ARCHIVED — Vol. 150, No. 4 — February 24, 2016

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Registration

SOR/2016-12 February 5, 2016

CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES ACT

Regulations Amending the Precursor Control Regulations (APAAN)

P.C. 2016-48 February 5, 2016

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 55(1) (see footnote a) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Precursor Control Regulations (APAAN).

Regulations Amending the Precursor Control Regulations (APAAN)

Amendments

1 The schedule to the Precursor Control Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by replacing the references after the heading “SCHEDULE” with the following:

(Paragraph 5(b), section 8, subsections 9(1.1) and 91.3(1), section 91.9, subsection 91.92(1), paragraph 91.96(c) and section 92)

2 The portion of item 23 of the schedule to the French version of the Regulations in column 1 is replaced by the following:

Article

Colonne 1

Précurseur visé à la partie 1 de l’annexe VI de la Loi

23

Acide hydrophosphoreux et ses sels et dérivés

3 The schedule to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after item 24:

Item

Column 1


Precursor set out in Part 1 of Schedule VI to the Act

Column 2

Maximum Quantity (expressed as an absolute amount or per package)

25

Alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile and its salts, isomers and salts of isomers

0

Coming into Force

4 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations and the Order.)

Issues

Alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN) is being trafficked globally for use in the illicit production of amphetamines. Amphetamines are known stimulants with significant abuse and addiction potential, and are listed under Schedule I to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). APAAN poses significant risks to the health and safety of Canadians and has become a global concern.

APAAN was originally identified in large-scale illicit methamphetamine manufacturing in 2006, and since then has been seized around the world. In 2013, at the 106th session of the International Narcotics Control Board, an increase in illicit amphetamine manufacturing and trafficking incidents related to APAAN were reported. Noting this concern, in March 2014, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND), the central policymaking body within the UN dealing with drug-related issues, added APAAN and its optical isomers to Table I of the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 (1988 Convention), and member parties were requested to adopt similar controls.

More information regarding this international scheduling initiative is available at https://www.unodc.org/documents/commissions/CND/CND_Sessions/CND_57/_E-CN7-2014-09/E-CN7-2014-9_V1400040_E.pdf.

Adding APAAN and its salts, isomers and salts of isomers to Part 1 of Schedule VI to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and to the Schedule to the Precursor Control Regulations (PCR) will fulfill Canada’s international obligations under the 1988 Convention and will help protect the health and safety of Canadians by minimizing the risk of unauthorized activities related to APAAN, its salts, isomers and salts of isomers, including their use in the illicit production of methamphetamines.

Background

APAAN is a crystalline powder used as a precursor in the illicit manufacture of P-2-P, otherwise known as benzyl methyl ketone (BMK). P-2-P, which is controlled and regulated as a Class A precursor in Canada is used in the illicit synthesis of amphetamines, primarily methamphetamines. Multi-tonne shipments of APAAN intended for the illicit production of amphetamines have been seized in North America and in Europe. In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) reported a relinquishment of 5.7 metric tonnes of APAAN with the potential to produce over $93 million worth of methamphetamines (RCMP 2013. Overview of 2012 Synthetic Drug Trends). This report is available upon request from the RCMP.

In March 2014, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted in favour of including APAAN and its optical isomers in Table I of the 1988 Convention and notified signatory parties of this decision on April 9, 2014. As a member party to this Convention, Canada is required to impose similar controls on APAAN.

The CDSA is the statutory instrument through which the Government of Canada fulfills its international obligations under the 1988 Convention. The CDSA and its regulations provide a legislative framework for the control of substances that can alter mental processes and of the precursors used in the production of these substances. The CDSA and its regulations have the dual purpose of protecting public health and maintaining public safety by balancing the need for access to these substances for legitimate industrial, medical or scientific purposes and mitigating the risks of trafficking and diversion to illicit markets and uses.

Schedule VI to the CDSA includes lists of controlled Class A and Class B precursors that are commonly used in clandestine manufacturing processes. Class A precursors are essential chemical compounds (e.g. P-2-P, pseudoephedrine) while Class B precursors are common essential reagents such as solvents, acids and bases. The PCR provide a regulatory framework to authorize certain persons to conduct activities with precursors, with different requirements for Class A and Class B precursors. For example, a licence is required to conduct activities with Class A precursors, while registration with Health Canada is required to conduct activities with Class B precursors. Licensed dealers are required to apply for an additional permit to import and to export Class A precursors, while registered dealers only require an additional permit for the export of Class B precursors.

As APAAN is not a common reagent and is not currently known to be used for any legitimate industrial, medical or scientific purpose in Canada, APAAN is being scheduled under the CDSA as a Class A precursor.

Objectives

The objectives of this scheduling amendment are to help protect the health and safety of Canadians and to fulfill Canada’s international obligations under the 1988 Convention by minimizing the risks of unauthorized activities with APAAN and its salts, isomers and salts of isomers, including their use in the illicit production of methamphetamines in Canada.

Description

This regulatory amendment will add APAAN and its salts, isomers and salts of isomers to Part 1 of Schedule VI to the CDSA so that these substances will be controlled as Class A precursors and to the Schedule to the PCR so that licensed dealers and permit holders can be authorized to conduct activities with these substances.

Once scheduled under the CDSA and the PCR, only those exempted parties and authorized licensed dealers or permit holders will be able to conduct activities with APAAN in accordance with the CDSA and the PCR.

Scheduling under the CDSA will provide law enforcement agencies with the authority to take action against unauthorized activities. The maximum penalty for indictable offences with respect to substances in Schedule VI is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply, as this regulatory amendment is being implemented to fulfill Canada’s non-discretionary obligations as a member party to the 1988 Convention.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this regulatory amendment, as APAAN has no known legitimate industrial, medical or scientific uses in Canada.

Consultation

Internationally, the control of APAAN was discussed at the 57th session of the UNCND in March 2014. When international scheduling was proposed, the 42 governments that responded either stated direct support for, or registered no objection to, the scheduling of APAAN.

On September 27, 2014, a Notice to Interested Parties (http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2014/2014-09-27/pdf/g1-14839.pdf) outlining Health Canada’s proposal to add APAAN to Part I of Schedule VI to the CDSA and to the Schedule to the PCR was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. Only four enquiries were received, seeking information related to the implementation of this scheduling amendment and asking for APAAN’s Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) number registry listings.

In addition, Health Canada submitted a World Trade Organization (WTO) notification under the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. During the 60-day comment period, no submissions were received.

Rationale

This scheduling amendment will fulfill Canada’s international obligations under the 1988 Convention and help protect the health and safety of Canadians by mitigating the risks of unauthorized activities with APAAN in Canada.

This scheduling action is consistent with the scheduling of other Class A precursors under the CDSA and the PCR and will provide law enforcement agencies with the authority to take action against all unauthorized activities with APAAN.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Health Canada will notify stakeholders (e.g. law enforcement agencies) as well as provincial/territorial ministries of health of this regulatory amendment and provide relevant links on the Health Canada’s Web site at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/legislation/acts-reg-lois/acts-reg-lois-eng.php.

Health Canada is responsible for authorizing (for example through licences, permits, and exemptions) activities with substances scheduled under the CDSA and for monitoring compliance with the CDSA and its regulations.

Federal, provincial and local law enforcement agencies are responsible for taking enforcement action in response to contraventions of the CDSA and its regulations. The prosecution of contraventions under the CDSA is the responsibility of the justice system. The associated penalties of such contraventions may include the application of a fine and/or a term of imprisonment and vary according to the schedule on which the controlled substance is listed under the CDSA.

The offences associated with Class A precursor of Schedule VI substances include offences for importing, exporting and possession for the purposes of exporting with a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment upon indictment and 18 months upon summary conviction. In addition, since APAAN can be used to produce methamphetamines, section 7.1 of the CDSA could apply to the possession, production, sale or import of APAAN, with the associated maximum penalty for this indictable offence of 10 years less a day.

This regulatory amendment will come into force upon registration.

Contact

Anna Wheeler
Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch
Health Canada
Main Stats Building
150 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0T6
Email: OCS_regulatorypolicy-BSC_ politiquereglementaire@hc-sc.gc.ca