For information only - not an official document

  28 November 2023


International Narcotics Control Board recommends scheduling of 18 precursors of fentanyl and amphetamine-type stimulants



VIENNA, 28 November (UN Information Service) - The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) concluded its assessment of 18 substances used in the illicit manufacture of drugs: two fentanyl precursors and two series of closely related precursors of amphetamine-type stimulants (16 substances) at its 138th session. As a result, the Board is recommending that the substances be included in Table I of the 1988 Convention, subject to a vote by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March 2024.

The proposal to internationally control closely related substances anticipates the actions of illicit drug manufacturers who circumvent controls by replacing controlled chemicals with closely related substitutes. The decision of the Board to recommend the international control of these chemicals puts into practice a 2022 resolution by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (65/3).

The scheduling of the two additional precursors of fentanyl would further contribute to global efforts to address the illicit manufacture of this highly potent drug, which is associated with the opioid overdose crisis experienced in some countries. In the past six years, five fentanyl precursors have been placed under international control upon the recommendation of INCB.

During the session, the Board also held consultations with Member States on operational responses to counter the public health threats posed by trafficking in synthetic drugs and their precursors, covering activities facilitated by INCB under its precursor control programme and the Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme. Representatives of 44 Permanent Missions to the United Nations (Vienna) attended the consultation and shared their views on the challenges posed by synthetic drugs. The Board also held consultations with the World Health Organization as part of ongoing cooperation.

The Board continued its monitoring of Member States' implementation of the three international drug control conventions. Its Standing Committee on Estimates reviewed national estimates and assessments of licit requirements for narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals for medical, scientific and industrial purposes. Special attention was paid to progress in improving the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic purposes for medical purposes, including during emergency situations. The INCB Learning programme is building the capacity of national authorities in treaty implementation to achieve this goal.

The Board also finalized its 2023 Annual Report, which includes a thematic chapter on the role of the Internet, including social media, in drug trafficking and use. The report, together with the INCB 2023 Precursors Report, will be released in March 2024.


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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