The Home Office has announced a ban on the import of phenazepam. This ban comes into force with immediate effect on Friday 22 July 2011.

Phenazepam is a benzodiazepine which is currently not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (1971 Act) in the UK. You can read the importation notice for phenazepam.

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs's advice 

The UK Government has received independent expert advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) that phenazepam is sufficiently harmful to justify an immediate import ban under the Open General Import Licence pending its control as a Class C drug under the 1971 Act.

The ACMD’s assessment reports that phenazepam is being marketed as a so called ‘legal high’ product, particularly on the internet.

It has been identified as being a potent member of the benzodiazepine family causing harms such as amnesia and drowsiness that may potentially proceed to a coma with respiratory depression.

Whilst phenazepam has been recognised to have limited medicinal properties, it is not prescribed in the UK for treatment neither does it have a UK marketing authorisation. Further, it has no legitimate commercial or industrial uses in the UK. 

This amendment to the Open General Import Licence will remain in place until such time as it is revoked. This will likely occur when phenazepam is fully controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 where it will be a criminal offence to unlawfully import, export, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply and be in simple possession of this substance without a licence or lawful authority.

If you have any enquiries plaese contact us. Email: or write to us at the address below.

Drugs Licensing & Compliance Unit
Home Office
4th Floor, Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

This Notice is for information purposes only and has no force in law. Please note that where legal advice is required, importers should make their own arrangements.

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