Fighting a threat to public security: Regulation on marketing and use of explosives precursors
Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors entered into force on February 1, 2021, amending Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 and repealing Regulation (EU) No. 98/2013.
The newly applicable Regulation sets out harmonized rules regarding the making available, introduction, possession, and use of substances or mixtures that could be improperly used for the unlawful manufacture of explosives; aiming to limit their availability to the general public, while guaranteeing the reporting of suspicious transactions as well as manufacturers’ obligation to inform across the supply chain.
Previously applicable Regulation 98/2013 has helped in decreasing the threat presented by explosive precursors in the Union because of the access and use restriction to the general public. Nevertheless, Member States were able to grant such access through a system of licenses and registrations. Thus, control and restriction of explosive precursors has been conflicting with and responsible for the creation of trade barriers within the EU, blocking the internal market’s functioning. Moreover, the restrictions and controls established in Regulation 98/2013 have not guaranteed sufficient levels of public security - since explosives precursors could be acquired illegally - and the threat presented by homemade explosives has continue to evolve.
In these circumstances, it becomes essential to strengthen and harmonize the control and restriction of explosives precursors in the light of the advancement of the threat to public security provoked by terrorism and other grave criminal activities. Free movement of explosives precursors on the internal market should also be ensured by the new Regulation, while promoting competition between economic operators and encouraging innovation.
Below some extracts from relevant articles of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1148:
Article 4. Free movement:
Unless otherwise provided for in this Regulation or in other legal acts of the Union, Member States shall not prohibit, restrict, or impede the making available of a regulated explosives precursor on grounds related to the prevention of the illicit manufacture of explosives.
Article 5. Making available, introduction, possession and use:
3. A Member State may maintain or establish a licensing regime allowing certain restricted explosives precursors to be made available to, or to be introduced, possessed, or used by members of the general public at concentrations not higher than the corresponding upper limit values set out in column 3 of the table in Annex I.
Article 6. Licenses:
1. Each Member State which issues licenses to members of the general public who have a legitimate interest in acquiring, introducing, possessing or using restricted explosives precursors shall lay down rules for issuing licenses in accordance with Article 5(3). When considering whether to issue a license, the competent authority of the Member State shall take into account all relevant circumstances, in particular:
a) The demonstrable need for the restricted explosives precursor and the legitimacy of its intended use;
b) The availability of the restricted explosives precursor and the legitimacy of its intended use;
c) The background of the applicant, including information on previous criminal convictions of the applicant anywhere within the Union;
d) The storage arrangements that have been proposed to ensure that the restricted explosives precursor is securely stored.
Article 7 Informing the supply chain:
1. An economic operator who makes available a restricted explosives precursor to another economic operator shall inform that economic operator that the acquisition, introduction, possession or use of that restricted explosives precursor by members of the general public is subject to a restriction as set out in Article 5(1) and (3).
An economic operator who makes available a regulated explosives precursor to another economic operator shall inform that economic operator that the acquisition, introduction, possession or use of that regulated explosives precursor by members of the general public is subject to reporting obligations as set out in Article 9.
2. An economic operator who makes available regulated explosives precursors to a professional user or to a member of the general public shall ensure and be able to demonstrate to the national inspection authorities referred to in Article 11 that its personnel involved in the sale of regulated explosives precursors are:
(a) aware which of the products it makes available contain regulated explosives precursors;
(b) instructed regarding the obligations pursuant to Articles 5 to 9.
3. An online marketplace shall take measures to ensure that its users, when making available regulated explosives precursors through its services, are informed of their obligations pursuant to this Regulation.
Article 19 Reporting
1. Member States shall provide to the Commission, by 2 February 2022 and subsequently on an annual basis, information on:
a) The numbers of reported suspicious transactions, significant disappearances and thefts respectively;
b) The number of license applications received under any licensing regime that they have maintained or established pursuant to Article 5(3), as well as the number of licenses issued, and the most common reasons for refusing to issue licenses;
c) Awareness-raising actions as referred to in Article 10(2);
d) Inspections carried out as referred to in Article 11, including the number of inspections and economic operators covered.
Leyre Carrasco Alonso – Regulatory Affairs Department
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- European Parliament and Council. (2019). Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 of the European Parliament and the Council of 20 June 2019 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors, amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 98/2013. Eur-Lex. Retrieved on 18/06/2021 from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32019R1148