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Author: Subject: What is generally legal or illegal in Germany/EU?
NaK
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[*] posted on 24-2-2020 at 16:54


What I would find very interesting is how hard it would actually be to open a legal business without having a chemistry degree. I looked it up for Germany and found that apparently you don't need any permission other than the sole registration, and would need to store huge quantities of chemicals to get to the point where you would have to get your building approved as a dangerous goods storage. Maybe I'm missing something though

Having a business would have a lot of advantages because you can legally possess almost anything and also buy almost anything even from b2b only sellers. Raids with confiscations and legal trouble would also be pretty unlikely as long as your not doing anything really illegal there...
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BJ68
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[*] posted on 24-2-2020 at 23:18


Quote: Originally posted by NaK  
I looked it up for Germany and found that apparently you don't need any permission
[...]

Having a business would have a lot of advantages because you can legally possess almost anything and also buy almost anything even from b2b only sellers. Raids with confiscations and legal trouble would also be pretty unlikely as long as your not doing anything really illegal there...



Sorry that´s not the case....

The Gewerbeaufsicht https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gewerbeaufsicht (Trade control) will visit you and they will make requirements how to store and handling chemicals and raids are not unlikely, because the authorities are aware of the aspects which are you describing. I know one case who got more then one visit which search warrant to check if they can find something.

bj68
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NaK
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[*] posted on 25-2-2020 at 04:31


It would make a lot of chemical posessions legal though. But there is a lot of bureaucratic overhead and some nasty regulations of the work enviroment that most hobby chemists probably don't really want to deal with. So keeping mouth shut and hoping no one finds out is still the best way
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PTFE
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[*] posted on 25-2-2020 at 13:43


isn't it really depressing to see those regulations pop up every few years?
you cant life your hobby even when doing nothing harmfull without living in fear of loosing everything of the work´you made. and if they come they take everything just because you might could maybe choose a desicion to do something to harm one. (like making explosive compounds or psychedelic substances for the market.)


hi everyone, this is my first post. :P
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fusso
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[*] posted on 25-2-2020 at 14:06


Oh EU's chemophobic laws about explosive precursors are already discussed to death. Can we stop this?
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 25-2-2020 at 14:45


Just keep quiet and you're able to get anything.

If you are a lawful idiot, erm, I mean citizen, you can of course tell them you're up to make some home chemistry and want to acquire certain licenses.
But please inform us how quick they were to imprison you.
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[*] posted on 26-4-2020 at 07:59


In where I live, a personal business title can be obtained with less than 100 bucks worth by only submitting a form to the registrant authority and you get a VAT number.

With that, you are a business, and can order mostly any chemicals, as long as other rules are being followed, based on storage etc. The chemical items could be used up in business premises, or marked as shrink.

Sulfuric acid is what annoys me, because it is a basic feedstock for mostly everything and used up in bulk.
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Frankenshtein
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[*] posted on 20-9-2020 at 16:29


Here's something they tell everybody:
Make sure you read the primary source of the law, meaning the actual law, and not just ask what someone says the law is, unless you're receiving legal counsel from a lawyer. Laws change and people get it wrong, while ignorance of the law is irrelevant when in court.

Realize the difference in criminal justice systems of different countries can be collossal. Not all countries follow the explicit deny;implicit allow system, or even the ideas that you are innocent until proven guilty, and that the burden of proof is on the accuser.

Directed I dont even know where:
A degree is a social construct. A selling point made to an employer, perhaps even a requirement (according to someone because they get to say so, theyre in charge) but they'll hire you for social reasons. Economy is part of national security/realpolitik, ergo, if you can make money and jobs then they should let you do your thing within regulatory lines.
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[*] posted on 19-10-2020 at 14:15


I'm based in the UK, and just had an unscheduled visit from the local constabulary.

First though, some background:

Each year, I make a few little fireworks (catherine wheels, fountains, sparklers etc) for a family Nov 5th party. This year, even though Covid has cancelled it, I thought would still be a useful opportunity to do some testing. So come October the 1st I'm in the garage again, working away.
This is the 4th year I have done it. Everything I make is relatively small and not particularly powerful. To be honest, I just like the pretty colours and effects, but I do still need to test the odd thing now and again during preparation.

So the garage - my 'workshop' - is in full firework flow. There's chems everywhere (all in their respective container and correctly labelled I might add), tubes, sieves, a ball mill and a jar half full labelled 'Granulated BP'. I also have dowel tooling, epoxy resin, paper towels, cat litter etc, and of course a mortar and pestle. It's basically a bit of a mess. And I leave it like that each night after I finish whatever I'm doing. Yes, I'm an undisciplined chemist.
The reagents I use are all as you would expect - nitrates of barium, potassium, strontium etc. Ammonium perc, metal powders, MgAl etc, hexamine, sulphur, Ti sponge, red gum...all the usual suspects. And no more than about 1Kg of any one reagent, and sometimes only 50g or so.


Then this happened. Today.

I'm at work, it's 09:30 and I get an email from my wife simply saying 'Police are here!!'. Naturally, I shit myself and rush home. Sure enough, there's a police van outside the house and two PCs greet me as I go inside. They inform me that they are acting on a complaint and the sergeant is already searching the garage. I politely enquire as to whether they have a warrant, they say 'no but my wife has given consent to search the premises'.

I don't think I've ever shit myself twice in the same day before, let alone the same morning, so that was a new experience.

Anyway, I ask to go into the garage and explain what is in there etc, but the copper says no, best not, just leave them to it. They're all wearing body cams too so everything I say was being recorded. I kept it civil and polite, but under the surface I was really annoyed that one of our neighbours must have grassed me up. And also very nervous indeed that I had misjudged the law and was about to get arrested for terrorism offences.

So I, my wife and one of the PCs sit in the kitchen while the sergeant searches the garage and the other PC searches around in the house. During this time I try to be helpful and ask if they would like the main garage door open (in addition to the side door) and I also point out that they might like to inspect my 'lab' notebook that is in there.

10 or 15 minutes pass and I hear the sergeant outside on the phone to someone, but I couldn't quite make out what was being said. Then the PC goes out too, has a brief conversation then they both come back in. The sergeant explains he has called higher up, to some counter terrorism unit where they presumably have some more specialist knowledge, and explained to them what he has found in the garage.

...and they had replied that it was all legal, no offence had been committed.

I tell you, I don't know what the opposite of shitting oneself is, but whatever it is I did it.

The police then filled out the relevant forms, gave us a copy and left.

So my take from this is that in the UK at least, 'hobby' pyro is legal. Or at least not so illegal that they care.
(Or maybe it's not an issue if you're a middle class, middle aged white male, as I am).

No items were seized, no cautions issued and no arrests made. I was told that if I were to sell any items I made then that would be illegal, but otherwise no problems.

I did have all my reagents labelled and also, and maybe it was this that saved me, I had a notebook from the last few years detailing all my work. What I had mixed, how I had used it and what the effect was. Then there were further notes detailing possible improvements and at the end of each year (I only do this once a year remember) a list of all the things I had learned that year.
Formulae, diagrams, notes...basically Aim, Method, Apparatus and Results. All there, like a proper scientist.


I do hope I don't get visited again though, my wife wasn't overly impressed with the whole experience. But they clearly have a dark sense of humour where she works - by lunchtime someone had printed out a picture of Osama bin Laden and taped it above her office door.




\'Silk and satin, leather and lace...black panties with an Angel\'s face\'
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B(a)P
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[*] posted on 19-10-2020 at 15:29


Thanks for sharing this. I am also not the most disciplined of chemists and will sometimes leave some apparatus out and unwashed.
This is a timely reminder. I will be ducking down to the lab later today to make sure everything is labeled as it should be and stored correctly. I am quite confident that everything a store is generally legal, but I am guilty of inappropriately storing the occasional intermediate in a jar with my scrawl on the side.
If I were to look at my lab today through the eyes of a police officer, I think I would have some concerns.....
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Fyndium
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[*] posted on 20-10-2020 at 14:07


I think the police is more interested if there is actually going on something that can be a security risk, energetics, substances of abuse or similar. The messiness would be more of a nuisance, and unless you'd store flammable and toxic stuff around carelessly, they wouldn't probably care.

It's just faster to determine the matter of the business if everything is well organized and recorded, and generally it appears more of a legit operation rather than hastily put up cooking lab.
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B(a)P
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[*] posted on 20-10-2020 at 14:57


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
I think the police is more interested if there is actually going on something that can be a security risk, energetics, substances of abuse or similar. The messiness would be more of a nuisance, and unless you'd store flammable and toxic stuff around carelessly, they wouldn't probably care.

It's just faster to determine the matter of the business if everything is well organized and recorded, and generally it appears more of a legit operation rather than hastily put up cooking lab.


I don't think the state of my lab space would land me in trouble, but I would prefer a quick everything here looks in order visit rather than a, I am going to go through these random beakers and flasks to work out what you are up to.

Edit -
I did spend an hour in the lab last night and it is looking as clean as ever! It is a good feeling to have everything clean, neat and ready to use.

[Edited on 20-10-2020 by B(a)P]
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Fyndium
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[*] posted on 21-10-2020 at 06:26


I don't mean by no means that keeping everything in order and clean isn't preferable. I do it and I actually spend quite a lot of time cleaning and keeping order my stuff, and time-wise it only comes second to purifying and refining the actual reagents. The time used in actual synthesis is probably the lowest of all.

These inspections usually start by quick look, and if everything appears legit, they test some random samples closer, and if they appear legit as well, case is usually closed. This is routine in customs - they take few samples, and if they pass, all will pass. Saves a hell of a lot time for both, if all is in order from the start.
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Fyndium
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[*] posted on 23-10-2020 at 09:08


I noticed going through ebay offerings that there are many european based vendors that offer actual precursors of many kind freely and have sold lots of them. They command somewhat high prices, but I still find it surprising.

Then there are few legitimate online shops that offer all kinds of stuff by the bulk, including various amounts up to 25 liter cans of benzaldehyde, and require no questions to be answered(this is because they have some other items which read that they do not sell them unless signed declarations are supplied). How is this possible? I would be really, really interested in case someone just drops an order of such kind.
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 23-10-2020 at 11:37


Dont ask for logic...

One seller wont sell borax but still happily sells 30% H2O2 to the general public.
I sometimes think "honeypot" when I see the offers you mention.




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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Fyndium
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[*] posted on 24-10-2020 at 00:25


About that borax.. Yeah. Thank god I got the company number nowadays. Just skips all the trouble, buy what you need with cheap prices. For anyone interested, the shop's name Has a letter S, and German word for three in it's name. Appears totally legit to me and I actually ordered some bulk stuff there ages ago.

But I don't see a point in honeypot in Europe, because it is illegal to instigate for a crime. This means, an undercover officer can not in any case sell or supply anything or cause a situation where a crime that otherwise would have left uncommitted, would be, for example by placing an order. Yet still, I have a feeling that if one sells actual precursors from left to right, someone, someday may come inquiring who did you sell them for. I'm actually afraid of getting onto such list, having ordered very ordinary stuff that someone too boxed in his own matter will see as a potential threat. For example, I have ordered sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetone from same store within a year, although all in separate orders. It doesn't take a genius at some office to decide that I will absolutely mix them all up in a barrel like an idiot, or worse.
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[*] posted on 24-10-2020 at 01:07


In case if it's not the honeypot, the police can get every information related to supplier's bank account as well as server logs.
Even ff selling p2np is totally legal somewhere - buying it is very suspicious and it can be a reason to start the police investigation

[Edited on 24-10-2020 by outer_limits]
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Fyndium
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[*] posted on 24-10-2020 at 03:02


There's of course that benzaldehyde is approved as a food additive, but compounds such as above have few if none legitimate uses besides pharmaceutical production. Someone here even disowned the concept of discussion about such compounds because they have no other use.

I would guess that merely buying BzH triggers much of a flag, but buying anything with it that could even remotely indicate unaccountable intents, things may escalate quickly.
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[*] posted on 24-10-2020 at 09:02


Quote: Originally posted by Fyndium  
For example, I have ordered sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetone from same store within a year, although all in separate orders. It doesn't take a genius at some office to decide that I will absolutely mix them all up in a barrel like an idiot, or worse.


Oh I get it. The number of times I ordered several things and then realized how it could be misinterpreted...
Or the "oops, it can also be used for *that*"
I used to pour a hundred ml of H2O2 in the sinks from time to time just to keep them clean and odorless. Not anymore...




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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