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Anti-Fentanyl Amendment to the Federal Law on Chemical Precursors comes into force in Mexico | Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

On May 3, 2003, the Mexican President published a Decree amending, adding and derogating several provisions of the Federal Law on the Control of Chemical Precursors, Essential Chemical Products and Machines for the Production of Capsules, Tablets and/or Pills (the “Amendment”).

The amendment comes in the context of diplomatic tension between the governments of Mexico, China and the United States, over the crisis in the consumption of fentanyl and other chemical substances in the United States.

Regarding the content of the amendment, the following aspects stand out:

The decree elevates the law in question to the rank of “public order, general interest and respect throughout the territory of the state”, due to its important implications for public health.

The amendment amended the definitions of essential precursor chemicals and essential chemicals to include a broader concept that encompasses more substances, such as synthetic drugs.

According to the Amendment, the Integral Substance System (“SISUS”) is now formally recognized, its main objective being to simplify administrative procedures for persons carrying out regulated activities. Through its registry, SISUS will enable knowledge of the location, quantity and type of chemical precursor, essential chemical product or machinery related to its production. The information contained in SISUS is confidential and can only be released by order of a federal reviewing judge, as part of a criminal health offense proceeding due to organized crime.

As a result of the changes, regulated entities must do the following:

• Annually report to the Ministry of Health (“SSA”), through the Federal Commission for Protection from Sanitary Risks (“COFEPRIS”), data on entities with which they perform their activities; and

• Register the regulated activities they perform, within a period of no longer than 24 hours, counting from the moment they perform the corresponding activity, in SISUS.

The amendment also promotes as competent authorities in this matter the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of the Navy and various bodies of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, such as the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Tax Administration Service and the National Customs Agency of Mexico.

Likewise, the Ministries of Security and Protection of Citizens and Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources, as well as COFEPRIS and the National Guard, are authorized to cooperate with the competent bodies from the previous paragraph in preventing and detecting deviations in the production of drugs and chemical precursors. , essential chemical products and machines for the production of capsules, tablets or pills.

Prevails the obligation to import or export chemical precursors and essential chemical products only through customs offices designated by the SSA, but now gives COFEPRIS express authorization for verification.

Finally, the amendment includes new sanctions. Among the most relevant are: (i) a sanction of 10 to 15 years in prison and a fine of 10% of the realized income for anyone who deviates or uses chemical precursors or essential chemicals for the production of synthetic drugs; and (ii) a sanction of 7 to 10 years in prison and a fine of one thousand to five thousand units of measurement and actualization for anyone who has in his possession chemical precursors, essential chemicals or machines for the production of capsules.

Next steps

After the publication of the amendments, the President of the Republic must make the necessary changes and additions to the regulations of the law. This obligation must be fulfilled within 180 calendar days from the publication of the Amendments, which expires on October 30, 2023.

Likewise, the Ministry of the Navy and the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport must publish the formats through which notifications for the transport of chemical precursors or essential chemicals are submitted.

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