2 Current Mandate“To suppress the importation and transhipment of illicit drugs into and through Trinidad and Tobago by the development of an integrated interdiction strategy and the co-ordination and facilitation of the efforts of all relevant agencies in the implementation of the strategy.”Good day EU Officials, UNODC representatives, country delegates, my name is Andrew Gordon and I am a certified expert in Precursor Chemicals within the Strategic Services Agency of Trinidad and Tobago.The Strategic Services Agency (SSA) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1995 and was designed to…
3 Functions“Act as an office for the centralizing of information that could facilitate the detection and prevention of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, for co-ordinating operations for the suppression of illicit trafficking and drug related matters and for co-operating with the Services or the corresponding Services of other countries.”By virtue Sect 6(1) (a) of the said Act, a main function of the Agency is to:The Agency therefore has a coordinating role in relation to national stakeholders in the execution of this function
4 Approved National Strategy National Strategy to Eliminate Illicit Production and Trafficking of Drugs Produced Naturally or Synthetically and to Promote Related Control Measures (2005 – 2009). Approved by Cabinet in 2004.Objective 11 requires that the Agency prevent the Diversion of Precursor Chemicals and … Promote the Monitoring of Controlled Drugs…Furthermore, the precursor chemicals theme is an objective area included in the Trinidad and Tobago’sAndIs iterated as one of the 15 strategic objectives of the Agency
5 Regulating Precursor Chemicals At present Precursor Chemicals are currently regulated under the following Acts of Parliament:Dangerous Drug Act (1991) as amended in 1994 and 2000Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Act, 1979Food and Drugs Act, Chapter 30:01The following Ministries/Agencies have specific responsibilities:Ministry of Health – Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division, Drugs InspectorateMinistry of National Security – Strategic Services Agency (SSA), TTPSMinistry of Finance – Customs and Excise DivisionInstallation of the National Drug Control System (NDS) in 2008The DDA ACT OF 1991 legislates for narcotics in areas such as the import, export, manufacture, storage. Additionally, Act No. 27 of 1994 amended the DDA Act to create offences with regard to precursor chemicals in particular the illicit manufacture, possession, transport and supply of precursor chemical knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that it is to be used or for the unlawful production of a dangerous drug.The Act however didn’t treat adequately with many of the requirements of the convention and needed to be strengthened to deal more comprehensively with precursor chemicals.The PTC Act regulates the importation, storage, manufacture, sale, use and transportation of pesticides and toxic chemicals (some of which are precursor chemicals)The FDA deals with the preparation, manufacture, import, export, packaging, labeling, selling and inspection of food and drugs including pharmaceuticals (with the exception ofantibiotics and narcotics) and cosmetics (some of which are or substantially contain precursor chemicals)2. Min of Health – Administrative and Regulatory/ MNS – coordination and security/ Customs and Excise – border control.We see therefore that in the regulation of PC, there exists varying measures in need of consolidation and strengtheningCoordination problems
6 Relevance to Trinidad & Tobago Domestic ImperativesTrinidad and Tobago possesses a petrochemical sector and other chemical-based industries which use precursor chemicals such as toluene, methyl ethyl ketone and sulphuric acidTrinidad and Tobago’s geographic location in relation to drug transhipment routes and illicit drug production centres within the Western Hemisphere.
7 Relevance to Trinidad & Tobago Correspondingly, Trinidad and Tobago has a responsibility to prevent the illegal diversion of precursor chemicals at any stage of the supply chain within its jurisdiction or control.This responsibility is registered in:The 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic SubstancesThe Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Anti-Drug Strategy for the Hemisphere (1996)Point 2 - Similarly, this responsibility is also registered in the aforementioned conventions
8 International Convention Requirements The 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic SubstancesThe Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Anti-Drug Strategy for the Hemisphere (1996)require states and parties to establish mechanisms through their designated national entities to control the import, export, use and diversion of precursor chemicals.
9 Implementing Mechanism With regard to the aforementioned a Precursor Chemical Team was established by Cabinet in 2003.Composition:Forensic Science CentreDrug InspectorateChemistry Food and Drugs DivisionCustoms and Excise DivisionCaribbean Financial Action Task ForceMinistry of the Attorney GeneralStrategic Services Agency
10 Implementing Mechanism Mandate:Develop a Draft National Precursor Chemical Policy and StrategySubmit Draft Legislation (consistent with UN and Inter-American benchmarks) for the consideration of Cabinet
11 Implementing Mechanism Products of the Team:Proposed Policy Paper on Precursor Chemicals - this Paper delivers a comprehensive assessment of the current state of institutional and legislative arrangements that exist in Trinidad and Tobago and which primarily recommends the enactment of Precursor Chemical Legislation.Draft Bill of the Act to provide for the monitoring and control of precursor chemicals and other substances - to give effect to this provision a Precursor Chemical Unit will be established within the framework of the Act to function at operational level.- It essentially gives the rationale for such a Policy- Therefore once enacted the Precursor Chemical Unit will be the central body that monitors and regulates Precursor Chemicals Matters
12 Implementing Mechanism In 2007, the Team was mandated by a Committee of Cabinet to review the Policy and Draft Legislation in collaboration with wider stakeholder members such as:Ministry of Energy and Energy IndustriesMinistry of Trade and IndustryCommercial sector entities inclusive of:Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA),Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce,
13 Current BusinessGiven the urgent need to improve local precursor chemical control, and having regard to the wide body of stakeholders (Government Ministries and the Industrial and Business sectors), that would be affected by the proposed Policy and Legislation, as well as the inherent complexities in reconciling various interests, a decision was taken to adopt a strategic management approach.It is important to emphasize, apart from the adoption of a new strategic management approach to guide PCT efforts, the relevance of the PRELAC process in substantially contributingto the review and enhancement process currently underway
14 Current BusinessThe SSA has approached the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to introduce the PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) project management methodology to assist in the fulfilment of Cabinet’s directive.The United Nations Development Programme has had a rich successful history in PRINCE2 which a process-based method for effective project management with financial and risk management emphases, that would enhance current efforts to collaborate on precursor chemical matters.It is a de facto standard widely recognized and used by governments and international organizations such as the United Kingdom (UK) and the United Nations (UN) respectively.
15 Expected Outcomes Expected Outcomes: Completion of the Draft Bill - incorporating expanded commentary of new members of the Precursor Chemical Team. When passed, the Act would represent consolidated legislation that is relevant and implementable across all stakeholder jurisdictions.Establishment of the Precursor Chemical Unit to discharge the functions articulated in the proposed legislation