For information only - not an official document

15 November 2019

International Narcotics Control Board recommends the international control of methyl alpha-phenylacetoacetate to address illicit manufacture of amphetamine and methamphetamine

VIENNA, 15 November 2019 (United Nations Information Service) -The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) today decided to recommend the international control of methyl alpha-phenylacetoacetate (MAPA), a pre-precursor used in the illicit manufacture of amphetamine and methamphetamine. The 126th session of the INCB concluded in Vienna today, during which it continued its work monitoring the implementation of the three international drug control conventions.

There are no legitimate uses of MAPA, which started to emerge in late 2017. There has been an increase in seizures of the substance since November 2018. It is a substitute chemical for several internationally controlled amphetamine and methamphetamine precursors listed in Table I of the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, namely P-2-P, APAAN and the recently internationally controlled APAA. Designer precursors, are close chemical relatives of controlled precursors, are purpose-made and can easily be converted into a controlled precursor.

The Board conducted an assessment of MAPA based on information received from 50 governments in response to a call by the United Nations Secretary-General's for comments on the proposal to place the chemical under international control.

The Board's recommendation to schedule MAPA has been transmitted to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and is available on the INCB website. The proposal to include MAPA in Table I of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 will be discussed at the 63rd session of the Commission in March 2020. Also, the Board is drawing attention to the need for a broader solution to address the ongoing emergence of designer precursors for use in the illicit manufacture of drugs.

The Board reviewed its Global Rapid Interdiction of Dangerous Substances (GRIDS) Programme that builds capacity with national authorities to help them take better advantage of the Board's trusted information exchange platforms.  GRIDS aims to reduce trafficking in non-medical synthetic opioids and other new psychoactive substances (NPS), helping to fulfill the mandate to the INCB and in line with CND resolution 62/8.

During its 126th session, INCB continued its treaty monitoring work, including by reviewing the findings of its recent missions, summaries of which will be presented in the 2019 INCB Annual Report that will be launched worldwide on 27 February 2020, and agreeing on recommendations to be made to governments. The Board continued to address the challenges posed to the universal adherence to and implementation of the conventions, for example the legislative developments concerning non-medical use of cannabis. The focus of the 2019 INCB Annual Report, which was finalized during the session, is on improving drug use prevention and treatment services for young people. The Board devoted considerable effort to the review and confirmation of government estimates and assessment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances required for the treatment of their peoples in 2020, which will be communicated individually to governments and published early next year.

The Board also consulted with the Chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and representatives of the World Health Organization, the World Customs Organization and Interpol.

During the session, the INCB President, Cornelis P. de Joncheere, reiterated the importance of ongoing tripartite collaboration between INCB, UNODC and the World Health Organization in supporting States achieve the objectives of the three international drug control conventions and in implementing the outcome document of the 2016 special session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem. On 5 November, the Board met with Member States and discussed progress towards improving availability of and access to internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, including implementation of the way forward identified in the INCB 2018 report.

In closing, Cornelis P. de Joncheere expressed his appreciation for Member State's efforts and cooperation regarding drug control, in particular towards implementation of their treaty obligations and achieving the health and welfare objectives of the conventions.


INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body charged with promoting and monitoring Government compliance with the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961,   the thirteen members of the Board are elected in a personal capacity by the Economic and Social Council for terms of five years.

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For further information, please contact:

INCB Secretariat
Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163
Email:  incb.secretariat[at]