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Chemical Handler's Manual

SECTION VII – IMPORTS, EXPORTS, INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS, AND TRANSSHIPMENTS


This contact information should be used for all reporting requirements described in this section.

Drug Enforcement Administration
Attn: Import/Export Unit/DRGI
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152
Phone: 202-307-7161
Fax: 202-307-4702
E-mail: Chemical.IMEX@usdoj.gov


Required Forms for Importation or Exportation of Listed Chemicals (DEA Form 486 or 486A)

An Import/Export Declaration for List I and List II Chemicals, DEA Form 486, must be completed by each regulated person for each regulated import, export, or international transaction. An Import Declaration for Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine, DEA Form 486A, must be used for imports of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine. The DEA Form 486, DEA Form 486A, and corresponding instructions may be obtained from DEA's Diversion Control Division website, http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr_reports/chemicals/index.html . The completed copy may be sent to DEA via regular mail, e-mail, or fax. (see contact information above.) The DEA Form 486 and 486A can also be transmitted to DEA online at www.DEAdiversion.usdoj.gov. Online transmission of DEA Form 486 and 486A requires that the importer/exporter have a username and password. Usernames and passwords may be requested by contacting the DEA Import/Export Unit.

Requirements for Importation of Listed Chemicals

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. §§ 957 and 971 and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.05, 1313.08, and 1313.12 - 1313.17.

Any List I or List II chemical may be imported if that chemical is necessary for medical, commercial, scientific, or other legitimate uses within the United States.

Each regulated person who imports a listed chemical that meets or exceeds the threshold quantities identified in Appendix D or is a listed chemical for which no threshold has been established as identified in Appendix D, shall notify the DEA of the importation not later than 15 days before the transaction is to take place.

The 15-day advance notification requirement for listed chemical imports may be waived for any importation where the regulated person has satisfied the requirements for reporting to the DEA as a regular importer of the listed chemical, and the importer intends to transfer the listed chemicals to a person who is a regular customer for the chemical.

To establish a record as an importer, the regulated person must provide the DEA with the following information under the waiver of 15-day advance notice requirements of 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.08 and 1313.15:

  1. The name, DEA registration number (where applicable), street address, telephone number, and, where available, the facsimile number of the regulated person and of each foreign supplier; and
  2. The frequency and number of transactions occurring during the preceding 12 month period.
    As defined in 21 C.F.R. § 1300.02, a regular customer is a person with whom the regulated person has an established business relationship for a specified listed chemical(s) that has been reported to the DEA.

To document that an importer has an established business relationship with a customer, the importer must provide the DEA with the following information under the waiver of 15-day advance notice requirements of 21 C.F.R. § 1313.05:

  1. The name and street address of the chemical importer and of each regular customer;
  2. The telephone number, contact person, and where available, the facsimile number for the chemical importer and for each regular customer;
  3. The nature of the regular customer's business (i.e., importer, exporter, distributor, manufacturer, etc.), and if known, the use to which the listed chemical(s) will be applied;
  4. The duration of the business relationship;
  5. The frequency and number of transactions occurring during the preceding 12-month period;
  6. The amounts and the listed chemical(s) involved in regulated transactions between the chemical importer and regular customer;
  7. The method of delivery (direct shipment or through a broker or forwarding agent); and
  8. Other information that the chemical importer considers relevant for determining whether a customer is a regular customer.

For imports where advance notification is waived because the regulated person has satisfied the requirements for reporting to the DEA as a regular importer of the listed chemical, and the importer intends to transfer the listed chemical(s) to a person who is a regular customer for the chemical(s), the DEA Form 486 must be received by the DEA on or before the date of importation.

The 15-day advance notification requirement for listed chemicals may also be waived for a specific listed chemical for which the DEA determines that advance notification is not necessary for effective chemical diversion control. In this circumstance, no DEA Form 486 is required; however, the regulated person must submit quarterly reports no later than the fifteenth day of the month following the end of each quarter. The report shall contain the following information regarding each individual importation:

  1. The name of the listed chemical;
  2. The quantity and date imported;
  3. The name and full business address of the supplier;
  4. The foreign port of embarkation; and
  5. The port of entry.

The 15-day advance notification requirement has been waived for imports of acetone, 2-butanone (or methyl ethyl ketone or MEK), and toluene. The qualification of a regular importer of acetone, 2-butanone, or toluene qualifies that person as a regular importer of all three of these chemicals.

Information Required for the Import Declaration (DEA Form 486 and 486A)

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.13 and 1313.16.

The United States importer of a List I or List II chemical must provide the following types of information on the DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A. (For a complete listing of information required, please review the regulations and DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A.)

  1. Contact information for the United States chemical importer, and contact information for the broker or forwarding agent (if any);
  2. The name and description of each listed chemical as it appears on the label or container, the name of each listed chemical as described by the DEA in 21 C.F.R. § 1310.02, the size or weight of the container, the number of containers, the net weight of each listed chemical given in kilograms or parts thereof, and the gross weight of the shipment given in kilograms or parts thereof;
  3. The proposed import date, the foreign port of exportation, and the first U.S. Customs port of entry;
  4. Contact information of the consigner in the foreign country of exportation; and
  5. Contact information of the person(s) to whom the importer intends to transfer the listed chemical and the quantity to be transferred to each transferee.

For a United States importer, the "transferee" is the person to whom the importer transfers the listed chemicals, i.e., the downstream customer.

After a DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A has been submitted to the DEA, if circumstances change and the United States importer will not be transferring the listed chemical to the transferee identified in the original DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A, or will be transferring a greater quantity of the chemical than specified, the importer must update the DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A to identify the most recent prospective transferee or the most recent quantity, or both. The importer may not transfer the listed chemical until after the expiration of the 15-day period beginning on the date on which the update is submitted to the DEA. This requirement applies with respect to changing circumstances regarding a transferee or quantity identified in an updated DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A to the same extent and in the same manner that it applies with respect to changing circumstances regarding a transferee or quantity identified in the original DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A. The 15-day restriction does not apply if the prospective transferee identified in the update is a regular customer of the importer. This exception, however, does not extend to imports of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine.

Even if an importer was not previously required to file an initial notification 15 days in advance of the transaction because the importer is a regular importer selling to a regular customer, if the importer makes a sale to a new customer, the importer must file a DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A 15 days prior to transferring the chemical to the new customer.

The DEA will have 15 days from the time the customer information is submitted to review the proposed transaction. The DEA reviews each import transaction regarding the chemical to be imported and the transferee to whom the chemical will be transferred. If the DEA takes no action, the importer will thus be granted regular importer status for transactions involving the specific chemical to be imported to the specific customer. This new transferee, i.e., the downstream customer, will be granted regular customer status for future imports of the specified chemical by the specified importer.

Special Requirements for Imports of Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. §§ 952 and 971; and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.13 and 1313.42.

It is unlawful to import into the United States ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine except such amounts as the DEA finds to be necessary to provide for medical, scientific, or other legitimate purposes. DEA-registered importers must have an import quota issued by the DEA prior to submitting a DEA Form 486A for the importation of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine. Each reference in this manual to ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine includes the salts, optical isomers, and salts of optical isomers of the chemical.

An Import Declaration for Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine, DEA Form 486A, must be completed by each DEA-registered importer for each import. The DEA Form 486A and the instructions for completing and distributing it can be found online at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr_reports/chemicals/index.html. The completed copy may be sent to the DEA via fax or mail (see contact information above.)

Further, any regulated person importing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine must submit on the DEA Form 486A all information known to the importer on the chain of distribution of the chemical from the manufacturer to the importer.

The DEA Form 486A must be received by the DEA at least 15 days prior to the import of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine. The waiver of the 15-day advance notification requirement does not apply to the import of these three chemicals.

To prevent or respond to the diversion of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine for use in the illicit production of methamphetamine, the DEA may request that a manufacturer or distributor in the foreign chain of distribution provide information known to the foreign manufacturer or distributor on the distribution of the chemical, including sales. If the DEA determines that a foreign manufacturer or distributor of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine has refused to cooperate with a request by the DEA for information known to the manufacturer or distributor on the distribution of the chemical, including sales, the DEA may issue an order prohibiting the importation of the chemical in any case where that manufacturer or distributor is part of the chain of distribution.

Not later than 60 days prior to issuing the order to prohibit importation, the DEA is required to publish in the Federal Register a notice of intent to issue the order. During the 60-day period, imports from the foreign manufacturer or distributor may not be restricted by the DEA. The DEA is not otherwise prohibited from suspending the import under 21 U.S.C. § 971(c).

Return Declarations for Imports of Listed Chemicals

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 971 and 21 C.F.R. § 1313.17.

Within 30 days after an import transaction is completed, the importer must send to the DEA a return declaration containing information regarding the transaction including the date, quantity, chemical, container, name of transferee(s), and any other information that the DEA may specify. A single return declaration may include specific information regarding the importation and the distribution. If the importer has not distributed all chemicals by the end of the initial 30-day period, the importer must file supplemental return declarations no later than 30 days from the date of any further distribution, until the distribution or other disposition of all chemicals imported under the import notification or any update are accounted for.

If an importation for which a DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A has been filed fails to take place, the importer must file an amended DEA Form 486 or DEA Form 486A notifying the DEA that the importation did not occur.

Requirements for Exportation of Listed Chemicals

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. §§ 960 and 971 and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.05 and 1313.21 - 1313.27.

No person shall export or cause to be exported any listed chemical, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the export is in violation of the laws of the country to which the chemical is exported or the chemical will be used to manufacture a controlled substance in violation of the Controlled Substances Act or the laws of the country to which the chemical is exported. Any export from the United States in violation of the law of the country to which the chemical is exported is subject to the penalties of 21 U.S.C. § 960(d).

No person shall export or cause to be exported from the United States a listed chemical that meets or exceeds the threshold quantities identified in Appendix D or is a listed chemical for which no threshold has been established as identified in Appendix D, until DEA has been notified of the exportation. Notification must be made not later than 15 days before the transaction is to take place.

The 15-day advance notification requirement for listed chemical exports may be waived for any regulated person who has satisfied the requirements for reporting to the DEA an established business relationship with a foreign customer.

To document that an exporter has an established business relationship with a customer, the exporter must provide the DEA with the following information under the waiver of 15-day advance notice requirements:

  1. The name and street address of the chemical exporter and of each regular customer;
  2. The telephone number, contact person, and where available, the facsimile number for the chemical exporter and for each regular customer;
  3. The nature of the regular customer's business (i.e., importer, exporter, distributor, manufacturer, etc.), and if known, the use to which the listed chemical or chemicals will be applied;
  4. The duration of the business relationship;
  5. The frequency and number of transactions occurring during the preceding 12-month period;
  6. The amounts and the listed chemical or chemicals involved in regulated transactions between the chemical exporter and regular customer;
  7. The method of delivery (direct shipment or through a broker or forwarding agent); and
  8. Other information that the chemical exporter considers relevant for determining whether a customer is a regular customer.

Each foreign customer identified on an initial DEA Form 486 shall, after the expiration of the 15-day period, qualify as a regular customer, unless the DEA otherwise notifies the regulated person in writing.

The qualification of a regular customer for acetone, 2-Butanone (MEK), or toluene qualifies that customer as a regular customer for all three of these chemicals, unless the DEA notifies the chemical exporter to the contrary.

For exports where advance notification is waived for any regulated person who has satisfied the requirements for reporting to the DEA an established business relationship with a foreign customer, the DEA Form 486 must be received by the DEA on or before the date of exportation.

The 15-day advance notification requirement for listed chemical exports may also be waived for a specific listed chemical to a specified country for which the DEA determines that advance notification is not necessary for effective chemical diversion control. In this circumstance, no DEA Form 486 is required; however, the regulated person must submit quarterly reports no later than the fifteenth day of the month following the end of each quarter. The report shall contain the following information regarding each individual exportation:

  1. The name of the listed chemical;
  2. The quantity and date exported;
  3. The name and full business address of the foreign customer;
  4. The port of embarkation; and
  5. The foreign port of entry.

Information Required for the Export Declaration (DEA Form 486)

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.22 and 1313.26.

Any List I or List II chemical which meets or exceeds the quantitative thresholds established by the DEA or for which no threshold has been established may be exported if that chemical is needed for medical, commercial, scientific, or other legitimate uses.

The United States exporter of a List I or List II chemical must provide the following types of information on the DEA Form 486. (For a complete listing of information required, please review the regulations and DEA Form 486.)

  1. Contact information for the United States chemical exporter and contact information for the export broker, if any;
  2. The name of each listed chemical as described by the DEA in 21 C.F.R. § 1310.02, the size or weight of container, the number of containers, the net weight of each listed chemical given in kilograms or parts thereof, and the gross weight of the shipment given in kilograms or parts thereof;
  3. The proposed export date, the U.S. Customs port of exportation, and the foreign port of entry;
  4. Contact information of the consignee(s) in the country where the chemical shipment is destined, and contact information of any intermediate consignee(s).

For a United States exporter, the "transferee" is the foreign importer.

After a DEA Form 486 has been submitted to the DEA, if the transferee identified in the DEA Form 486 (i.e., the foreign importer) is not a regular customer, the regulated person may not transfer the listed chemical until after the expiration of the 15-day period beginning on the date on which the DEA Form 486 is submitted to the DEA.

If circumstances change and the United States exporter will not be transferring the listed chemical to the transferee identified in the original DEA Form 486, or will be transferring a greater quantity of the chemical than specified, the exporter must update the DEA Form 486 to identify the most recent prospective transferee or the most recent quantity, or both. The exporter may not transfer the listed chemical until after the expiration of the 15-day period beginning on the date on which the update is submitted to the DEA, except that the 15-day restriction does not apply if the prospective transferee identified in the update is a regular customer. This requirement applies with respect to changing circumstances regarding a transferee or quantity identified in an updated DEA Form 486 to the same extent and in the same manner that it applies with respect to changing circumstances regarding a transferee or quantity identified in the original DEA Form 486.

Even if an exporter is exempted from the 15-day advance notice requirement, if the newly arranged sale is to a new customer (i.e., not a "regular customer"), the exporter must file an advance notice 15 days prior to transferring the chemical to the new customer.

In the case of a transfer of a listed chemical that is subject to the 15-day restriction, the transferee shall, upon expiration of the 15-day period, be considered to qualify as a regular customer, unless the DEA otherwise notifies the exporter in writing.

Return Declarations for Exports of Listed Chemicals

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 971 and 21 C.F.R. § 1313.27.

Within 30 days after a transaction is completed, the exporter must send to the DEA a return declaration containing information regarding the transaction including the date, quantity, chemical, container, name of transferees, and any other information that the DEA may specify. If an exportation for which a DEA Form 486 has been filed fails to take place, the exporter must file an amended DEA Form 486 notifying the DEA that the exportation did not occur.

Declared Exports that are Refused

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. § 1313.22.

Declared exports of listed chemicals that are refused, rejected, or otherwise deemed undeliverable may be returned to the United States chemical exporter of record. A brief written notification (this does not require a DEA Form 486) outlining the circumstances must be sent to the DEA following the return within a reasonable time. This provision does not apply to shipments that have cleared foreign customs, been delivered, and accepted by the foreign consignee. Returns to third parties in the United States are considered imports.

Special Policy Regarding Exports of Certain Chemicals to Colombia

In March 1996, the United States Government (USG) took steps to decertify Colombia's status as a nation actively cooperating with the U.S. on drug control. The DEA has historically experienced great difficulty in determining the legitimacy and final destination of exports of chemicals from the U.S. to Colombian companies. Additionally, the DEA is unable to rely on the Colombian government to insure that listed chemicals imported from the U.S. and other sources are not diverted to illicit drug manufacture. Following the USG's decertification, the DEA revoked regular customer status for all U.S. exports of the following cocaine essential chemicals to Colombia: acetone, potassium permanganate, 2-Butanone (MEK), methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), toluene, and ethyl ether. Despite the fact that since then Colombia has become conditionally certified, the DEA continues to employ a heightened standard of review to scrutinize proposed exports and transshipments to Colombia because of the high probability that these chemicals may be diverted to the clandestine manufacture of cocaine. Details can be found in the Federal Register Notice, 61 FR 13759 which establishes and explains this policy. Exports of these listed chemicals to Colombia require 15-day advance notification.

Disqualification of Waiver

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 971 and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.15, 1313.16, and 1313.26.

If there are grounds to believe that the chemical being imported or exported may be diverted to the clandestine manufacture of a controlled substance, the DEA may disqualify the importer or exporter from the "regular customer" or "regular importer" status and thereby terminate the waiver of the advance notification requirement.

Suspension of Shipments

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 971(c) and 21 C.F.R. § 1313.41.

The DEA may suspend any importation or exportation of a listed chemical based on evidence that the chemical may be diverted for use in the clandestine manufacture of a controlled substance. When a shipment is suspended, the DEA will issue a suspension notice to the regulated person explaining the circumstances of the suspension along with instructions on how to request a hearing.

Transshipment through the United States

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. § 1313.31.

A listed chemical that meets or exceeds the threshold reporting requirements found in 21 C.F.R. § 1310.04(f) and Appendix D may be imported into the United States for transshipment, or may be transferred or transshipped within the United States for immediate exportation, provided that written notice is submitted to the DEA. The notification must be in the form of a notice or letter (not a DEA Form 486) providing pertinent details of the transshipment and must be received by the DEA no later than 15 days prior to the proposed transshipment date. The notification may be sent via regular mail, e-mail, or fax or (see contact information at the beginning of this section). See Transshipment Notification Instructions and Sample Letter (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/chem_prog/transshipment_chem_instruct.pdf) for details. Unless notified by the DEA to the contrary prior to the expected date of delivery, the importation for transshipment or transfer is considered approved.

International Transactions

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 971 and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.33 - 1313.35.

An international transaction involving a listed chemical which meets or exceeds the quantitative thresholds established by the DEA may be arranged by a broker or trader if the chemical is needed for medical, commercial, scientific, or other legitimate uses.

A broker or trader shall notify the DEA prior to an international transaction that meets or exceeds the threshold amount established by the DEA in which the broker or trader participates. Notification must be made no later than 15 days before the transaction is to take place.

A completed DEA Form 486 must be received from the United States broker or trader by the DEA no later than 15 days prior to the transaction.

Information Required for International Transactions – DEA Form 486

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. §§ 1313.32, 1313.33, and 1313.16(b).

The United States broker or trader of a List I or List II chemical must provide the following types of information on the DEA Form 486. For specific information required, please review the regulations or the DEA Form 486.

  1. Contact information for the chemical exporter and contact information for the chemical importer.
  2. The name of each listed chemical as described by the DEA in 21 C.F.R. § 1310.02, the size or weight of container, the number of containers, the net weight of each listed chemical given in kilograms or parts thereof, and the gross weight of the shipment given in kilograms or parts thereof.
  3. The proposed export date, the port of exportation, and the port of importation.
  4. Contact information of the consignee in the country where the chemical shipment is destined, and contact information of any intermediate consignee(s).

After a DEA Form 486 has been submitted to the DEA, if circumstances change and the United States broker or trader will not be transferring the listed chemical to the transferee identified in the original DEA Form 486, or will be transferring a greater quantity of the chemical than specified, the broker or trader must update the DEA Form 486 to identify the most recent prospective transferee or the most recent quantity, or both. The broker or trader may not transfer the listed chemical until after the expiration of the 15-day period beginning on the date on which the update is submitted to the DEA. This applies with respect to changing circumstances regarding a transferee or quantity identified in an updated DEA Form 486 to the same extent and in the same manner as it applies with respect to changing circumstances regarding a transferee or quantity identified in the original DEA Form 486.

Return Declarations for International Transactions

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 U.S.C. § 971 and 21 C.F.R. § 1313.35.

Within 30 days after a transaction is completed, the broker or trader must send to the DEA a return declaration containing information regarding the transaction including the date, quantity, chemical, container, name of transferees, and any other information that the DEA may specify. If a transaction for which a DEA Form 486 has been filed fails to take place, the broker or trader must file an amended DEA Form 486 notifying the DEA that the transaction did not occur.

Imports/Exports of Tableting/Encapsulating Machines

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. §§ 1310.05 and 1310.06.

Each regulated person who imports or exports a tableting machine or an encapsulating machine must file a report (not a DEA Form 486) of such importation or exportation with the DEA by regular mail, e-mail, or fax on or before the date of importation or exportation (see contact information at the beginning of this section).

Any tableting or encapsulating machine may be imported or exported if that machine is needed for medical, commercial, scientific, or other legitimate uses. However, an importation or exportation of a tableting machine or encapsulating machine may not be completed with a person whose description or identifying characteristics have previously been furnished to the regulated person by the DEA, unless the transaction is approved by the DEA.

Declared Exports of Tableting and Encapsulating Machines that are Refused

Information regarding this subject may be found at 21 C.F.R. § 1310.06.

Declared exports of tableting or encapsulating machines that are refused, rejected, or otherwise deemed undeliverable may be returned to the United States exporter of record. A brief written notification (not a DEA Form 486) outlining the circumstances must be sent to the DEA following the return within a reasonable time. This provision does not apply to shipments that have cleared foreign customs, been delivered, and accepted by the foreign consignee. Returns to third parties in the United States are considered imports.

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