Precursor Chemicals Questions


Where can information be found?

When did the law go into effect?
To control and monitor the sale of chemicals used in the unlawful manufacture of dangerous and narcotic drugs, new legislation was passed into law on October 1, 1999. Under the statute, the Arizona Department of Public Safety was made the regulating and governing entity.

What are precursor and regulated chemicals?
Precursor chemicals are chemicals that are essential to the production of a controlled substance and for which no substitution can be made. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, commonly used in cold and decongestant medicine, are classified as precursor chemicals are necessary in the production of methamphetamine.  Regulated or reagent chemicals are those chemicals which react upon precursor chemicals and cause them to chemically change. Two such chemicals are required in the production of methamphetamine, iodine and phosphorous, and these are classified as regulated chemicals.

Who is responsible for completing the reporting forms?
The manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer conducting the sale or transfer must complete the form for submission to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The one exception is when an Arizona manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person receives a precursor or regulated chemical that falls under the reporting requirements from a source outside of Arizona, the reporting of the transaction is the responsibility of the Arizona recipient.

Does the Arizona Department of Public Safety provide for reporting exemptions?
Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers or other persons who sell, transfer or otherwise furnish precursor or regulated chemicals can be authorized be the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Precursor Chemical Unit to submit reports on a monthly basis if it can be demonstrated that a pattern exists between the seller and recipient and the recipient has an established record of lawful use of the substance. This exemption will allow repetitive and regular customers to purchase substances without waiting for 21 days and completing a report for each transaction.

Are there provisions that would allow the twenty-one day period to be waived?
Yes, but special conditions must prevail. The Arizona Department of Public Safety shall grant exemptions that preclude the supplier from reporting the transaction as well as waive the twenty-one days or more before delivery when the person who supplies the substance can demonstrate to the Department's satisfaction that the recipient requires the substance for a lawful purpose and that special circumstances exist.

If a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer is required to complete Federal forms, may copies of these reports be submitted to the Arizona Department of Public Safety to satisfy statutory reporting requirements?
Yes, as long as the reports contain all the information required under the Arizona statute.

How can more forms be obtained?
Click here for applicable forms.

Is the business liable for any loss or damage caused by reporting?
Any person, including a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer or any officer, employee or agent, that keeps or files a record as required by law or that communicates or discloses information or records as required by law is not liable to its customers, a state or local agency or any person for any loss or damage caused in whole or in part by the making, filing or governmental use of the report or any information contained in that report.

What are some other common household items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine?
Acetone, Alcohol (gasoline additives or rubbing), Toluene (brake cleaner), Engine Starter (ether), Drain Cleaner (sulfuric acid), Coffee Filters, Salt (table, rock), Batteries (lithium), Propane Tank, Lye (Sodium Hydroxide), Matches, Dishes (Pyrex/Visions), Muriatic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Distilled Water, Denatured Alcohol, Camping Fuel, Butane Fuel, Flares, MSM.

Can the information on the forms be filed electronically?
Yes. Completed forms can be sent via email to or faxed to (602) 644-8718.

How will the information that is reported be used?
There may be a legitimate explanation for a purchase that required a report. Because a report was written does not mean that a person is using the substance to manufacture methamphetamine. The information provided on the report is merely a "tool" for investigators. It is an important piece in a lengthy, thorough and accurate investigation.

How can my business obtain an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit?
An Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit is required to sell pseudoephedrine or ephedrine products in Arizona. Even if your business is not in Arizona, but you want to sell to businesses or individuals in Arizona, you need to obtain a permit. You can contact the Board of Pharmacy at 623-463-2727 or through their website at .

When did the new precursor chemical laws become effective?
The new precursor chemical laws are effective November 1, 2005.

With the new changes to the law, are we still required to submit Suspicious Transaction Reports?
Yes. Since meth “cooks” will not be able to purchase as much pseudoephedrine at one time, they will resort to other methods to obtain the needed ingredients. This may include coming into the store often to purchase pseudoephedrine products, sending people into the store in groups to purchase pseudoephedrine and buying combination pseudoephedrine products. Any of these activities may constitute a Suspicious Transaction and would, therefore, require a report to be submitted to the Department of Public Safety.

What are combination pseudoephedrine products and are they included in the precursor chemical laws.
Combination pseudoephedrine products are products that have pseudoephedrine in them along with another active ingredient such as an antihistamine or a pain reliever. Although combination pseudoephedrine products are not required to be kept behind the counter or locked up, suspicious transactions and thefts involving these products are required to be submitted to the Department of Public Safety.

Do all products that contain pseudoephedrine need to be behind a counter or locked up?
No. Only products where pseudoephedrine is the single active ingredient need to be behind a counter or locked up. Single active ingredient pseudoephedrine is products where pseudoephedrine is the only medicine provided in the product. There may be other inert ingredients in the product that provide no medicinal benefit. Gel caps and liquid preparations where pseudoephedrine is the single active ingredient are exempt from this requirement. Combination pseudoephedrine products are exempt from this requirement.

How much pseudoephedrine can I purchase at one time?
A person can purchase up to nine grams or three boxes of pseudoephedrine at one time. You can determine the grams by multiplying the number of milligrams of pseudoephedrine in each tablet by the number of tablets in each box. Multiply this number by .001 for the total number of grams in each box. When determining the grams of pseudoephedrine it does not matter if it is in a combination product or a single active ingredient product.

Are there city ordinances pertaining to pseudoephedrine sales?
Yes. Many cities throughout Arizona have city ordinances within there jurisdictions, contact local law enforcement agencies for additional information.


If you have any questions, problems or concerns about the Precursor and Regulated Chemical Laws please contact:
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Precursor Chemical Unit