§ Mr. Mellor
I have been asked to reply.
Since 1971, trade in selected chemicals has been monitored under arrangements made between the Home Office, the law enforcement authorities and industry. Exports, imports and transhipments of chemicals destined for illicit processing of drugs in the amphetamine group have been detected; but more recently a number of consignments for possible use in the illicit production of cocaine have been identified.
Although licences are not required for the export of such chemicals, which have wide, legitimate industrial use, the Government's plans for placing the monitoring arrangements on a statutory footing, contained in the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Bill published on 30 November 1989, will strengthen the attack on the illicit manufacture of drugs.