Newsflash – Monday 7th February 2022

Update: 7/2/2022, 10:30 am

Doug Leech of CBA has emailed to explain that the deadline for applying to continue using these chemicals is this Friday, 11th February 2022, so if you are using either gamma–butyrolactone (GBL) and /or 1,4–butanediol (1,4-BDO), you need to act now.

Doug also very kindly sent through a briefing document explaining how chemical companies affected can deal with these regulations: Changes to regime 2021 v2i.pdf . Thanks so much to the Chemical Business Association for circulating this information to as wide an audience as possible.

Original post, 9:30am 7th February 2022

Dear Friend,

Happy Monday!

It’s Semi-lockdown day 686, and as we wait for the Annex VIII situation to be resolved one way or another, news from Neil Hollis of BASF about another regulatory inconsistency, this time it’s Gamma–butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4–Butanediol (1,4-BDO).

Gamma–butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4–Butanediol (1,4-BDO)

Neil writes:

Is the ongoing BDO/GBL situation on your radar?

It’s our understanding these substances (currently exempted for industrial use) are having the licencing exemption removed and therefore if you import/possess/supply these substances (or formulations containing these substances), you will require a Controlled Drug Licence from June 2022.

This means nominated persons undergoing security checks and potentially, enhanced security requirements at the storage/operations sites.

The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2021 (

I can understand the background to this as they metabolise to GHB on ingestion….but they are widely used industry solvents !

The legislation came out of Home Office rather than usual channels for us (BEIS, Defra, HSE…) and it’s one that industry and associations have picked up on late.

Also, given some high profile cases (Reynhard Sinaga in particular) it’s one the HO want to pass through quickly.

A quick check of the regulation indicates that Neil is correct.

BDO, 1-4 Butanediol, CAS no 110-63-4 , and GBL, Gamma-butyrolactone, CAS no 96-48-0, , will come under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, 2001, from 15th June 2022.

The 2001 legislation is here: , but it hasn’t been updated yet and needs to be read in conjunction with the new amendment, and also with the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1971, which the regulations refer back to .

As Neil says, this now affects every UK chemical business using one or both of these chemicals.

If you are using either or both of these chemicals on site, it would be sensible to start preparing to comply with these new duties now, because there isn’t a lot of time to comply, and there has been very little publicity about this.

Thanks very much to Neil for passing this information on, and feel free to circulate this email to anyone in your supply chain who is using either of these substances. 

This is not really my area of expertise, but I have found some information online which may useful: (you should do your own research to ensure you are in compliance).

If you are a member of the Chemical Regulations Self Help Group, and this affects you, we will be discussing this topic at our next meeting on 22nd March 2022.

Many thanks to Neil again for raising this important topic. As usual, if you have anything you’d like to share, please email me and I’ll do my best to include it in the next newsletter.

I hope you have a good day today. Take care, stay safe and I hope to be able to write to you later on this week.

Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood

TT Environmental Ltd

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