1. In this E-book, attempts have been made to explain as to how to Identify Precursor Chemicals. It is expected that it will help departmental officers in their day-to-day work.

2. Though all efforts have been made to make this document error free, but it is possible that some errors might have crept into the document. If you notice any errors, the same may be brought to the notice of the NACEN, RTI, Kanpur on the Email address: This may not be a perfect E-book. If you have any suggestion to improve this book, you are requested to forward the same to us.

3. This e-book is one of the several e-books dealing with different aspects of WCO Programme Global Shield (PGS). The Programme Global Shield (PGS) is a long term law enforcement initiative of WCO alongwith its partner organizations, namely, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), International Police Organization (INTERPOL) and member countries. This Programme is aimed at combating the illicit diversion and trafficking of high risk precursor chemicals, which are commonly used by criminal elements/terrorist organizations to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

4. It is acknowledged here that in preparing this e-book, the WCO training material as well as material from other sources including that available freely on internet have been used. Wherever possible, the source of material has been indicated in this e-book. It might be possible that for some material, we may not have specifically mentioned such source. This e-book is meant for education and training of Customs officers in India and is for non­commercial use. While it is not our intention to infringe any copyrights, if anybody has any issue with regard to any of the material used in this e-book, the same may kindly be brought to our notice on the email addresses mentioned above.

5. If you feel that this e-book has really helped you in improving your knowledge or understanding of the subject matter, we request you to take few minutes out of your precious time and provide us your valuable feedback. Your feedback is important and will help us in improving our e-books.


(C. P. Goyal)
Additional Director General
NACEN, RTI, Kanpur

Abbreviations & Glossary

CAS No: Chemical Abstract Service Number

[CAS numbers are used to provide a unique, unmistakable identifier for chemical substances and provide an unambiguous way to identify a chemical substance A CAS No. is separated by hyphens into three parts-the first consisting from two to seven digits, the second consisting of two digits, and the third consisting of a single digit serving as a check digit].

HS Code: Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

[It is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers for classifying traded products. It has been developed and maintained by the WCO. It is based on HS Convention.]

IED: Improvised Explosive Devices

MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

[It is documents provided by the manufacturer that contain information on physical and chemical properties of material, potential hazards of the material, and how to work safely with hazardous substances. They also contain information on the use, storage, handling, and emergency procedures related to hazards of the material. All MSDSs contain eight (8) sections, but most of them contain additional sections]

PGS: Programme Global Shield (WCO Programme for prevention of smuggling and diversion of Precursor Chemicals, commonly used for manufacture of IEDs)

UN Code: United Nation Number

[UN numbers, or UN IDs, are four-digit numbers that identify hazardous substances and articles (such as explosives, flammable liquids, toxic substances, etc.].

UNCETDG: United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

WCO: World Custom Organisation

1. Introduction

1.1 Programme Global Shield focuses on 14 high risk precursor chemicals, identified by industry experts as posing the greatest threat of use in IEDs.Out of 14 precursor Chemicals for IEDs, important details about 10 precursor chemicals have been given below in this E-book. For knowing about the remaining four precursor chemicals, please refer to specific e-books on Ammonium Nitrate, Urea, Acetic Anhydride and Acetone. Further, to know more about signal words, hazard statement and precautionary statement, please refer to Purple Book containing recommendations of UN Committee of Experts on Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling of Chemicals (UNCEGHS).For knowing more about Pictograms, both work place and transport, please refer to E-books on UN Recommendations on Classification, labeling and Transport of Hazardous Materials.

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Source-National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics Regional Training Institute, Kanpur (India)

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