EU Regulation Means New Reporting Requirements for Explosives Precursors

Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 has been in effect since the beginning of February to regulate the  
marketing and use of explosives precursors. The new regulation replaces Regulation (EU) No. 98/2013 that was originally issued to prevent terrorist attacks more effectively. In response to the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015 and Brussels the following year, the EU felt it was forced to revise the regulation and strengthen the control system.  

The specifics of the new regulation should prevent the public from accessing specific chemicals that are the ingredients for the manufacture of pyrotechnics. For manufacturers of these chemicals, the new regulation means that they must request a proof of legitimacy from their customers and keep it on hand for 18 months from the date of the transaction.  

The chemicals listed in Annex I of the regulation include common chemicals such as: 

  • Nitric acid in concentrations above 3% weight by weight (w/w) 
  • Hydrogen peroxide in concentrations above 12% w/w 
  • Sulfuric acid in concentrations above 15% w/w 

The explosives precursors listed in Annex II that require notification include:  

  • Acetone 
  • Potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, and calcium nitrate
  • Powdered aluminum and magnesium 

For transactions involving substantial quantities of these chemicals, manufacturers must notify  
authorities within 24 hours. They must do the same in the event of theft or other loss of the  

The regulation requires significant additional effort by companies. Yes, new Regulation 2019/1148 covers “only” the treatment of explosives precursors. But beyond the literal meaning of the text, the regulation does not simply apply to manufacturers of pyrotechnics. Because the chemicals  
regulated are basic chemicals, the regulation will affect other sectors as well, such as  
manufacturers of biocidal products, fertilizers, and cleaning agents. 

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