Security Union: Stricter rules on explosive precursors will make it harder for terrorists to build homemade explosives

Today, new EU rules restricting access to explosive precursors start applying throughout the EU. The rules contain stronger safeguards and controls on the sale and marketing of dangerous chemicals, which have been misused to produce homemade explosives in a number of terrorist attacks in Europe. Under the new rules, suspicious transactions – whether online or offline – should be reported, including by online marketplaces. Sellers have to verify their customers’ identity and their need for buying a restricted substance. Before issuing a licence for buying restricted substances, Member States need to carry out security screening, including a criminal background check. The new rules also restrict two additional chemicals: sulphuric acid and ammonium nitrate. To assist Member States and sellers implement the rules, the Commission presented Guidelines in June last year together with a monitoring programme intended to track the outputs, results and impact of the new Regulation. The Regulation strengthens and updates the existing rules on explosive precursors, and contributes to denying terrorists the means to act and protecting the security of Europeans, in line with the priorities set out in the Counter-Terrorism Agenda presented in December 2020.