BEIJING — China will add fentanyl-related substances to a supplementary list of controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with non-medical use starting May 1.
The decision was announced Monday in a joint statement by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the National Health Commission and the National Medical Products Administration.
Fentanyl and its analogs that were previously included in the list of controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as related substances in the supplementary list, will remain controlled according to relevant regulations, the statement said.
Including all fentanyl-like substances into the control list is believed to provide a solid legal basis for the crackdown on fentanyl-related crimes, said Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotic Control Commission and an official with the MPS, at a press conference on April 1.
It is also expected to efficiently prevent large-scale fentanyl abuse, illicit fentanyl production and trafficking and smuggling of the illegally manufactured products, he said.
“China holds a very clear-cut and firm position on the fight against drug crimes,” Liu said, adding that China had previously included 25 fentanyl analogs and two precursors into its list of controlled substances, though the country sees no fentanyl-abuse on a large scale.
China will continue to crack down on those violating laws and “show no mercy,” Liu said.
Thorough investigations will be launched into bio-medical bases and chemical industrial parks in key areas in search of possible illegal production of fentanyl-related substances, Liu said, adding that measures will also be taken to clear out online drug-related information.
Relevant authorities will urge delivery companies to record senders’ real names, check the parcels’ contents and tighten security checks, and customs in key areas will step up investigations of high-risk international mail, he said.
Efforts will be made to investigate and solve a batch of new cases involving manufacturing, trafficking and smuggling of fentanyl-like substances, Liu said.
China will promote cooperation and exchanges with other countries, jointly working to investigate smuggling cases, and put an end to international drug mafias and their trafficking networks, he said.
“China will strengthen cooperation and coordination with other countries, including the United States, and make joint efforts to address the global challenge posed by fentanyl-related substances.”
The country will also improve research on fentanyl testing techniques and develop a proper system to assess fentanyl addiction, Liu said.