Amended legislation: drug precursors added to list of scheduled substances

date: 13/01/2021

The new European Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1737 adds certain drug precursors to the list of scheduled substances. In addition, certain Combined Nomenclature (CN) codes for drug precursors were amended. The regulation enters into force in stages: the first stage started on 13 December 2020 and the second stage on 13 January 2021.

Drug precursors are substances that can be misused for the illicit manufacture of psychotropic substances and narcotic drugs. The newly added substances were freely available on the internet and were increasingly used by criminals for the illicit manufacture of drugs. 

The European Commission published the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/1737 to amend the provisions of Regulation (EC) 273/2004 and Regulation (EC) 111/2005 and to include some additional drug precursors in the list of scheduled substances. These new measures will allow the competent public authorities to monitor the trade in these substances.

Phase 1 entered into force on 13 December 2020 
The following substances were added to annex I of Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and to the annex of Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 as precursors of MDMA (ecstasy) and amphetamines: 
•    PMK methyl glycidate 
•    PMK glycidic acid 
•    BMK methyl glycidate 
•    BMK glycidic acid 
•    APAA 
•    MAPA

Under these regulations, the trade, possession and use of these substances are subject to monitoring, both within the European Union (intracommunity) as for import and export (on the level of the European Union, extracommunity).

In addition, a number of CN codes have been amended. This also implies a number of changes for the above mentioned drug precursors. 

Phase 2 entered into force on 13 January 2021
The substance red phosphorus is included in category 2A in annex I of Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and in category 2 of the annex to Regulation (EC) No 111/2005. Due to its properties, the substance is often used for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine. 
This change in EU regulation applies to both intracommunity and extracommunity trade. The possession and use of red phosphorus is subject to control under the regulations.

The quantitative threshold for transactions involving red phosphorus within a calendar year was fixed by Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 at 0.1 kg.
The CN code for red phosphorus has also been changed to 2804 7010 instead of 2804 70000.

Additional information 
Specially regulated substances: precursors – Legislative background 


Last updated on 13/01/2021