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U.S. Department of State
1996 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 1997

United States Department of State

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


Chemical Controls

The diversion of chemicals from legitimate commerce to illicit drug manufacture cannot be prevented on an individual country basis; there are too many alternative source countries for adept traffickers to turn to when effective controls deny them chemicals from one particular country. Nor can chemical diversion control be only the responsibility of chemical source countries; importing countries where diversion takes place must cooperate in efforts to ensure that their imports of drug precursor and essential chemicals are for legitimate purposes.

Developing the necessary cooperation among chemical source countries and between chemical source countries and chemical importing countries to curtail chemical diversion has been the principal international policy-level objective of the USG in chemical control. We are seeking to increase recognition of the need for cooperation, and working with other major chemical source and importing countries to develop mutually agreed procedures to achieve it.

The 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988 UN Convention) is the fundamental instrument for international counternarcotics cooperation. Article 12 of that Convention sets out the basic obligations of signatories in chemical control, and the tables in its Annex identify the 22 chemicals most necessary to drug manufacture and, therefore, subject to control.

Many major chemical source and drug producing countries have laws and regulations to fulfill their chemical control obligations under the 1988 UN Convention. Many of these are compatible, being based either on the 1990 Model Chemical Regulations of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) or the 1991 recommendations of the G-7 Chemical Action Task Force.

Therefore, the foundation for international cooperation exists. Its essential elements are communication between enforcement authorities, respect for each others' denials of authorizations to export (so traffickers cannot acquire chemicals from another source country), and common ground rules for handling transactions with sensitive drug producing areas.

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Sunday, 2 March 1997