On 8 December, the Council adopted its position on a package reforming the legislation on new psychoactive substances (NPS) as well as improving the information exchange, early warning system and risk assessment procedure at EU level. The Council is now ready to start negotiations with the Parliament to agree on the reform.
The package will allow for a more effective and efficient EU response to the new psychoactive substances, which appear on the EU market at unprecedented pace, posing a risk to public health and safety. In particular, it will streamline the procedure followed at EU level to assess the potential negative effects of a new psychoactive substance and decide on a possible ban.
Moreover, the package foresees a reduction from 12 to 6 months of the time given to member states to implement the decision on banning of new psychoactive substances.
Lucia Žitňanská, minister for Justice of Slovakia said: "With this new package, if agreed with the Parliament, we would be able to cut by almost half the time needed to assess and possibly decide on the European ban of new psychoactive substances should they represent a severe danger for public health".
The package is composed of an amendment to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) regarding information exchange, early warning system and risk assessment procedure on psychoactive substances and a directive amending the Council framework decision from 2004 on the minimum provision on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking.
Read full news release from the Council of the EU here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/12/08-psychoactive-substances/