Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the sixty-third session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on the addition to the list of substances in Table I of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

This draft Council Decision seeks to establish a common EU position on the scheduling of one substance to the 1988 United Nations (UN) Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. This Convention entered into force on 11 November 1990. Pursuant to Article 12, paragraphs 2 to 7 of the Convention, substances may be added to the Tables of that Convention to enable international control. The UK is one of 189 signatories to the 1988 convention.

The UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND), during its sixty third session of 2 to 6 March 2020 in Vienna, decided to approve the addition of one new substance to Table I of the 1998 Convention. The substance, methyl alpha-phenylacetoacetate (MAPA) is known a as drug precursor and is required for the manufacture of internationally controlled drugs.

According to the assessment of the UN’s International Narcotic Control Board, methyl alpha-phenylacetoacetate (MAPA) is frequently used in the illicit manufacture of amphetamine and Methylamphetamine. Methylamphetamine is controlled as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Amphetamine is a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and both are schedule 2 drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

There was evidence that the volume and extent of the illicit manufacture of this substance poses serious public health or social problems so as to warrant the placing of this substance under international control.

The 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 also have legitimate commercial uses as they are legally used in a wide variety of industrial processes and consumer products.

Topic  Better Regulation 
Department  Home Office 
Council Reference  5396/20 
COM Reference  COM(20)17 
SEC Reference   
PE Cons   
JOIN   
SWD   
C Reference   

Associated file(s)


  1. 5396/20 - 406 KB - pdf
  2. EM 5396/20 - 117 KB - pdf

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