[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 61 (Thursday, March 28, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13759-13760]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-7546]


21 CFR 1313

[DEA Number 145N]

Export of Chemicals From the United States to Colombia; Policy 

AGENCY: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Justice.

ACTION: Policy statement.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that regular customer status for 
Colombian customers is being revoked under Section 1018(c)(1) of the 
Controlled Substance Import Export Act (CSIE) (21 U.S.C. 971(c)(1)). 
Each U.S. exporter is being informed by letter that they must notify 
DEA at least 15 days in advance of shipment of certain chemicals listed 
in 21 CFR 1310.04, if the shipment is from the United States with an 
ultimate destination of Colombia. Moreover, in view of the danger that 
chemical shipments may be diverted into the illicit manufacture of 
cocaine, a heightened review process will be instituted for such 
exports and for transhipments. The exception under Title 21, Code of 
Federal Regulations (21 CFR), Section 1313.24, allowing exporters to 
notify DEA as late as the day of shipment for transactions between a 
``regulated person'' and a ``regular customer'' will not apply to 
shipments of certain chemicals to Colombia until further notice.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 28, 1996.

William Wolf, Chief, Chemical Operations Section, Office of Diversion 
Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington, D.C. 20537, 
Telephone (202) 307-7204.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following is a statement of policy by 
the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) under the Controlled 
Substances Act, as amended by the Chemical Diversion and Trafficking 
Act of 1988 (CDTA), regarding exports of certain listed chemicals from 
the United States to Colombia.
    On March 1, 1996, the President of the United States, under the 
Annual Certification Procedures Act (22 U.S.C. Section 2291j), moved to 
decertify Colombia's status as a nation actively cooperating with the 
United States to stem the clandestine manufacture and trafficking of 
illegal drugs. This action was taken in response to overwhelming 
evidence of rampant drug-related corruption at the highest levels of 
the Colombian government. In direct contravention of efforts by 
Colombian law enforcement officials and the judicial sector to root out 
drug-related corruption, elements of the Colombian government have 
systematically undermined and publicly attacked these efforts while 
failing to support the efforts of Colombian law enforcement to 
strengthen the nation's institutions to combat the destructive effects 
of narcotics traffickers.
    These problems have also adversely affected the ability of the 
Colombian Government to insure that listed chemicals imported from the 
U.S. and other sources are not diverted into the illicit manufacture of 
    At a time when the Colombian government's commitment to combating 
narcotic trafficking has deteriorated, as evidenced by shifting the 
import permit approvals outside the existing infrastructure for 
chemical control, DEA data reveals a 57% increase between 1990 and 1995 
in the sales to Colombia of List II solvents that are used in the 
clandestine manufacture of cocaine. These sales by U.S. chemical firms, 
which were based primarily upon Colombian authorization, are estimated 
by the Colombian Director of Customs to comprise 59% of the listed 
chemicals now imported into Colombia and, unfortunately, coincide with 
continued large scale illicit cocaine production within Colombia. DEA 
has concluded, therefore, that all shipments to Colombia of certain 
chemicals may be diverted to the clandestine manufacture of a 
controlled substance.
    The CDTA, the Domestic Chemical Diversion Control Act (DCDCA) and 
the implementing regulations have established a system of recordkeeping 
and reporting requirements that provide DEA with a mechanism to track 
domestic and international movement of listed chemicals in order to 
prevent their being diverted for use in the clandestine manufacture of 
controlled substances.
    Section 1018(a) of the CSIE (21 U.S.C. 971(a)), as amended by the 
CDTA, provides that ``each regulated person who imports or exports a 
listed chemical shall notify the Attorney General of the importation or 
exportation not later than 15 days before the transaction is to take 
place.'' In accordance with Section 1018(b) (21 U.S.C. 971(b)), this 
requirement is modified by 21 CFR 1313.24 where the transaction is 
between a ``regulated person'' and a ``regular customer.'' Under normal 
circumstances, exporters are allowed to ship listed chemicals to 
regular customers with notification as late as the day of shipment.
    A person located in the United States who is a broker or trader for 
an international transaction of a listed chemical is subject to all of 
the notification, reporting, recordkeeping, and other requirements 
placed upon exporters of listed chemicals. No waiver of the 15-day 
advance notice is permitted under Section 1313.31 for importations and 
exportations for transhipment purposes of threshold quantities of 
listed chemicals.
    Regardless of whether the shipment is a direct export or a 
transhipment, DEA has the obligation to examine the notification in 
order to determine if the shipment is legitimate and that the chemical 
will not be diverted to the illicit manufacture of controlled 
substances. Due to the distribution network within Colombian, where 
large quantities of the chemicals used in the clandestine manufacture 
of illegal controlled substances are redistributed by the importing 
customer, bestowing ``regular customer'' status on the importer is 
ineffective in assuring legitimate usage.
    As underscored by the President's action to decertify Colombia as a 
cooperating nation due to widespread corruption, DEA is unable to 
determine the legitimacy of shipments of the specified chemicals or to 
rely on import permits and other documentation issued by the Colombian 
Government that the above chemicals are not being diverted for use in 
the clandestine manufacture of controlled substances. Although the 
Colombian National Police have been diligent and constructive in their 
efforts to monitor the legitimacy of chemicals imported into Colombia, 
its efforts have been handicapped by inadequate political and resource 
support. DEA has no confidence that those customers previously 
submitted as regular customers, nor those who would become regular 
customers in the future, as specified in 21 CFR 1313.24, are not 
diverting the above chemicals to the illicit drug traffic. Therefore, 
in the absence of a way to determine with any reasonable degree of 
certainty that chemical shipments will not be diverted, pursuant to 
Section 1018(c)(1) of the CSIE (21 U.S.C. 971(c)(1)), DEA will act to 
disqualify regular customer status for Colombian importers of MEK, 
MIBK, acetone, toluene, potassium permanganate, and ethyl ether. 
Accordingly, each U.S. exporter is being informed by letter that for 
all shipments of these chemicals to Colombia, the exporter must now 
file a Chemical

[[Page 13760]]
Export Declaration (DEA Form 486) at least 15 days in advance of the 
shipment date in accordance with 21 CFR 1313.21 for every shipment of a 
threshold amount of the above listed chemicals to Colombia. All 
subsequent shipments of any of the identified chemicals to the same 
customer will continue to require 15 day advance notice and evidence of 
a documented legitimate need.
    Furthermore, because DEA has concluded that all shipments to 
Colombia of the above chemicals may be diverted to the clandestine 
manufacture of a controlled substance, pursuant to 21 CFR 1313.41, it 
is DEA's intent to suspend such exports and imports for transhipment in 
the absence of documented proof of ultimate legitimate use. Shipments 
of these chemicals will be closely monitored by DEA to determine 
whether the exporters have presented sufficiently detailed 
documentation for DEA to conclude that the ultimate users have the 
specific, legitimate need for the type and quantity of the chemical 
being purchased and, that the chemical will not be used for the 
clandestine production of controlled substances. Export declarations 
and Notices of Importation for Transhipment for the specified chemicals 
will be reviewed utilizing the following criteria:
    A. Whether the U.S. exporter, broker, or foreign exporter for 
transhipment has shown that the end use for all of the chemical will be 
for a legitimate purpose;
    B. If the importer is not the end user, whether all users or 
distributors through to the end users are identified to DEA with 
sufficient documentation to confirm the legitimacy of their chemical 
needs; and
    C. Whether the quantity and type of chemical is consistent with the 
nature and size of each end user's business.
    A person who knowingly or intentionally exports a listed chemical 
in violation of section 1018 shall be fined in accordance with Title 
18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both (21 U.S.C. 960(d) (5) 
and (6)).
    U.S. and foreign exporters, and brokers are cautioned to view every 
order of these or substitute chemicals from Colombia and other 
countries in the region with extreme caution. In view of the existing 
evidence that all shipments to Colombia of the above chemicals may be 
diverted to the clandestine manufacture of a controlled substance, 
firms should recognize that export declarations and Notices of 
Importation for Transhipment will be subjected to the heightened 
standard of review set forth herein with respect to the identity of the 
end users and the documented legitimacy of usage. Failure to meet this 
standard will result in the suspension of the shipment pursuant to 21 
CFR 1313.41.

    Dated: March 22, 1996.
Stephen H. Greene,
Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration.
[FR Doc. 96-7546 Filed 3-27-96; 8:45 am]