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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/partnership-pack-preparing-for-a-no-deal-eu-exit/traders-in-drug-precursor-chemicals-what-to-expect-on-day-one-of-a-no-deal-scenario
If the UK leaves the EU without any deal on 29 March 2019, EU regulations on trading in drug precursor chemicals would no longer apply to the UK. The UK would be treated by the EU as a third country, which means the current rules for trading in drug precursor chemicals with countries outside the EU will apply for UK-EU trade.
How processes will change
You will need to apply for an import and, or export licence or licences when trading with EU countries in certain categories of drug precursor chemicals (see table below for details).
You might also need a pre-export notification (PEN) to trade in certain drug precursor chemicals, depending on the category of chemical and individual country’s requirements.
Import or export applications could take 7 working days to process, so you are advised to factor this into your manufacturing and distribution timescales.
If a PEN is also needed, this means that the substance cannot be shipped for 15 days while the importing authority considers the export.
If you only handle drug precursor chemicals in the UK, or only trade with non-EU countries, there will be no change to the licensing and registration requirements.
Changes to rules for trading within the EU
|Chemical category||Domestic licensing/registration requirements||Import and export licensing/registration requirements|
|Category 1||No change. A domestic licence is always required if you are using drug precursors in the UK, trading within the EU or exporting/importing with third countries.||Change in requirements. You will need to apply for an import and export licence and a pre-export notification (PEN). No change to import licences.|
|Category 2A||Change in requirements. You will need to register with the Home Office regardless of volume (currently you are only required to register if more than 100 litres per annum).||Change in requirements. You will need to apply for an export licence and PEN. No change to import licences.|
|Category 2B||Change in requirements. You will need to register with the Home Office regardless of volume (currently you are only required to register if it exceeds certain volumes).||Change in requirements. You will need to apply for an export licence. A PEN may be required depending on the importing country’s requirements. No change to import authorisations.|
|Category 3||Change in requirements. You will need to register with the Home Office if you are exporting quantities which exceed certain volumes (depending on chemical but between 20kg – 100kg per annum).||Change in requirements. You will need to apply for an export authorisation. A PEN may be required depending on the importing country’s requirements. No change to import authorisations.|
|Category 4||No change||Change in requirements. You may need to apply for an export licence and a PEN depending on the importing country’s requirements. No change to import authorisations.|
How to register and apply for licences
Read more information on drug precursor chemical licensing, including how to apply for licences and registrations and the associated fees.
Fees are payable for all domestic licences and registrations and range from £109 to £3,655, depending on whether you already hold a licence.
To apply for import and export licences/registrations, you first need to register for a National Drugs Control System account.
Once registered you can then apply for import and export licences. The fee for an individual import or export licence is £24.
Actions you can take now
- Consider any changes you may need to make to adapt to new processes and systems.
- Apply for an import and, or export licence or licences for trading with EU countries in certain categories of drug precursor chemicals (see table above for details).
- Ensure your company notifies the Home Office’s Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit of your intention to export as soon as possible.
- The passport rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal. Read the government’s guidance on Travelling to the EU with a UK passport if there’s no Brexit deal and, if relevant, ensure your employees and customers are aware of the potential changes.
- Stay up-to-date with these changes by registering for email alerts. Follow the link, add your email address, select ‘submit’, select ‘Add subscription’ and choose ‘EU Exit’ then select ‘Submit’.