HC Deb 29 January 1990 vol 166 c24W
Mr. Benn

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has on exports from the United Kingdom of chemicals used in the production of(a) cocaine and (b) other illegal drugs; and what licences are required for the export of such chemicals.

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.