Drug trafficking

In 2004, a number of instruments were adopted at EU level to counter drug trafficking. The Council framework decision 2004/757/JHA of 25 October 2004 laid down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking (13) and is a key instrument in tackling drug trafficking through the establishment of minimum penalties for such offences in Member States.

Agreement on a Council decision on information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances was reached by the Council in December 2004. This decision provides a framework for effective information exchange on new psychotropic substances as well as a mechanism for bringing them under control at EU level.

The Council adopted on 30 March 2004 a recommendation regarding guidelines for taking samples of seized drugs. It recommends that, where this is not already done, Member States introduce a system of taking samples in accordance with internationally accepted guidelines. The Council also adopted a Resolution on cannabis and a progress report in relation to the implementation plans on demand and supply reduction of drugs and the supply of synthetic drugs.

On 11 February 2004, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation no. 273/2004 on drug precursors (14). This establishes harmonised measures for the intra-Community control and monitoring of certain substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, with a view to preventing the diversion of such substances. In particular, it provides guidelines for Member States to adopt the measures necessary to enable their competent authorities to perform their control and monitoring duties and information on how to recognise and notify suspect transactions. On 22 December 2004, the Council adopted Regulation 111/2005, laying down rules for monitoring the trade in drug precursors between the Community and third countries.

Following on from a Council Resolution from November 2002, the European Commission presented a study on a generic and emergency list approach to the control of synthetic drugs at the Council’s Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) in November 2004. It also presented suggestions for possible further improvements in the methods of mapping distribution networks of synthetic drugs in the EU to the HDG in April 2004.


(13) OJ L335, 11/11/2004, p. 8; see also EMCDDA annual report 2004.

(14) OJ L47, 18/02/2004, p. 1.