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Psychoactive substances being intercepted

Hon Maurice Williamson

Minister of Customs

12 August 2013       Media Statement

Psychoactive substances being intercepted

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says a crackdown on the importation of psychoactive substances shows targeted efforts by Customs are paying off.

Since the start of 2012, there have been more than 320 interceptions of Class C Analogue drugs intercepted at the border.  There have also been more than 130 seizures under the Temporary Class Drug Notice (TCDN) regime.  It equates to more than 150 kilograms of suspected psychoactive drugs.

“Targeted activity is being carried out by Customs here in New Zealand and beyond the border by officials from other customs administrations against the importers of these substances,” Mr Williamson says.

Most of these drugs come in white powder form and can be difficult to identify.

“Some substances simply look like a bag of flour and testing can also prove difficult, as manufacturers often change the structure of the drugs to try and get around the TCDN.

“The real danger is people don’t know what they are taking.  These drugs are always evolving and the consumer, knowingly or unknowingly, could be taking untested and possibly deadly substances,” Mr Williamson says.

Customs will not release any substance until it’s satisfied it’s legal.  This supports the Psychoactive Substances Act which came into effect on July 18th, and has been introduced to to manage the manufacture, sale, supply and distribution of such substances.

Customs intercepts up to 15 suspected psychoactive substances each week, mostly through mail and air freight.


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