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Document 62013CN0369

Case C-369/13: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Rechtbank Oost-Brabant 's-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) lodged on 1 July 2013 — Criminal proceedings against N.F. Gielen and Others

OJ C 260, 7.9.2013, p. 22–23 (HR)
OJ C 260, 7.9.2013, p. 31–31 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 260/31

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Rechtbank Oost-Brabant 's-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) lodged on 1 July 2013 — Criminal proceedings against N.F. Gielen and Others

(Case C-369/13)

2013/C 260/57

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Rechtbank Oost-Brabant 's-Hertogenbosch

Parties to the main proceedings

N.F. Gielen, M.M.J. Geerings, F.A.C. Pruijmboom, A.A. Pruijmboom

Questions referred


Can the chemical substance alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (CAS No 4468-48-8; further referred to as ‘APAAN’) be equated with the scheduled substance 1-phenyl-2-propanone (CAS No 103-79-7; further referred to as ‘BMK’)? In particular, the Rechtbank seeks clarification as to whether the Dutch term ‘bevatten’, the English term ‘containing’ and the French term ‘contenant’ should be interpreted as meaning that the substance BMK must, as such, already be present in the substance APAAN.

If Question 1(a) is answered in the negative, the Rechtbank wishes to submit the following supplementary questions to the Court of Justice under 1:


Must APAAN be regarded, or must it not be regarded, as [one of the] ‘stoffen … die zodanig zijn vermengd dat genoemde stoffen niet gemakkelijk met eenvoudige of economisch rendabele middelen kunnen worden gebruikt of geëxtraheerd’, ‘[a substance] that [is] compounded in such a way that [it] cannot be easily used or extracted by readily applicable or economically viable means’ and ‘[une autre préparation] contenant des substances classifiées qui sont composées de manière telle que ces substances ne peuvent pas être facilement utilisées, ni extraites par des moyens aisés à mettre en oeuvre ou économiquement viables’? It appears from Annex 3 that, in the view of the police, a relatively straightforward, perhaps even simple, conversion process is involved.


In answering Question 1(b), more particularly with regard to the use of ‘economisch rendabele middelen/economically viable means/[moyens] économiquement [viables]’, is it significant that in the conversion of APAAN to BMK — albeit by illegal means — very substantial amounts of money (can) apparently be made when the further processing of APAAN to BMK and/or amphetamine is successful and/or in the case of the (illegal) trade in the BMK obtained from APAAN?


The term ‘operator’ is defined in Article 2(d) of Regulation No 273/2004 (1) and in Article 2(f) of Regulation No 111/2005. (2) In answering the following question, the Rechtbank requests that the Court of Justice proceed on the basis that what is under discussion here is a scheduled substance within the meaning of Article 2(a) or an equivalent substance within the terms of ‘Annex I: Scheduled substances within the meaning of Article 2(a)’ of the Regulations.

Should that term ‘operator also’ be understood to refer to a natural person who, whether or not with (an)other legal person(s) and/or natural person(s), (intentionally) has a scheduled substance in his possession without a licence, without there being any further suspicious circumstances?

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 273/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 on drug precursors (OJ 2004 L 47, p. 1).

(2)  Council Regulation (EC) No 111/2005 of 22 December 2004 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Community and third countries in drug precursors (OJ 2005 L 22, p. 1).