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Laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking



of 25 october 2004

laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking


  • Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article 31(e) and Article 34(2)(b) thereof,
  • Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),
  • Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament(2),


  1. Illicit drug trafficking poses a threat to health, safety and the quality of life of citizens of the European Union, and to the legal economy, stability and security of the Member States.
  2. The need for legislative action to tackle illicit drug trafficking has been recognised in particular in the Action Plan of the Council and the Commission on how best to implement the provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty on an area of freedom, security and justice(3), adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Vienna on 3 December 1998, the conclusions of the Tampere European Council of 15 and 16 October 1999, in particular point 48 thereof, the European Union's Drugs Strategy (2000-2004) endorsed by the Helsinki European Council from 10 to 12 December 1999 and the European Union's Action Plan on Drugs (2000-2004) endorsed by the European Council in Santa Maria da Feira on 19 and 20 June 2000.
  3. It is necessary to adopt minimum rules relating to the constituent elements of the offences of illicit trafficking in drugs and precursors which will allow a common approach at European Union level to the fight against such trafficking.
  4. By virtue of the principle of subsidiarity, European Union action should focus on the most serious types of drug offence. The exclusion of certain types of behaviour as regards personal consumption from the scope of this Framework Decision does not constitute a Council guideline on how Member States should deal with these other cases in their national legislation.
  5. Penalties provided for by the Member States should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and include custodial sentences. To determine the level of penalties, factual elements such as the quantities and the type of drugs trafficked, and whether the offence was committed within the framework of a criminal organisation, should be taken into account.
  6. Member States should be allowed to make provision for reducing the penalties when the offender has supplied the competent authorities with valuable information.
  7. It is necessary to take measures to enable the confiscation of the proceeds of the offences referred to in this Framework Decision.
  8. Measures should be taken to ensure that legal persons can be held liable for the criminal offences referred to by this Framework Decision which are committed for their benefit.
  9. The effectiveness of the efforts made to tackle illicit drug trafficking depends essentially on the harmonisation of the national measures implementing this Framework Decision,