Explosives precursors are chemical substances which can be misused to manufacture home-made explosives. In 2013, recognising the threat posed by these substances to public security, Regulation EU 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors was adopted to enhance security against terrorism. The 2015 European Agenda on Security also reflects the importance of taking action at EU level to reduce access to these dangerous chemical substances.
Despite the restrictions and controls introduced under the Regulation, regulated explosives precursor substances and mixtures continue to be accessed by individuals and groups that aim to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe. This is evident from recent attacks involving homemade explosives which have left hundreds of dead and injured (for example, in Manchester in 2017, Ansbach and Brussels in 2016, and Paris in 2015), and from many additional incidents where homemade explosives and related materials have been found and seized by the police. Terrorist attacks have devastating, though difficult to quantify, social and economic impacts, due to the death and injury of victims, distressing psychological effects on the wider population, damaged infrastructure, disruptions to business operations and services, and the mobilisation of public resources for contingency planning and response.
In a 2017 report on the application of the Regulation, the Commission concluded that the Regulation's entry into force helped reduce access to dangerous explosive precursors. The report adds, however, that changes to the Regulation should be considered in order to increase the capacity of all those involved in implementing and enforcing the restrictions and controls on precursors. With this in mind, the Commission has committed to carefully evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the Regulation and assessing the impact of possible new and strengthened measures.
The Inception impact assessment informs stakeholders and citizens about the initiative. The feedback received is published alongside the inception impact assessment.
View the consultation strategy. The consultation strategy outlines the consultation objectives, maps the relevant stakeholders and explains which consultation methods and tools the European Commission is using in the course of the evaluation and impact assessment. Please note that this document is provided for information only and does not commit the European Commission in any way.
An open public consultation has been launched on the dedicated Commission website. The aim is to gather the views and concerns of all interested citizens, authorities and organisations. If you want to contribute to the open public consultation, please submit your reply by 14 February 2018.
A targeted consultation of the Expert Group Standing Committee on Precursors will take place on 21 February 2018. During this meeting, public authorities responsible for implementing the Regulation and economic operators along the supply chain of explosives precursors will have the opportunity to share their views.
In addition to these consultation activities, the Commission commissioned a study to evaluate the existing policy and legislative framework and to assess possible options for a future EU initiative. An external contractor will analyse the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value of the Regulation and examine ways to strengthen the protection against the illicit use of explosives precursors. The results of the study will feed into the revision process.