29 Apr 2016



With effect from 1 May 2016, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be listing all 20 New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)[1] and one tryptamine generic group currently in the Fifth Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), in the First Schedule of the same Act. This means that these substances will bereclassified as Class A controlled drugs (see Annex A for the list of drugs). Two new psychoactive substances commonly known as MT-45 and 4,4’-DMAR will also be listed in the First Schedule as a Class A controlled drug (see Annex B).


  1. Following the listing of the 20 NPS and one tryptamine generic group as Class A controlled drugs, the trafficking, manufacture, import, export, possession or consumption of these substances will constitute an offence under the MDA. Any person found guilty of trafficking Class A controlled drugs will face a minimum of five years’ imprisonment and five strokes of the cane. They will also be liable for enhanced penalties if they re-offend or sell to young or vulnerable persons. CNB will also be empowered to subject NPS abusers to supervision, commit them to a drug rehabilitation centre for treatment and rehabilitation, or charge them in court.

  3. Four new substances will also be listed in the Fifth Schedule of the MDA (seeAnnex C). This enables CNB to seize these NPS so that their circulation can be restricted while research and industry consultation are conducted.

    Global NPS Situation


  5. There has been a rapid increase in the number, type and availability of NPS across the globe. Based on a report released in February 2016 by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, there were at least 643 NPS identified in 2015, a significant increase from the 2009 figure of 126[2].

  7. Many of these NPS have been reported in overseas journals to have no licit medical use. Their abuse has also been linked to adverse physical and psychological reactions, including paranoia, seizures, hallucinations and even death. The listing of new NPS in the Fifth Schedule of the MDA is a necessary pre-emptive move to restrict the circulation of these harmful substances in our community.


29 APRIL 2016


Click here for the full news release.

[1] New psychoactive substances (NPS) refer to substances which produce the same (or similar) effects as controlled drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, “ecstasy”, methamphetamine or heroin.

[2] UNODC EWA: 75 NPS reported for the first time in 2015. Retrieved on 28 April 2016 from https://www.unodc.org/LSS/Announcement/Details/fabc16bf-b290-4ea1-a61c-feaea71f692d