Illicit drug precursors


Symbolic picture.

Illicit drug precursors (precursors) are normally completely legal chemicals used in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. However, they are also used in illicit laboratories for illicit production (manufacture or processing) of a number of illicit drugs. The majority of countries perform severe control over the production of and the trade in precursors in order to prevent their abuse or use for illicit purposes. Precursors are classified into different groups (precursors used as primary raw materials, precursors used as other ingredients in the manufacture of illicit drugs and precursors used as other ingredients in the manufacture of illicit drugs that can be substituted with other substances). In order to monitor the compliance with the relevant legislation, the European Commission has prepared a schedule of illicit drug precursors which is constantly changing.

Customs authorities monitor the trade in illicit drug precursors between the EU and third countries. Consequently, importers, exporters and operators engaged in import or export activities of scheduled substances must hold a licence.

Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1011 provide rules for monitoring. Regulation 111/05 lays down rules for the monitoring of the trade (import, export and intermediary activities) between the EU and third countries in substances which are often used for illicit production of prohibited drugs and psychotropic substances in order to prevent the abuse of these substances. Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1011 contains lists of scheduled substances classified in different categories, describes the procedure of obtaining a licence for trade in precursors, the registration, the obligation to report to competent authorities (Chemical Office of the Republic of Slovenia). Furthermore, it lays down provisions for import and export licences, defines notification obligations of operators engaged in trade with precursors and all forms equally used throughout the EU.

EU legislation


  • Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 of 22 December 2004 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Community and third countries in drug precursors
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1011 of 24 April 2015 supplementing Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on drug precursors and Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Union and third countries in drug precursors, and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 1277/2005

National legislation


  • Decree on the implementation of Regulations (EC) on precursors for illicit drugs