For information only - not an official document

  12 March 2020

COVID 19 - INCB continues to ensure functioning of international system for trade in controlled substances to ensure their availability for medical, scientific, and legitimate industrial purposes

VIENNA, 12 March (United Nations Information Service) - In view of the COVID19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization, the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Mr. Cornelis P. de Joncheere, has confirmed that INCB is continuing to ensure the functioning of the international system for trade in controlled substances.

Measures are in place to ensure that the Board and its Vienna-based secretariat can - regardless of any local restrictions in place to contain the pandemic - continue to assist competent national authorities in the functioning of the system of international trade in controlled substances.

INCB systems to facilitate licit international trade in controlled substances while preventing their diversion to illicit channels will continue to operate. Competent national authorities will remain able to exchange import and export authorizations for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances through INCB's International Import and Export Authorization System (I2ES) and issue pre-export notifications for precursor chemicals through INCB's Pre-Export Notification system (PEN-Online).

The President of the Board also takes this opportunity to remind all Governments that in acute emergencies, it is possible to utilize simplified control procedures for the export, transportation and provision of medicinal products containing controlled substances. Competent national authorities may permit the export of medicines containing narcotic drugs and/or psychotropic substances to affected areas even in the absence of the corresponding import authorizations and/or estimates. Urgent deliveries do not need to be included in the estimates of the receiving countries affected by emergencies.

In case of queries or need for assistance, competent national authorities should contact the INCB secretariat at


INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body charged with promoting and monitoring Government compliance with the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the thirteen members of the Board are elected in a personal capacity by the Economic and Social Council for terms of five years. 

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For further information, please contact:

INCB Secretariat
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4163
Email: incb.secretariat[at]

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