Distributors and vendors of category 1 or 2 chemicals must require the buyer to provide a customer declaration of specific use. This is legally required by Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 and aims to protect trade in drug precursors (substances that can be used to make drugs).
Category 1 substances
Distributors of category 1 substances such as ephedrine, norephedrine, pseudoephedrine, ergometrine, ergotamine ... can only sell to an operator who can provide a customer declaration (model in point 1 of Annex III). An individual declaration must be submitted for each substance.
Distributors/vendors must stamp and date a copy of the customer declaration, certifying it to be a true copy of the original. This copy must always accompany the substances being moved within the European Union and be presented on request to the authorities.
Category 2 substances
Distributors of category 2 substances such as acetic anhydride, phenylacetic acid, anthranilic acid, piperidine, potassium permanganate and red phosphorus, may accept both the declaration relating to individual transactions (model in point 1 of Annex III) and the declaration relating to multiple transactions over a period not exceeding one year (model in point 2 of Annex III). A declaration relating to multiple transactions may only be accepted provided that the operator meets the following criteria:
a. The customer has been supplied by the distributor with the substance on at least three occasions in the preceding 12 months;
b. The distributor has no reason to suppose that the substance will be used for illicit purposes;
c. The quantities ordered are consistent with the usual consumption for that customer.
Pharmacies open to the public and hospital pharmacies should also comply with the obligation to present a customer declaration upon purchase.