EU Drug Precursor Seizures
Precursor chemicals are required to make illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamines. Their licit international movement is controlled by international conventions and at EU level under Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 (managed by the European Commission's Directorate General for Taxation and the Customs Union) and Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 (managed by the Commission's Enterprise Directorate General) for intra-EU movements. The EU is recognised as being a major producer of Amphetamine Type stimulants and illegally imports considerable quantities of precursors.
The key synthetic drug precursors, which are misused to make synthetic drugs are mostly sourced outside the EU. Precursors are often produced under conditions which are very difficult to control. There is a high risk of unauthorised exports of precursor chemicals, being subsequently trafficked out of the countries of production by using unusual and complex routes to disguise their origin. The EU precursor legislation revised in 2004 and 2005 to step up the fight against illegal imports and precursor trafficking into the EU requires Member States to file a quarterly report of the seizures. This allows the Commission to better monitor the evolution and trends in the illegal diversion of drug precursors. Co-operation with the private sector has proven to be an effective means to detect suspicious transactions at an early stage. The amended European Customs Code provisions allow for common risk management at borders in the face of potentially dangerous consignments. However, traffickers constantly change their diversion patterns and further action needs to be taken to stop them.
The 2011 summary report
The 2009 summary report contains more detailed information on the situation.
See also the 2006 report