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Circular Reference No.: CNB/227A

26 May 2008

To all Traders, Freight Forwarders, Cargo Agents and Carriers



In Oct 1997, Singapore deposited the instruments of accession to the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (1988 Convention). Our accession to the 1988 Convention took effect from 1 Jan 1998. The 1988 Convention is an international effort to make it mandatory for signatory countries to criminalise drug trafficking and its related activities especially the use of precursor chemicals necessary in the manufacture of controlled drugs.

As a result of Singapore’s accession to the 1988 Convention, the Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185) was amended in Jul 1998 to control the manufacture, supply, possession as well as provide regulations on the import, export and transhipment of controlled substances. There are currently 23 controlled substances and they were identified by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) which is in charge of implementing the 1988 Convention.

Regulations for Precursor Chemicals

With the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act in Jul 1998, two sections were introduced relating to controlled substances. One is section 10A which states that it is an offence for any person to manufacture, supply, has in his possession, import or export (including tranship) a controlled substance, knowing or having reason to believe that the controlled substance is to be used in the manufacture of a controlled drug (as listed in the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act). It shall not be a defence for any person who contravenes this section to claim that the controlled substance is the subject of a licence, permit, or other forms of authorisation regulated. Any person convicted of this offence shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or with a fine not exceeding $200,000 or with both.

The other section is 10B. The Minister for Home Affairs may by regulations make provisions for:

  1. the licensing of persons who intend to import or export any controlled substances;
  2. the regulation and control of the import or export (including transhipment) of any controlled substances;
  3. imposing requirements for the registration of premises used in connection with the import or, export (including transhipment), manufacture, processing, storage, distribution or supply of any controlled substances;
  4. imposing requirements as to the documentation of transactions involving any controlled substances;
  5. requiring the keeping of records and the furnishing of information with respect to any controlled substances;
  6. the inspection and production of records kept pursuant to the regulations; and
  7. the labeling of consignments of any controlled substances.

Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of the regulations shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be punished with a fine not exceeding $10,000, imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both, as may be specified in the regulations.

Based on the provisions of the section 10B, any person who intends to import, export or tranship any controlled substances shall be required to apply for approval. With effect from 20 Jul 98, CNB is the approving authority for the importation, exportation and transhipment of the current list of 23 controlled substances listed in the Third Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Please see Annex A of this circular for the list of these 23 controlled substances and their Harmonised System (HS) codes.

Application Procedure for Import, Export and Tranship of Controlled Substances

With effect from 5 Sep 1999, any person who intends to import, export or tranship any controlled substances shall declare to CNB 14 days before the effective date of import, export or tranship through TradeNet. TradeNet is the only official means of application to be used for authorisation of any controlled substances to be imported, exported or transhipped.

If you are unable to provide all the information (such as shipping details) required through TradeNet, a declaration to CNB for an in-principal approval shall be submitted through the PATROL (Permit Administration and Control) System, a web-based online permit application system. You must nevertheless still submit the declaration through TradeNet with all the required information before the scheduled arrival/departure date. In such a scenario, you are to quote “CNB Licence No” in the “Licence No.” field when you submit the application through TradeNet.

Preparation of Permit Application through TradeNet

Licence No. If you have obtained a CNB Reference No. for the CNB Declaration Form, you must declare it in the "Licence No." field.
Description of Goods You must declare the correct HS code and complete description of the chemical name for the product that you are going to trade in. Please refer to Annex A for the list of description of chemicals and the corresponding HS codes.
Description of Packaging You must declare the packaging clearly under the "Remarks" field. E.g. 100 drums of 225 kg each
Purpose and Usage of Goods You must declare the purpose and usage clearly under the "Remarks" field.
Date of Declaration You must ensure that you declare through TradeNet before the controlled substances depart/arrive. Your application may be delayed or rejected if you do not follow CNB's requirements
Supplier’s Name You must ensure that you declare the supplier’s name in the "Supplier Name" field for imports.
Consignee’s Name You must ensure that you declare the consignee’s name in this field for exports.

Submission of Supporting Documents

When submitting your permit application through PATROL System, you have to attach all relevant supporting documents, such as sale agreement, invoice and purchase order to CNB in the system. All other documents such as shipping documents and Bill of Lading are also to be attached to the permit application as and when they are available.

Notification of Outcome of Application

Traders will be informed of the outcome of their applications through TradeNet. Electronic Amendment of Permits for Controlled Substances

You can submit amendments electronically through TradeNet. The fields allowed for electronic amendments remain unchanged for Cargo Clearance Permits (CCPs) containing CNB controlled substance. You can refer to the Customs and Excise Department’s Circular No. 31/97 of 31 Oct 97. The conditions for electronic amendment spelt out by IE Singapore and CED remain unchanged.

No amendment is allowed if you have already used the CCP. Upon approval of your amendment request, you will be able to print the approved amended CCP and use it to exchange for the Delivery Order and clear your cargo for imports.

Electronic Cancellation of Permits for Controlled Substances

If you have not used the CCP, you should cancel it through TradeNet as soon as possible. The conditions for electronic cancellations spelt out by IE Singapore and CED remain unchanged.

Enquiries and Acknowledgement

For clarifications and further enquiries, please refer to the following list:

On CNB Control Requirements:
Precursor Control Unit (PCU)
Central Narcotics Bureau
Tel : 6557 3229
Fax : 6224 9087
Email :

On General Issues of Permit Application through TradeNet:
Singapore Customs
Tel : 6355 2000

Please complete the attached Acknowledgement Slip and return it to CNB.