Offences Relating to Controlled Precursors


It is an offender under Part 6.3 of the Criminal Code 2002 to possess, manufacture or sell a controlled precursor for the purpose of manufacturing a controlled drug.

For the purpose of this section, a controlled precursor is one listed in Schedule 3 of the Criminal Code Regulations 2005.

Section 7 of the Regulation also broadens the definition further by prescribing that the definition also includes:

  • A preparation, admixture, extract or other substance containing any properties of a Schedule 3 substance;
  • An acetal, acetate, acid chloride, amide, anhydride, diol, epoxide, ester, ether, halogen substituent, hydroxide, imine, isomer, ketal, nitrile, oxime or salt of a Schedule 3 substance;
  • Any analogue or derivative of a Schedule 3 substance.

It is often difficult for the Police to rely on section 7 to capture substances not specifically listed in Schedule 1 of the Criminal Code Regulation. The terms used have a specific chemical definition, and it is likely the opinion of an expert would be required if the Police sought to rely on this section.

Possess Controlled Precursor

It is an offence under section 612 of the Criminal Code 2002 to possess a controlled precursor with:-

  • The intention of using it to manufacture a controlled drug; and
  • Selling any of the manufactured drug, or believing that someone else intends to sell any of that manufactured drug.

If you are convicted of an offence under this section, and the amount of the controlled precursor is not identified, the maximum penalty is 700 penalty units and/or 7 years imprisonment.

If the quantity of controlled precursor possessed is identifiable, you may be subject to higher penalties.

  • If convicted of possessing a large commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
  • If convicted of possessing a commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is 2,500 penalty units and/or 25 years imprisonment.

Manufacture Controlled Precursor

It is an offence under section 611 of the Criminal Code 2002 to manufacture a controlled precursor. There are two possible charges that you could face under this section.

The two possible charges are manufacturing a controlled precursor: –

  1. With the intention of manufacturing a controlled drug and with the intent of selling any of that manufactured drug or believing that someone else intends to sell any of the manufactured drug; or
  2. With the intention of selling the controlled precursor to someone else, believing that person intends to use it to manufacture a controlled drug.

If you are convicted of either offence under this section, and the amount of the controlled precursor is not identified, the maximum penalty is 700 penalty units and/or 7 years imprisonment.

If the quantity of the controlled precursor manufactured is identifiable, you may be subject to higher penalties.

  • If convicted of manufacturing a large commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is 2,500 penalty units and/or 25 years imprisonment.
  • If convicted of manufacturing a commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is 1,500 penalty units and/or 15 years imprisonment.

Selling Controlled Precursor

It is an offence under section 610 of the Criminal Code Act 2002 to sell a controlled precursor, with the belief that that person or another party intends to use any of it to manufacture a controlled drug.

If you are convicted of an offence under this section, and the amount of the controlled precursor is not identified, the maximum penalty is 700 penalty units and/or 7 years imprisonment.

If the quantity of the controlled precursor manufactured is identifiable, you may be subject to higher penalties.

  • If convicted of selling a large commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is 2,500 penalty units and/or 25 years imprisonment.

The two possible charges are manufacturing a controlled precursor: –

  1. With the intention of manufacturing a controlled drug and with the intent of selling any of that manufactured drug or believing that someone else intends to sell any of the manufactured drug; or
  2. With the intention of selling the controlled precursor to someone else, believing that person intends to use it to manufacture a controlled drug.

If you are convicted of either offence under this section, and the amount of the controlled precursor is not identified, the maximum penalty is 700 penalty units and/or 7 years imprisonment.

If the quantity of the controlled precursor manufactured is identifiable, you may be subject to higher penalties.

  • If convicted of manufacturing a large commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is 2,500 penalty units and/or 25 years imprisonment.
  • If convicted of manufacturing a commercial quantity of the controlled precursor: the maximum penalty is 1,500 penalty units and/or 15 years imprisonment.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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