As required by Merchant Policy, merchants who sell products to the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) on Wish need to comply with their obligations under Regulation (EU) 2019/1148, starting March 18, 2022 UTC. To help merchants better understand Explosives Precursors Regulation requirements, this article walks merchants through some commonly asked questions about Explosives Precursors Regulation.
1. What is Explosives Precursors Regulation?
Explosives precursors are chemical substances that can be used for legitimate purposes, but that can also be misused to manufacture homemade explosives. To fight against terrorist activity and protect European Union citizens from the threat posed by explosives precursors, the European Union issued Regulation (EU) No 2019/1148 in 2019. The regulation establishes rules around the making available, introduction, possession and use of explosives precursors and sets up a verification and reporting system of suspicious activity.
To help limit the availability of explosives precursors, merchants selling products into the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) on Wish should ensure that they comply with the regulation as their liability will be directly at stake.
Specifically, merchants need to ensure restricted explosives precursors (listed in Q&A 3 below) are not available for sale in jurisdictions they are prohibited in and report suspicious transactions over reportable explosives precursors (listed in Q&A 3 below) to applicable national authorities within 24 hours of detection.
2. How is a Wish merchant impacted if it violates Explosives Precursors Regulation?
Merchants found to be in violation of Regulation (EU) 2019/1148 (including those failing to adequately and timely report suspicious transactions to applicable authorities) are subject to various actions by Wish, including but not limited to, removal of product listings without prior notice, decreased impressions, or other actions as may be permitted under applicable law(s), regulation(s), or Wish Merchant Policy or the Wish Merchant Terms of Service and Agreement. Repeat violations may also result in suspension or termination from Wish.
3. What Explosives Precursors are covered by Explosives Precursors Regulation requirements?
Restricted Explosives Precursors:
As defined in Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 2019/1148, the following types of explosives precursors cannot be sold in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA):
- Nitric acid in concentrations > 3%
- Hydrogen peroxide in concentrations > 12%
- Sulphuric (Sulfuric) acid in concentrations > 15%
- Nitromethane in any concentration/quantity, including nitro fuel containing this substance in any concentration
- Ammonium nitrate in any concentration/quantity, except for instant cold packs containing concentrations < 16% w/w nitrogen in relation to ammonium nitrate
- Potassium chlorate in concentrations > 40%
- Potassium perchlorate in concentrations > 40%
- Sodium chlorate > 40% w/w
- Sodium perchlorate > 40% w/w
Reportable Explosives Precursors:
Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 2019/1148 lists the reportable types of explosives precursors that are, either on their own or in mixtures, contained in any suspicious transactions. Although these are not outright prohibited from sale, merchants must still report any suspicious transactions related to these to applicable local enforcement authorities within 24 hours of detection.
The reportable explosives precursors are as follows:
- Any lower concentrations of restricted explosives precursors of Annex I, other than listed above
- Potassium Nitrate
- Sodium Nitrate
- Calcium Nitrate
- Calcium Ammonium Nitrate
- Magnesium, powders
- Magnesium nitrate hexahydrate
- Aluminum, powders
4. What are suspicious transactions?
Suspicious transaction means any transaction concerning regulated explosives precursors for which there are reasonable grounds, after taking account of all relevant factors, for suspecting that the substance or mixture concerned is intended for the illicit manufacture of explosives.
Therefore, when assessing suspicious transactions, please always try to make sure that all the circumstances of the situation have been observed. A transaction may always be considered suspicious when a prospective customer acts in one or more of the following ways:
- appears unclear about the intended use of the explosives precursors of Annexes I and II;
- appears unfamiliar with the intended or regular use of the explosives precursors of Annexes I and II (nor with handling instructions) or cannot plausibly explain it;
- appears nervous or avoids questions, or is not a frequent customer that regularly or periodically makes purchases of goods on the platform;
- is not willing to share what he/she plans to use the product(s) for;
- intends to buy explosives precursors of Annexes I and II in quantities, combinations or concentrations uncommon for legitimate use;
- attempts to purchase an unusual amount of a product, unusual combinations, or unusual concentrations of products;
- refuses alternative products or products with a lower (but for the proposed use sufficient) concentration;
- requests packaging or delivery methods that deviate from what would be ordinary, advised, or expected;
- is unwilling to provide proof of identity, place of residence or, where appropriate, status as professional user or economic operator; and/or
- insists on using unusual methods of payment, including large amounts of cash.
5. How to report suspicious transactions?
If merchants come across a suspicious transaction involving reportable explosives precursors listed above, please contact applicable national authorities and Wish as soon as reasonably practicable. Note that merchants are required to contact the applicable national authorities within 24 hours of detection.
A list of Competent Authorities and National Contact Points that merchants may contact can be found here.
Starting March 18, 2022 UTC, merchants can go to the Merchant Dashboard Help > Safety Reporting page and report suspicious transactions by following the steps below:
1). Provide the order ID of the corresponding suspicious transaction
2). Click the dropdown to select the report reason from the following options:
“Suspicious transaction or activity”
“Other suspected illegal activity”
“Suspected criminal activity involving potential threat to the life or safety of persons”
3). Describe the situation and provide more details in “Supporting explanation”.
4). Click “Submit” to report the transaction.
If this order has not been fulfilled yet, merchants may cancel and refund it after reporting a corresponding suspicious transaction and this will not negatively affect merchant’s Wish Standards metrics. To refund the order, please go to Unfulfilled Orders page and select refund reason as “Order was reported”.
6. Where can I find more information on Explosives Precursors Regulation?
Visit the European Union website for the following:
- Learn more about Explosives Precursors Legislation
- Read about Regulation (EU) No 2019/1148
- Download the List of Competent Authorities and National Contact Points