On 16th April, the EU Parliament adopted a draft Regulation proposed by the Commission that will strengthen EU rules on explosive precursors. The new Regulation will –
- add to the strict rules already in place on the access to chemical precursors that can be used to produce homemade explosives, and will ban additional chemicals – adding sulphuric acid, an ingredient in the explosives used in the attack at the airport and the subway of Brussels in March 2016, as well as ammonium nitrate; and
- strengthen licensing and screening – requiring a Member State to check the legitimacy of a request and perform a careful security screening, including a criminal background check.
The EU Regulation takes immediate effect.
The EU put in place rules to restrict access to explosive precursors that could be used to make home-made explosives in 2013. However, the security threat has been constantly evolving with terrorists using new tactics, and developing new recipes and bomb-making techniques.