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Are you aware of the new EU regulation 1148/2019?

Chemical substances and mixtures are used on a daily basis in a wide variety of industrial and professional processes, as well as by consumers. In industry, chemicals are used to produce products such as paints, rubber, plastics and textiles. Chemicals are also used as food and feed ingredients and as intermediates for other chemicals. In both professional use and as consumers, we may use them in paints, solvents and cleaning agents.

The vast majority of chemicals are traded between businesses for legitimate purposes. However, some chemicals can be misused for the illicit manufacture of homemade explosives. Terrorists and other criminals may seek to purchase the precursor ingredients from the open market. The purpose of EU Regulation 1148/2019 is to prevent certain substances from being made available to those who intend to use them for illegal uses.

The new Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the marketing and use of explosives precursors imposes new obligations on economic operators, as well as on members of the general public, meaning private persons like you and me. The new regulation replaces the previous regulation (EU) 98/2013 and enters into force on 1 February 2021.

The new regulation lays down harmonised rules in EU countries for the making available, import, possession and use of substances and mixtures that could be misused for the illicit manufacture of explosives. The aim is to limit the access of ordinary citizens to these substances and mixtures and to ensure that suspicious transactions throughout the supply chain are properly reported. What is new is that, in future, legal persons will also need authorisation for precursor ingredients that they do not need in the normal course of their business or profession.

The new rules will strengthen control of the sale of the mentioned substances, as well as oblige all operators to report any suspicious transactions, thefts or losses relating to these substances.

We have gathered here a few noteworthy points about the new rules.

Sales to members of the general public – for economic operators operating a licensing regime

As of February 2021, the substances listed in Annex I and II of the regulation in practice shall no longer be made available to or introduced, possessed or used by the members of the general public. Members of the general public can only buy, use or possess the restricted explosives precursors if they have a valid license granted by a national competent authority.  

Annex I – restricted explosive precursors – sets the minimum concentration limits for the license requirement and the maximum concentration limits for the possibility to grant a license. If this maximum concentration limit set for the substance in the mixture is exceeded, the license cannot be granted. In case a license is not available, the transaction should be refused.

Although the detailed license procedures may vary depending on the EU Member State, the principles remain the same. Before finalising the sales transaction, the identity of the customer must be verified, as must the validity of the license (Article 8 (1)). Economic operators can verify the licence by contacting the competent authority of the Member State that issued the licence (Article 5(3)). 

Sales to professional users or other economic operators  

A restricted explosives precursor may be made available to a professional user or economic operator if the economic operator has verified that the customer is in fact a professional user or another economic operator. This verification is required unless such a verification for that customer has already occurred within a period of one year prior to the date of that transaction and the transaction does not significantly differ from previous transactions (Article 8(2) and 8(3)). In order to ensure that all information is provided, it is recommended that the economic operator ask the customer to fill in the ‘Customer’s statement’, as given in Annex IV of the Regulation. This statement must be renewed annually. 

All operators and online marketplaces are required to report (attempted or concluded) suspicious transactions and significant disappearances and thefts of explosives precursors to the Member States’ national contact points (Article 9(4), (5), (6)).  

 

Algol Chemicals strives to do its best to prevent our products from falling into the wrong hands. This we can achieve by up to date risk assessments, guidelines, training of personnel and regular safety exercises carried out at our sites. We will also require Customer's Statements from all our customers for the substances listed in the regulation and mixtures containing them. 

 

Sources:

EU regulation 1148/2019 - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FI/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32019R1148 

Guidelines for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52020XC0624%2801%29