This report presents the results and outlines the key achievements and challenges faced by mechanism set up by the Council Decision in 2008. In 2008, 13 new psychoactive substances were officially notified for the first time in the European Union through the Early-Warning System (EWS). The number of new substances notified in 2008 was comparable to the notifications in 2007. In 2008, the group of notified substances included two plants, but no medicinal products. Altogether, the group consisted predominantly of compounds with stimulant properties, whilst only two substances had pronounced hallucinogenic effects. Notably, fewer new substances were reported than in previous years from the better known chemical groups: phenethylamines (one); tryptamines (two) and piperazines (none). Six of the notified substances belonged to the cathinone derivatives group. Furthermore, one interesting from a chemical point of view was notified – pFBT, a ‘designer drug’ based on cocaine. The report also highlights two important developments which took place during 2008. The first was the finalisation and adoption of a new ‘Guidelines for the risk assessment of new psychoactive substances’. Secondly, at the end of 2008 it was found that a ‘smoking mixture’, known and monitored by the EWS as ‘Spice’ was not the herbal product that it purported to be. Furthermore, the report includes a brief follow up of the two piperazine mCPP and BZP, and some challenges of the information exchange mechanism.