Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

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Chemical Handler's Manual


Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. §§ 1309.71 – 1309.73, 1314.25, and 1314.50.

Basic Security Requirements

Applicants and registrants are required to provide effective controls and procedures to guard against theft and diversion of List I chemicals. Specific attention should be paid to the following areas:

The regulated seller must place the scheduled listed chemical products (SLCP)  so that customers do not have direct access to the product before the sale is made. SLCPs must be kept behind the counter or stored in a locked cabinet. Mobile retail vendors must keep SLCPs in a locked cabinet.

Chemicals must be stored in a container sealed in such a way that will reveal any attempts at tampering. If a chemical cannot be stored in such a sealed container, access to the chemical should be controlled through physical means (e.g. locked in a secure place) or through human or electronic monitoring.

The registrant should exercise caution in considering the employment of persons who will have access to listed chemicals who have been convicted of a felony offense relating to controlled substances or listed chemicals or who have, at any time, had an application for registration with the DEA denied, had a DEA registration revoked, or surrendered a DEA registration for cause. For purposes of this subsection, the term "for cause" means a surrender in lieu of, or as a consequence of, any Federal or State administrative, civil or criminal action resulting from an investigation of the individual's handling of controlled substances or listed chemicals. The registrant shall assess the risks involved in employing such persons, including the potential for suspension or revocation of the registrant's DEA registration.

An employee who has knowledge of diversion from his employer by a fellow employee has an obligation to report such information to the employer or a responsible security official of the employer. The employer shall treat such information as confidential and shall take all reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the information and the identity of the employee furnishing information. A failure to report information of chemical diversion will be considered in determining the feasibility of continuing to allow an employee to work in an area with access to chemicals. It is the employer's responsibility to inform employees of this policy.

Any person exempted from registration (see Section III, Waiver of Registration Requirement for Certain Activities) must comply with the security requirements set forth in 21 C.F.R. § 1309.71 - 1309.73.

In evaluating the effectiveness of security controls and procedures, the following factors shall be considered:

  1. The type, form, and quantity of List I chemicals handled,
  2. The location of the premises and the relationship such location bears on the security needs,
  3. The type of building construction and the general characteristics of the building,
  4. Availability of electronic detection and alarm systems,
  5. The extent of unsupervised public access to the facility,
  6. The adequacy of supervision over employees who have access to List I chemicals,
  7. Procedures for handling business guests, visitors, maintenance personnel, and non-employee service personnel in areas where List I chemicals are processed and stored, and
  8. The adequacy of systems for monitoring receipt, distribution, and disposition of List I chemicals.

Any registrant or applicant desiring to determine whether a proposed system of security controls and procedures is adequate may submit materials and plans regarding the proposed security controls and procedures either to the local DEA Diversion Field Office, Attn: Special Agent in Charge (see Appendix P), or to:

Drug Enforcement Administration
Attn: Regulatory Section/DRG
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152

"Know Your Customer" Policy

It is fundamental for handlers of listed chemicals to take reasonable measures to verify the identity of their customers, understand the normal and expected transactions typically conducted by those customers, and, consequently, detect those transactions that are suspicious in nature.

A regulated person is required to verify that a customer for List I chemicals possesses a valid DEA registration or is exempt from that requirement. Chemical handlers are cautioned, however, that the granting of a DEA registration is not a confirmation of proper ongoing business practices and does not relieve the chemical handler of the responsibility to evaluate each transaction.

Proof of Identity

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 830(a)(3) and 21 C.F.R. § 1310.07.

For proof of identity information for retail transactions of SLCPs, see Section IX, Retail Sales of Scheduled Listed Chemical Products.

Each regulated person engaging in a regulated transaction must identify each other party to the transaction. It is the duty of such other party to present proof of identity to the regulated person. The regulated person must verify the existence and apparent validity of a business entity ordering a listed chemical, tableting machine, or encapsulating machine.

For a domestic transaction, proof of identity may be accomplished by having the other party present documents to prove their identity to the regulated person at the time the order is placed. Verification of documents may be accomplished through the following sources, including, but not limited to the: telephone directory, local credit bureau, local Chamber of Commerce, or local Better Business Bureau. Proof of identity may also be verified by the DEA registration status if the ordering party is a registrant. A DEA registrant can verify the other party's DEA registration by visiting https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/webforms/validateLogin.jsp. When transacting business with a new representative of a firm, the regulated person must verify the claimed agency status of the representative.

For cash sales or sales to individuals, the proof of identity must consist of at least the signature of the purchaser, a driver's license, and one other form of identification.

For new customers who are not individuals or cash customers, the regulated person must authenticate the identity of the authorized purchasing agent(s) and have on file that person's signature, electronic password, or other identification. Once the authorized purchasing agent has been established, the agent list may be updated annually rather than on each order. The regulated person must ensure that shipments are not made unless the order is placed by an authorized agent of record.

For electronic orders, the identity of the purchaser shall consist of a computer password, identification number, or some other means of identification consistent with electronic orders, including the information outlined in the above paragraph.

For an export transaction, proof of identity is to be accompanied by a good faith inquiry to verify the existence and validity of the foreign business entity. This can be done by verifying the business telephone listing through international telephone information, checking the firm's listing in international or foreign national chemical or commerce directories or trade publications, confirmation through foreign subsidiaries of the U.S. regulated person, or verification through the Commercial Attaché of the embassy of the country of destination. Official documents provided by the purchaser may confirm the existence and apparent validity of the business entity.

Any exports to individuals or exports paid in cash are suspect and should be handled as such. For such exports, the regulated person must obtain from the purchaser or independently seek to confirm clear documentation which proves the person is properly identified such as through foreign identity documents, driver's license, passport information and photograph. Any regulated person who fails to adequately prove the identity of the other party to the transaction may be subject to penalties provided by laws governing regulated transactions of listed chemicals.

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