INCB secretariat offers perspectives on monitoring of international trade in controlled substances at WTO workshop

Vienna, 4 July 2019 - From 2 to 5 July 2019, the Market Access Division of the Word Trade Organization ( WTO) secretariat hosted a workshop on prohibitions, licensing and other quantitative restrictions on international trade for officials from countries in Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

For four days, 24 government officials representing 15 countries gathered to learn about quantitative restrictions and their economic effects on international trade within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and other relevant treaties.

The Vienna-based secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) contributed its perspective on measures of trade monitoring applicable to internationally controlled substances - narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors - and described the functioning of the control mechanisms established under the three international drug control conventions designed to strike a balance between ensuring the adequate availability of and access to those substances for legitimate medical, scientific and industrial purposes and preventing their trafficking or diversion from licit to illicit channels.

In the course of the workshop, participants learned how the system of estimates and statistical returns under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (and its corresponding mechanisms under the 1971 and 1988 conventions) contributes to achieving that balance and what tools the INCB has made available to Governments, free of charge, to facilitate the administration of import and export regulations applicable to internationally controlled substances. In particular, participants were introduced to the Board's online platforms for processing international trade authorizations and endorsements of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, I2ES (International Import and Export Authorization System), and for the real-time exchange of pre-export notifications concerning planned cross-border precursors shipments, PEN (Pre-Export Notification) Online. The workshop also presented an occasion to exchange complementary expertise and know-how accumulated among the WTO and INCB secretariat in the area of international trade, and to explore possibilities for future collaboration.


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