Certain substances can be used in the illicit manufacture of explosives, such explosives have been used in terrorist attacks in the EU, including those in Paris in 2015, Brussels in 2016, Manchester and Parsons Green in 2017, and Lyon in 2019. To protect citizens from the threat posed by explosives precursors the availability, possession and use of these substances is subject to additional oversight.


What is an Explosives Precursor?

An explosives precursor is a chemical substance that can be made into an explosive with relative ease e.g. by mixing or blending with other substances, or by simple chemical processing. The vast majority of chemicals are used for legitimate purposes. However, some chemicals could potentially be misused for the illicit manufacture of homemade or improvised explosive. Indeed, relatively small amounts of certain chemicals can be sufficient to manufacture a significant amount of explosives.


Regulation (EU) 2019/1148

Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors came into effect on 01 February 2021, this New Regulation amends Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 and repeals Regulation (EU) No 98/2013.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 establishes harmonised rules concerning the making available, introduction, possession and use of substances or mixtures that could be misused for the illicit manufacture of explosives, with a view to limiting the availability of those substances or mixtures to members of the general public, and with a view to ensuring the appropriate reporting of suspicious transactions throughout the supply chain.

Regulation (EU) No. 2019/1148 takes direct effect across the Union. However certain aspects of the regulation will require transposition into national law through a new Statutory Instrument to come into effect.

Statutory Instrument No 611 of 2014, the European Union (Marketing and Use of Explosives Precursors Regulations 2014 transposed Regulation (EU) 98/2013, and lays down rules on penalties applicable to infringements and also provides for the State’s licensing regime. This Statutory Instrument will remain in place until it is repealed by subsequent legislation. Until a new Statutory Instrument is enacted the provisions related to labelling and licensing contained in Statutory Instrument 611/2014 will remain in the effect.

Further information

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