing such substances. This excludes medicinal products, pharmaceutical preparations, mixtures, natural products and other preparations containing scheduled substances that are compounded in such a way that they cannot be easily used or extracted by readily applicable or economically viable means.
  • Non-scheduled substance: any substance which, although not listed in Annex I, is identified as having been used for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
  • Placing on the market: any supply, whether in return for payment or free of charge, of scheduled substances in the EU; or the storage, manufacture, production, processing, trade, distribution or brokering of these substances for the purpose of supply in the EU.
  • Operator: any natural or legal person engaged in the placing on the market of scheduled substances.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 273/2004

18.8.2005

JO L 47 of 18.2.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 7 January 2010 pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 and to Article 32 of Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 on the implementation and functioning of the Community legislation on monitoring and control of trade in drug precursors [COM(2009) 709 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report evaluates the implementation as well as the functioning of Regulations (EC) Nos 273/2004 (above) and 111/2005.
Based on data received form EU countries, the Commission’s evaluation concludes that the legal framework for controlling trade generally provides measures that are proportionate for preventing the diversion of drug precursors without obstructing their legitimate trade. The well-functioning cooperation between operators and competent authorities has greatly contributed to this. Furthermore, the EU guidelines for the chemical industry, together with a new eLearning course for economic operators, complements well this legal framework.
EU countries have applied the common licensing system for category 1 precursors satisfactorily and it functions effectively for the competent authorities as well as for the industry. However, the registration requirement for category 2 precursors might have certain weak points for properly controlling, and preventing diversion in the trade of these substances. In addition, certain provisions (e.g. relating to customer declarations or criteria for determining mixtures) are interpreted differently by EU countries. Other difficulties concern the insufficient rate of reporting by operators to competent authorities and certain aspects of the legislation on external trade, such as inflexible time limits for pre-export notifications and lack of simplified authorisation procedures.
Consequently, the report makes the following recommendations:

  • enhance the harmonised application of the legislative framework by EU countries, especially by sharing best practice;
  • improve reporting, for example by increasing the frequency with which operators must report to competent authorities;
  • possibly modify existing legislation to strengthen controls on category 2 precursors;
  • strengthen controls on pharmaceutical preparations/medicinal products containing ephedrine or pseudo-ephedrine that transit through the EU;
  • modify the procedural requirements to achieve a level of controls that is proportionate to the risk of diversion.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1277/2005 of 27 July 2005 laying down implementing rules for Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on drug precursors and for Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Community and third countries in drug precursors [Official Journal L 202 of 03.08.2005].
This regulation lays down rules for the implementation of the abovementioned regulations as regards the responsible officer, the licensing and registration of operators, the provision of information, pre-export notifications and authorisation of exports and imports in the field of drug precursors.

The EU drugs strategy

The EU drugs strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The EU drugs strategy

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

The EU drugs strategy (2005-12)

Document or Iniciative

Note from the Council of 22 November 2004 on the EU Drugs Strategy for the period 2005-2012 [15074/04 – Not published in the Official Journal] (pdf ).

Summary

The Council identifies two general aims with regard to drugs:

  • the EU seeks to achieve a high level of health protection, well-being and social cohesion by complementing the efforts of Member States to prevent and reduce drug use, dependence and drug-related damage to health and society;
  • the EU and its Member States strive to ensure a high level of security for the general public by taking action against drug production, cross-border trafficking in drugs and the diversion of chemical precursors used in drug production, as well as by intensifying preventive action against drug-related crime through effective cooperation embedded in a joint approach.

The strategy concentrates on two policy fields demand reduction and supply reduction and on two cross-cutting themes international cooperation and research, information and evaluation.

Field of action: demand reduction

The following priorities have been identified in the area of demand reduction:

  • improving access to and effectiveness of prevention programmes and raising awareness thereof;
  • improving access to early intervention programmes or measures;
  • improving access to targeted and diversified treatment programmes;
  • improving access to services for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Field of action: supply reduction

The following priorities have been identified in the area of supply reduction:

  • strengthening EU law enforcement cooperation at both strategic and crime prevention levels;
  • intensifying effective law enforcement cooperation between Member States by using existing instruments and frameworks;
  • preventing the illicit import and export of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, including to other Member States;
  • enhancing law enforcement, criminal investigation and forensic science cooperation between Member States that have common interests and/or face the same drug-related problems;
  • intensifying law enforcement efforts directed at non-EU countries, especially producer countries and regions along trafficking routes.

The focus will be on production, illicit (intra-EU) cross-border drug trafficking, criminal networks engaged in these activities and related serious crime. The flow of drugs from the EU to third countries must also be curbed.

Many instruments and frameworks have been established to reduce supply, including the framework decision laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and applicable penalties in the field of drug trafficking, joint investigation teams, the European arrest warrant, Europol and Eurojust, the financial intelligence unit, confiscation of assets measures, and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocols.

Cross-cutting theme: international cooperation

The following priorities have been identified in the area of external relations:

  • coordinated, effective and more visible action by the Union in international organisations and fora to enhance and promote a balanced approach to the drugs problem;
  • special efforts in relation to the candidate countries and potential candidate countries, such as the countries of the stabilisation and association process;
  • assisting third countries, including neighbouring European countries and key drug-producing and transit countries, to be more effective in drug demand and supply reduction, both through closer cooperation among EU-Member States and by mainstreaming drug issues into the general common foreign and security policy dialogue and development cooperation. New cooperation agreements between the EU and third countries should continue to include a specific clause on cooperation in drugs control.

Cross-cutting theme: information, research and evaluation

The following priorities have been identified in the field of information and research:

  • improving EU knowledge infrastructure in the field of drugs and consolidating the drug information systems and tools developed over the 2000-04 period, making full use of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol;
  • each EU action plan should include priority research topics to be fostered at EU level, taking into account the rapid evolution of the drugs problem.

As regards evaluation, the EU drugs strategy 2005-12 makes clear that it is an integral part of an EU approach to drugs policy that serves to give clear indications about the merits and shortcomings of current actions and activities at EU level.

Coordination

The action plans should include initiatives that will contribute to the further development of a European coordination mechanism. EU-level coordination of drugs policy should take place through the Council’s Horizontal Drugs Group (HDG), whose function is to prepare a clear and coherent drugs policy for adoption by the Council. If it is to play a leading role in the drugs field, the HDG needs to be kept informed of relevant developments at national level and of activities carried out by other relevant Council working groups.

Monitoring

In 2012, the Commission will organise an overall evaluation of the EU drugs strategy and action plans for the Council and the European Parliament, in cooperation with the EMCDDA, Europol and the Member States.

Background

The current drug situation in the EU is described in the annual reports of the EMCDDA and Europol. The results of the final evaluation of the EU drugs strategy 2000-04 and the action plan on drugs 2000-04 indicate that progress has been made in achieving some of the targets, although the available data does not suggest that there has been a significant reduction in the prevalence of drug use or that the availability of drugs has been substantially reduced.

At its meeting of 17-18 June 2004, the European Council invited the Council to adopt proposals by no later than December 2004 for a new EU drugs strategy for the period 2005-12. This strategy builds on the previous strategy and its action plan, taking into consideration these texts as well as the mid-term evaluation of the action plan, the Council’s response to this evaluation and the results of the final evaluation.

Related Acts

EU Drugs Action Plan for 2009-2012 of 20 December 2008 [Official Journal C 326 of 20.12.2008].
The EU drugs action plan 2009-12 follows on from that of 2005-08. It builds on the measures established to implement the EU drugs strategy 2005-12, thereby aiming to reduce the demand for and supply of drugs. To that end, the action plan sets out five priority areas with specific actions that coordinate drugs policy at national and European levels.

of 8 July 2005 [Official Journal C 168 of 8.7.2005].

Communication from the Commission of 10 May 2005 – The Hague Programme: Ten priorities for the next five years. The Partnership for European renewal in the field of Freedom, Security and Justice [COM(2005) 184 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

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

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 12 November 2003 on coordination on drugs in the European Union [COM(2003) 681 final – not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission, wishing to boost coordination on drugs at EU level, explains what is needed and what is at stake, pointing to the main existing models of coordination and emphasising the key elements of effective interaction. It recommends, in particular, incorporating all aspects of drug-related policy (social and health aspects, enforcement measures, youth policy), close cooperation between law enforcement bodies and coordination between them and social and health services, as well as systematic development of the evaluation of strategies and activities in this field.

 

The EU drugs action plan

The EU drugs action plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The EU drugs action plan

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

The EU drugs action plan (2005-08)

In order to counter the drugs problem from the standpoint of both health protection and enforcement, the action plan provides all the European bodies concerned with guiding principles to help them fix their priorities in this area. The guidelines are based on five specific actions: coordination, reduction in demand, reduction in supply, international cooperation and information, research and assessment.

Document or Iniciative

EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008) of 8 July 2005 [Official Journal C 168 of 8.7.2005].

Summary

This action plan provides a consistent framework at European Union (EU) level for the adoption of enforcement and preventive measures aimed at reducing the supply of and demand for drugs. Its ultimate aim is to significantly reduce the prevalence of drug use among the population as well as to lessen the social harm and damage to health caused by the use of and trade in illicit drugs.

The action plan follows the structure and the objectives of the EU drugs strategy 2005-12, and seeks concrete results in specific priority areas.

For each objective, the Commission sets out the action(s) proposed, the corresponding timetable, the responsible authority, as well as the assessment tool or appropriate indicator. About eighty such actions are provided for.

The actions are based on five priorities:

  • coordination of anti-drugs policy at EU level;
  • demand reduction;
  • supply reduction;
  • international cooperation;
  • information and research on drugs, and evaluation of the actions undertaken.

Coordination

The action plan stresses the importance of effective coordination at Community and national levels. In particular, it provides for the adoption of national programmes conforming to the EU strategy and action plans, the appointing of a drugs coordinator within each Member State and the Commission and more involvement by civil society.

Furthermore, the action plan appoints the Horizontal Drugs Group (HDG) as the leading forum in the Council for coordination on drugs and recommends the systematic mainstreaming of drugs policy into relations and agreements with relevant countries.

Demand reduction

The Member States and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) must, in particular, extend the scope of drug demand reduction programmes, assess them and disseminate the best practices assessed.

Furthermore, Member States must improve access to prevention programmes in schools and make them more effective. They must also improve prevention methods and the detection of risk factors in certain target groups, especially young people, as well as the dissemination of these data to the professionals in order to implement early intervention programmes.

Member States should also ensure that targeted treatment, re-education and social reintegration programmes that incorporate tested psychosocial and pharmacological strategies are available and accessible and include drug addicts not reached by existing services, with particular attention being paid to specialised services for young people.

The plan also recommends developing further alternatives to imprisonment for addicts and the setting-up of prevention, treatment and reintegration services for prisoners.

As regards the health of drug users, a Commission report on the implementation of Council Recommendation 2003/488/EC concerning the prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug dependence is to be submitted by 2006 at the latest. Member States must also improve access to harm reduction services and treatment, and also set up programmes preventing the propagation of the AIDS virus, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases. They should also endeavour to reduce the number of drug-related deaths.

Supply reduction

Reducing supply means improving training for professionals and strengthening police cooperation between Member States and, where appropriate, with Europol, Eurojust and third countries. Achieving this aim will entail:

  • implementing operational enforcement programmes (joint investigation teams, etc.) and joint intelligence projects;
  • maximum use of the operational and strategic potential of Europol by improving the regularity with which relevant information is sent to the agency and made available to the Member States;
  • strengthening controls on the EU’s external borders;
  • specific measures to deal with the cross-border trade in drugs.

The action plan also contains measures to reduce the production of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and synthetic drugs, as well as trade in them, in particular by implementing operational joint programmes, collecting intelligence on third countries involved in the manufacturing and trading of such drugs, sharing best practice and exchanging information. Measures will also be adopted to combat the diversion and smuggling of drug precursors, such as the implementation of projects like the European joint unit on precursors.

The action plan also covers activities connected with the supply of drugs, chiefly in the form of measures targeted at money laundering and the seizure and re-use of financial products connected with drugs, in particular through exchanges of information and best practices. Similarly, certain measures are aimed at highlighting the links between drug trafficking and the financing of terrorism, as well as at collecting data on the use of information technologies in drug-related criminal activities.

International cooperation

The action plan aims to improve the coordination, effectiveness and visibility of EU action in international organisations and forums such as the United Nations, in particular by presenting joint positions and promoting its drugs strategy.

In addition, particular efforts must be made to improve assistance given to applicant countries, potential applicant countries or countries affected by the neighbourhood policy, in order to implement the acquis in this area or take the necessary action. Such efforts include technical assistance and the signing of appropriate agreements with the countries concerned.

Furthermore, whilst continuing its political commitment and cooperation with regard to third countries concerned by the drugs problem, the EU must intensify its efforts at enforcement, focussing in particular on producer countries and the regions in which the drug trafficking routes are located.

Information, research and evaluation

In order to gain a clearer picture and understanding of the drugs problem, the action plan calls for the supply of reliable information, in particular through the introduction of five key epidemiological indicators. Emerging trends must also be identified, as well as user habits and characteristics of the drugs markets, by means of surveys, Community guidelines and tools for detecting and following up such trends.

The action plan encourages research into the factors underlying dependency and into questions on the effects of certain drugs and effective health measures. The action plan also encourages the setting-up of excellence networks in the field of drug research.

Follow-up of the action plan

Assessment tools and indicators for each action, which were designed with the assistance of the EMCDDA and Europol, will help the Commission to monitor the implementation of the action plan.

The Commission will carry out an impact study in 2008, in order to propose a second action plan for 2009-12. It will conduct a final assessment of the strategy and the action plans in 2012.

Background

The EU anti-drugs strategy, adopted by the Brussels European Council in December 2004, includes a series of measures designed to curb demand for drugs, improve treatments for drug addicts and reduce the availability of illegal drugs. It commits Member States to strengthening the cohesion of their drug enforcement policies. It establishes two consecutive plans between 2005 and 2012. This strategy is an essential element of the Hague Programme, a multiannual programme aimed at strengthening freedom, security and justice in the EU.

Related Acts

 of 20 December 2008 [Official Journal C 326 of 20.12.2008].

The EU drugs action plan for the period 2009-12 follows on from that for the period 2005-08. Taking into consideration the lessons learned over the first four-year period, the plan builds on the established framework to reduce the demand for and supply of drugs.

Commission staff working document – Accompanying document to the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on an EU Drugs Action Plan (2009-2012) – Report of the final evaluation of the EU drugs action plan (2005-2008) [SEC(2008) 2456 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 10 December 2007 on the 2007 Progress Review of the implementation of the EU Action Plan on Drugs (2005-2008) [COM(2007) 781 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission identifies some positive aspects, in particular the convergence of national policies and further progress towards completion of the strategy’s objectives. However, it points to a lack of information on the impact the actions have in the framework of the anti-drug strategy. It therefore advocates the establishment of a methodology for evaluating the impact of these actions, adding that efforts should be pursued on the exchange of national information and alignment of the action plan indicators. It indicates its intention to undertake a final evaluation of the 2005-08 action plan on drugs and to draft a proposal on the 2009-12 action plan.

Commission staff working document of 21 December 2006 – 2006 Progress Review on the implementation of the EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008) [SEC(2006) 1803 – Not published in the Official Journal].


Another Normative about The EU drugs action plan

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

The EU drugs action plan (2009-12)

Document or Iniciative

EU Drugs Action Plan for 2009-2012 of 20 December 2008 [Official Journal C 326 of 20.12.2008].

Summary

Following on from the EU drugs action plan 2005-08, the current action plan builds on the measures established to coordinate drugs policy in Member States. These two action plans implement the EU drugs strategy for 2005-12, which was adopted by the European Council in December 2004. The overall aim of these instruments is to reduce the demand for and supply of drugs, as well as the social and health damage the use of and trade in drugs causes.

Based on the existing framework, the action plan for the period 2009-12 provides for specific actions under five priority areas:

Improve coordination

In order to develop and implement drugs policy more effectively, coordination and cooperation at the European and national levels must be strengthened. The Council’s Horizontal Drugs Group (HDG) should pro-actively coordinate EU drug policy. At the same time, the Council together with the Commission must ensure that the internal and external drugs policies are coherent. To move forward with specific and urgent issues, the national drugs coordinators should be convened on a regular basis.

At the national level, a balanced and integrated approach should be taken in forming drugs policy, with the civil society enabled to participate in informing thereof. The Commission should consult the Civil Society Forum on Drugs at least once a year and invite civil society (via “The European Alliance on Drugs” initiative) to contribute to the fight against drugs.

Reduce demand

The measures that reduce drug use and the related health and social consequences must be made more effective. In particular, the accessibility to as well as availability and quality of services that prevent, treat and reduce harm should be improved. Successful prevention programmes and interventions should be made available for a variety of target groups. Due regard should be given to the specific needs of drug users, especially in terms of age, gender, cultural background, etc. Targeted measures should also be put in place to prevent high risk behaviour of drug users.

The offer of drug treatments that consist of both psychological and pharmacological measures should be improved and new rehabilitation and re-integration programmes developed. The availability and effectiveness of demand reduction interventions should be surveyed by Member States. They should also agree on common minimum quality standards and benchmarks for these services.

Member States should make more use of sanctions other than prison to punish drug-offenders. At the same time, services for drug users in prison should be developed, with particular emphasis placed on health care as well as follow-up care upon release. Member States should also take steps to guarantee access to appropriate services to prevent the propagation of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other blood-borne infectious diseases, as well as to reduce the number of deaths caused by drugs.

Reduce supply

Law enforcement cooperation at European level must be improved in order to fight drug production and trafficking effectively. To that end, multidisciplinary operations involving Europol, Eurojust, as well as police, customs and border control services should be used to a greater extent through bilateral and multilateral cooperation initiatives, namely joint investigation teams (JIT) and joint customs operations (JCO). Furthermore, judicial cooperation among Member States should be improved, especially by encouraging the full application of EU instruments for mutual recognition and assistance.

With a view to responding to emerging threats in a rapid and effective manner at the operational level, regional security platforms, such as the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) and the Baltic Sea Task Force (BSTF) should be set up. At the same time, manufacturing and supplying of synthetic drugs as well as the trafficking of drug precursors must be diminished. This requires enhanced border control management and international operational cooperation.

Improve international cooperation

The effectiveness of cooperation with third countries and international organisations must be improved. The EU drugs policy must be incorporated into the general development and security agenda. Alternative development projects and programmes should be supported through increased financial aid. Projects aimed at producer countries and countries along trafficking routes should be stepped up to reduce the demand for and supply of drugs. Similarly, regional and intraregional cooperation funded by Member States and EC programmes should be enhanced with third countries. Monitoring and assessment tools must also be developed to evaluate EU assistance.

The European integrated and balanced approach to the drugs problem should be promoted, in particular through the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Furthermore, EU drug-related activities should be coordinated with a wide range of international programmes.

Finally, the candidate and stabilisation and association process countries should be given technical and other assistance so that they may become familiar with the EU acquis and take the necessary actions concerning drug-related issues. Such dialogue should also be developed with the European Neighbourhood Policy countries.

Improve understanding of the drugs phenomenon

Understanding of the drugs phenomenon in the EU must be increased, not least to raise awareness among citizens, but also to expand the knowledge base for public policy. This should be achieved through the promotion of research and of exchanges of drug-related data.

It is essential that monitoring instruments, such as the five key epidemiological indicators of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), be further developed to assess the drug situation in Europe. Member States must regularly evaluate their drug policies and amend them accordingly.

The current action plan shall be reviewed annually. In addition, the implementation of the EU drugs strategy for 2005-12 and of this action plan shall be assessed in 2012, with a view to considering any follow-up actions.

Drug precursors: external aspects

Drug precursors: external aspects

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Drug precursors: external aspects

Topics

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

Internal market > Single Market for Goods > Single market for goods: external dimension

Drug precursors: external aspects

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 of 22 December 2004 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Community and third countries in drug precursors.

Summary

This regulation lays down rules for the monitoring of trade in precursor drugs between the European Union (EU) and non-EU countries. Drug precursors refer to substances used for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The regulation applies to imports, exports and transit of drug precursors with a view to preventing their diversion.

The aim of current legislation in this area is to apply Article 12 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, adopted in Vienna on 19 December 1988, which concerns trade in such substances.

Historically, the EU has been a significant exporter of precursors and an importer of illicitly manufactured drugs. Recently, the EU has also become one of the leading exporters of illicitly manufactured synthetic drugs and an importer of the precursors needed to manufacture them. Consequently, the provisions relating to the application for a licence to import or export drug precursors, the granting or refusal of such a licence and its suspension or revocation must be harmonised at EU level.

Given the magnitude of the trade in precursor drugs, current legislation in this area must be modernised. The new procedures are aimed at the most sensitive drug precursors so as not to place an excessive administrative burden on legitimate importers.

Trade monitoring

The purpose of this regulation is to:

  • introduce import and export authorisation requirements for the drug precursors concerned;
  • require all operators to label and properly document drug precursors;
  • require that all operators be licensed;
  • make sure that all drug precursor consignments are inspected in the EU;
  • strengthen import and export controls;
  • conduct special controls at EU level in areas where the risk of diversion is high, such as free zones and transhipment zones.

The import, export and transit of a substance listed in the annex to this regulation must be documented in such a way as to disclose the name of the substance, its quantity and weight, and the name and address of the exporter, importer, distributor and the ultimate consignee. The operators concerned must keep records of all transactions for a period of three years.

These operators must be licensed and registered as such by the competent authorities of the country in which they are established.

EU countries are responsible for establishing cooperation between operators and the competent authorities to enable the latter to prevent diversions from occurring. To this end, operators must transmit to the competent authorities all relevant information and notify them of all transactions involving scheduled substances.

In addition, operators must lodge an application for an import or export authorisation in respect of each transaction with the competent authorities of the EU country in which the importer or exporter is established. Applications for authorisations must contain full information on the transport arrangements, the name and address of all operators involved, and the nature, quantity and weight of the substance. The competent authorities must reach a decision within 15 working days from the completion of the application file.

If there are grounds for suspecting that diversion might occur, the competent authorities may refuse the import or export of the substance.

A similar procedure applies to non-EU countries having requested the Commission to inform them of any export of substances that concerns them or that have concluded an agreement with the EU on the issuing of import authorisations. A specific procedure applies to countries identified as sensitive as regards the possible diversion of certain scheduled substances.

EU countries are responsible for providing their competent authorities with the means to obtain information and conduct enquiries in order to prevent diversion from occurring.

Mutual assistance and confidentiality between the administrations of EU countries is essential. EU countries determine appropriate penalties for infringements. Each year they communicate to the Commission the results of their monitoring measures, on the basis of which the Commission draws up an annual report to be submitted to the International Narcotics Control Board.

The Commission prepares guidelines for the chemical industry. These will include information on how to recognise and report suspicious transactions and an updated list of non-scheduled substances used to illicitly manufacture narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Background

Following the adoption of the 2000-04 EU action plan on drugs, the Commission organised an assessment of the control system of trade in drug precursors. It considered it necessary to extend monitoring requirements to operators trading with non-EU countries, to introduce a common approach to procedures for granting licences and to strengthen customs monitoring requirements. Consequently, this regulation replaces Regulation (EEC) No 3677/90, which originally laid down measures to discourage the diversion of drug precursors.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 111/2005

15.2.2005

OJ L 22 of 26.1.2005

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 7 January 2010 pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 and to Article 32 of Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 on the implementation and functioning of the Community legislation on monitoring and control of trade in drug precursors [COM(2009) 709 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report evaluates the implementation as well as the functioning of Regulations (EC) Nos 111/2005 (above) and 273/2004.
Based on data received form EU countries, the Commission’s evaluation concludes that the legal framework for controlling trade generally provides measures that are proportionate for preventing the diversion of drug precursors without obstructing their legitimate trade. The well-functioning cooperation between operators and competent authorities has greatly contributed to this. Furthermore, the EU guidelines for the chemical industry, together with a new eLearning course for economic operators, complements well this legal framework.
EU countries have applied the common licensing system for category 1 precursors satisfactorily and it functions effectively for the competent authorities as well as for the industry. However, the registration requirement for category 2 precursors might have certain weak points for properly controlling, and preventing diversion in the trade of these substances. In addition, certain provisions (e.g. relating to customer declarations or criteria for determining mixtures) are interpreted differently by EU countries. Other difficulties concern the insufficient rate of reporting by operators to competent authorities and certain aspects of the legislation on external trade, such as inflexible time limits for pre-export notifications and lack of simplified authorisation procedures.
Consequently, the report makes the following recommendations:

  • enhance the harmonised application of the legislative framework by EU countries, especially by sharing best practice;
  • improve reporting, for example by increasing the frequency with which operators must report to competent authorities;
  • possibly modify existing legislation to strengthen controls on category 2 precursors;
  • strengthen controls on pharmaceutical preparations/medicinal products containing ephedrine or pseudo-ephedrine that transit through the EU;
  • modify the procedural requirements to achieve a level of controls that is proportionate to the risk of diversion.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1277/2005 of 27 July 2005 laying down implementing rules for Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on drug precursors and for Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade in drug precursors between the Community and third countries [Official Journal L 202 of 03.08.2005].
The regulation lays down implementing rules concerning the responsible officer, the licensing and registration of operators, the provision of information, pre-export notifications and export and import authorisations in the area of drug precursors.

Information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances

Information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances

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

Information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances.

Summary

The decision establishes a mechanism for a rapid exchange of information on new psychoactive substances. It repeals Joint Action 97/396/JHA, which concerned only new synthetic drugs. The Commission’s evaluation of the joint action of 1997, provided for by the European Action Plan to Combat Drugs (2000-04), showed that it should be strengthened and given a new direction.

The decision takes note of the information on the suspected adverse reactions to be notified under the pharmacovigilance system established by Title IX of Directive 2001/83/CE. It also provides for an assessment of the risks which these new psychoactive substances contain, so that supervisory measures may be applied.

It applies to substances not currently listed in any of the schedules to the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which may pose a comparable threat to public health as the substances listed in Schedule I or II or IV thereof, and the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which may pose a comparable threat to public health as the substances listed in Schedule I or II or IV thereof.

Each European Union (EU) country shall ensure that its Europol National Unit and its representative in the European Information Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction (Reitox) provide information on the manufacture, traffic and use of new psychoactive substances and of preparations containing new psychoactive substances.

Europol and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) collect the information received from EU countries through a reporting form and communicate this information immediately to each other and to the Europol national units, the EU countries’ representatives in the Reitox network, the European Commission and the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA).

If necessary, in light of the information supplied by EU countries, Europol and the EMCDDA may submit a joint report containing, among other things, information on the involvement of organised crime in the manufacture or trafficking of the new psychoactive substance, a first indication of the risks associated with the new psychoactive substance, including the health and social risks, and the characteristics of users, the date of notification of the new psychoactive substance to the EMCDDA or to Europol, etc.

The EMEA informs Europol and the EMCDDA whether in the EU or in any EU country:

  • the new psychoactive substance has obtained a marketing authorisation;
  • the substance is the subject of an application for a marketing authorisation;
  • a marketing authorisation that had been granted in respect of the new psychoactive substance has been suspended.

The Council, taking into account the advice of Europol and the EMCDDA, may request an assessment of the health and social risks caused by the use of, the manufacture of, and traffic in, a new psychoactive substance, the involvement of organised crime and the possible consequences of control measures.

The risk assessment report includes the physical and chemical description of the new psychoactive substance, the health and social risks associated with the new psychoactive substance and the chemical precursors that are used for the manufacture of the substance, etc.

No risk assessment is carried out on a new psychoactive substance in the absence of a Europol/EMCDDA joint report or where the new psychoactive substance concerned is at an advanced stage of assessment within the United Nations system, namely once the WHO expert committee on drug dependence has published its critical review together with a written recommendation. No assessment is carried out if the new psychoactive substance is used to manufacture a medicinal product that is the subject of an authorisation or an authorisation request. There is no assessment either if the new psychoactive substance is used to manufacture a medicinal product for which a marketing authorisation has been suspended.

Within six weeks from the date on which it received the risk assessment report, the Commission will present to the Council an initiative to have the new psychoactive substance subjected to control measures. If the Commission deems that it is not necessary to undertake this initiative, it may be presented to the Council by one or more EU countries.

If the Council decides to submit a new psychoactive substance to control measures, EU countries will endeavour to take the necessary measures to submit the new psychotropic drug to control measures and criminal penalties as provided under their legislation by virtue of their obligations under the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

The EMCDDA and Europol report annually to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the efficacy and achievements of the system created by this decision.

EU countries and the EMEA ensure an appropriate exchange of information between the mechanism set up by means of this decision and the pharmacovigilance systems as defined and established under Title VII of Directive 2001/82/EC and Title IX of Directive 2001/83/EC.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2005/387/JHA

10.5.2005

OJ L 127, 20.5.2005

Exchange of information on drugs

Exchange of information on drugs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Exchange of information on drugs

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

Exchange of information on drugs

To strengthen cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.

2) Document or Iniciative

Joint Action 96/699/JHA of 29 November 1996, adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, concerning the exchange of information on the chemical profiling of drugs to facilitate improved cooperation between Member States in combating drug trafficking
[Official Journal L 322 of 12.12.1996].

3) Summary

This Joint Action is intended to establish a more cohesive mechanism for the transmission and dissemination of the results of drug profiling in Member States. It envisages the exchange of information relating to the chemical profiling of cocaine, heroin, LSD, amphetamines and their ecstasy-type derivatives MDA, MDMA and MDEA, and such other drugs or psychotropic substances as Member States see fit.

The Europol Drugs Unit is designated as the authority to which information from Member States concerning chemical profiling is to be transmitted.

The Europol Drugs Unit will transmit to all Member States the information supplied under 1.

Act Date
of entry into force
Deadline for implementation in the Member States
Joint action 96/699/JHA 12.12.1996

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Cooperation between customs authorities and business organisations of the Member States

Cooperation between customs authorities and business organisations of the Member States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation between customs authorities and business organisations of the Member States

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

Cooperation between customs authorities and business organisations of the Member States

To consolidate the already cooperative relationship between the customs authorities of the Member States and business organisations in combating drug trafficking.

2) Document or Iniciative

Joint Action 96/698/JHA of 29 November 1996, adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty of the European Union, on cooperation between customs authorities and business organisations in combating drug trafficking [Official Journal L 322 of 12.12.1996].

3) Summary

In order to consolidate the already cooperative relationship between customs authorities of the business organisations operating in the European Union in combating drug trafficking, Member States will establish or further develop Memoranda of Understanding programmes at national level under the guidelines laid down in this joint action and will invite participation in such programmes.

Memoranda of Understanding between customs authorities and business organisations may contain, but need not be confined to, provisions in respect of the following:

  • the exchange of contact names in customs and in the signatory organisation;
  • the provision to customs, by the signatory, of advance cargo or passenger data as appropriate;
  • access by customs to the signatory’s information systems;
  • assessment by customs of the signatory’s security procedures;
  • development and implementation of plans to improve such security;
  • checking of newly recruited staff by the signatory;
  • provision by customs of training for the signatory’s staff.

Customs authorities will periodically review the operation of national Memoranda of Understanding programmes and will also review the implementation of individual Memoranda of Understanding and, in agreement with the signatories, adapt them as necessary to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Member States will notify the Council Secretariat of the measures they have taken to implement the provisions of this joint action one year after its entry into force and thereafter as requested by the Presidency.

Member States may at their discretion extend the scope of Memoranda of Understanding established under the programmes referred to at 1 to cover other offences for which the customs authorities are competent in addition to drug trafficking.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Joint action 96/698/JHA 12.12.1996

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Approximation of the laws of the Member States

Approximation of the laws of the Member States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Approximation of the laws of the Member States

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

Approximation of the laws of the Member States (2)

To more effectively coordinate and improve the European Union’s strategy for combating illicit drug-trafficking and in particular to improve cooperation in criminal matters in this area.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Resolution 97/C 10/02 of 20 December 1996 on sentencing for serious drug-trafficking [Official Journal C 10 of 11.1.1997].

3) Summary

Member States will ensure that their national laws provide for the possibility of custodial sentences for serious illicit trafficking in drugs that are within the range of the most severe custodial penalties imposed by their respective criminal law for crimes of comparable gravity.

The factors which might be taken into account regarding custodial penalties that might be applicable in relation to serious drug-trafficking could include, among other factors:

  • the extent of the trafficking,
  • the extent to which the person concerned has profited from the illicit traffic,
  • the involvement in the offence of an organised criminal group to which the offender belongs,
  • the extent to which the offender has control of the drug-trafficking organisation,
  • the victimisation or use of minors.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work


Another Normative about Approximation of the laws of the Member States

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

Approximation of the laws of the Member States (1)

Document or Iniciative

Joint Action 96/750/JHA adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union concerning the approximation of the laws and practices of the Member States of the European Union to combat drug addiction and to prevent and combat illegal drug trafficking [Official Journal L 342 of 31 12 1996].

Summary

The Member States are to undertake to cooperate fully in the fight against drug addiction and endeavour to approximate their laws to make them mutually compatible to the extent necessary to prevent and combat illegal drug trafficking in the Union.

The Member States are to endeavour to make the practices of their police, customs services and judicial authorities more compatible with each other, thus making for closer European cooperation to prevent and combat illegal drug trafficking the Union.

The Member States are to undertake to combat illicit movements of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances within the Community, including “drug tourism”.

The Member States are to ensure that under their legal systems the penalties imposed for serious drug trafficking are among the most severe available for crimes of comparable gravity.

The Member States are to endeavour to draft convergent legislation to the extent necessary to make up legal ground or fill legal vacuums as regards synthetic drugs. In particular, they will promote the establishment of a rapid information system to enable such drugs to be identified as substances liable to be prohibited as soon as they appear anywhere in a Member State.

The Member States are to undertake to adopt the necessary measures to effect a tangible increase in operational cooperation between police, customs services and judicial authorities in combating drug addiction and preventing and combating illegal drug trafficking.

The Member States are to ensure that their obligations under the United Nations Conventions on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances of 1961, 1971 and 1988 are applied strictly and effectively.

The Member States are to undertake to take the most appropriate steps to combat the illicit cultivation of plants containing active ingredients with narcotic properties.

The Member States are to undertake, subject to their constitutional principles and the basic concepts of their legal systems, to make it an offence publicly and intentionally to incite or induce others, by any means, to commit offences of illicit use or production of narcotic drugs. They will be especially vigilant as regards the use made of on-line data services, in particular the Internet.

The Member States may maintain or introduce into their territory any additional measure they deem appropriate to fight drug addiction.

Related Acts

Note from the Council of 22 November 2004 on the EUfor the period 2005-2012 [15074/04 – Not published in the Official Journal].

of 25 October 2004 laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking.

of 20 December 1996 on sentencing for serious drug-trafficking [Official Journal C 10 of 11.1.1997].

Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs

Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs

Topics

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

Customs

Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs

Document or Iniciative

Council Resolution of 29 November 1996 on the drawing up of police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs [Official Journal C 375 of 12.12.1996].

Summary

To emphasise the need for a close working relationship between police forces and customs services, define their respective roles in the context of drug law enforcement activities and enable them to work together more effectively, the Council urges Member States to establish national legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions.

Agreements or other arrangements between police and customs services may contain, but need not be limited to, provisions in respect of the following matters:

  • the precise delineation of, and respect for, the competences of each of the two services, including responsibility for drug seizure and related evidence, questioning and detention of suspects, investigation and, where applicable, prosecution;
  • exchange and sharing of relevant intelligence information;
  • exchange of descriptions of drug traffickers’ modus operandi;
  • exchange of information on the application of risk analysis techniques;
  • exchange of liaison officers at headquarters level of the two services with a view to building up mutual trust and confidence;
  • putting in place close liaison arrangements at local level;
  • joint agreed press statements;
  • joint police-customs task forces, where appropriate, for intelligence and/or investigation purposes;
  • agreed police-customs procedures for operational matters involving both agencies and, where appropriate:
  • joint police-customs mobile patrol squads;
  • joint police-customs training programmes;
  • sharing of equipment by police and customs.

The agreements or arrangements referred to in the resolution may also be extended to include law enforcement agencies other than police and customs.

Related Acts

Council Decision 2005/681/JHA of 20 September 2005 establishing the European Police College (CEPOL) and repealing Decision 2000/820/JHA [Official Journal L 256 of 1.10.2005].

The European Police College (CEPOL) is a cooperation network linking national training institutes for senior police officers. Its objective is to develop a common approach to the issues of crime prevention and the fight against crime through training, the setting-up of harmonised programmes and dissemination of best practice.

The EU drugs action plan (2005-2008) [Official Journal C168 of 8.7.2005].

The action plan sets out guiding principles to help Member States establish their priorities for combating drugs. The guidelines are based on five specific areas of action: coordination, reduction in demand, reduction in supply, international cooperation and information, and research and assessment.

Note from the Council of 22 November 2004 on the EU Drugs Strategy for the period 2005-2012 [15074/04 – not published in the Official Journal].

The main aim of the EU Drugs Strategy is to attain a high level of health protection and well-being by complementing the Member States’ action in preventing and reducing drug use and drug dependence.

Council Resolution of 17 December 2003 on training for drug law enforcement officers [Official Journal C 38 of 12.2.2004].

This resolution highlights the need to ensure greater alignment of training tools and methods for the training of drug law enforcement officers in the Member States. The Council urges the Member States to adapt their training to the constant changes in action on drugs and to exchange know-how and best practices.