Precursors

Aaron advises clients on compliance with regulations designed to prevent the diversion of chemical products to illicit purposes, such as in the production of chemical weapons or illegal drugs. Examples of his work in this area include:

Controlled Substances and Their Precursors

Controlled Substances Disposal: For a waste services company, Aaron worked to develop a nationwide program for collection and disposal of unused pharmaceuticals, helping to ensure that it would be consistent with applicable controlled substance rules of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as regulations governing transport of hazardous materials and disposal of hazardous wastes.

Precursor Safeguards: Aaron counsels a variety of manufacturers, importers, and users of chemical products that contain controlled substance precursors (e.g., GBL and MEK) on the potential regulation of such products under U.S. (federal and state) and international rules for ensuring that such chemicals are not diverted to the production of narcotics or psychotropic substances. He has helped clients develop and implement plans for reporting apparent non-compliance to government authorities and correcting the problems in ways that limited any business disruptions.

International Advocacy: For a major high-tech trade association, Aaron helped develop a successful strategy to ensure that the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) did not adopt a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to list two chemicals that are widely used in industrial applications under Schedule I of the Psychotropic Substances Convention, which would have severely limited or even prohibited continued production and use of the chemicals.

Chemical Weapons Precursors

Applicability Assessments: Aaron advises companies in a variety of industries (e.g., chemicals, electronics, and consumer products) on the extent to which the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) may apply to their products and operations, sometimes submitting requests to CWC National Authorities for determinations of the applicability of their CWC implementing statutes and regulations to particular materials and processes.

Declarations: Aaron has helped prepare annual CWC declarations of past chemical production activities and anticipated future activities for facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, taking into account the unique requirements imposed by some countries. He has also formulated company-specific strategies for key CWC reporting issues, such as how to address chemical intermediates, confidentiality, changes in facility ownership, sites with multiple owners/operators, contract manufacturing, and delineation of individual plants within a plant site.

Inspections: Aaron provides both on-site and remote representation of facilities undergoing CWC inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons both inside and outside the U.S., for example, by preparing Pre-Inspection Briefings and negotiating limits on the scope of document productions and facility tours. He has also developed a detailed guidance manual on inspections for CWC-regulated facilities throughout the world.